How To: You Can Get WhatsApp's New Official Dark Mode on Android Right Now

You Can Get WhatsApp's New Official Dark Mode on Android Right Now

After Android 10 added a system-wide dark mode, hordes of app developers rushed to add support for the feature. This even helped users on Android 9 and below since most apps could be manually set to a dark theme now. Emphasis on mostWhatsApp was conspicuously absent, for one. That changes today.

A new dark theme just became available in the latest beta version of WhatsApp. The easiest way to get it is to sideload the update. Then, you can make WhatsApp always stay in dark mode, or if you're on Android 10, you can make it respect the system-wide dark mode setting. It might sound complicated, but it will only take a minute or two.

Step 1: Install the Latest WhatsApp Beta APK

For now, you'll need to sideload the new beta version of WhatsApp to try dark mode. This means you'll need to enable "Unknown Sources" or the "Install Unknown Apps" permission on your phone.

Sideloading this update will not harm your device in any way. It's the official update from WhatsApp, so it will install on top of your existing version of WhatsApp and still allow you to get future updates for the app from the Play Store.

So head to the link below from your phone. Scroll down and tap the "Download APK" button, then confirm your choice on the popup. When the file is finished downloading, tap the Download complete notification in your status bar, then press "Install" on the prompt.

Step 2: Enable Dark Mode

Now, tap on the three-dot menu button in the upper-right corner of the screen and select "Settings." From there, tap on "Chats, " then hit "Theme" on the following page.

On the popup, you can choose "Dark" to instantly apply the dark theme regardless of what Android version you're on. For Android 10 specifically, you can pick "System default" to make the app automatically enable or disable dark mode whenever you turn the system-wide dark mode toggle on or off.

WhatsApp's dark theme features darker colors all around with text that isn't too bright. Best of all, the dark theme is also applied to the chat page's default background, which means you no longer have to swap out the wallpaper as you go between light and dark themes.

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Cover image, screenshots, and GIFs by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

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