How to Automatically Switch Between Light and Dark Themes in Windows 11

Windows 11 has an aesthetically pleasing dark theme by default and a surprisingly good light theme. However, the operating system does not have a built-in Windows 11 feature that allows users to schedule switching between light or dark themes based on their preferences or time of day. Fortunately, the developer of the Auto Dark Mode app used to program the dark mode in Windows 10 has released a new ‘Auto Dark Mode X’ app that brings the functionality to Windows 11. Read on to find out how you can switch between light and dark. themes automatically in Windows 11.

Schedule Auto Dark/Light Mode in Windows 11 (2021)

In this guide, we will not only plan the light and dark theme in Windows 11, but also detail how you can configure the wallpaper and application behavior by theme. So, without further ado, let’s get to the point.

Download and Install Auto Dark Mode X

1. You can download Auto Dark Mode X for free from GitHub. visit GitHub page Download the latest version available in the Software and Assets section.

2. You can also choose to download Auto Dark Mode from Microsoft Store. Search for the app and Download one from developer Armin Osaj. Click the Install button to download Auto Dark Mode to your Windows 11 PC.

auto dark mode x ms repository

3. If you follow the GitHub route, you will need to double-click the EXE file to see the classic installation wizard. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup process. As you’d expect, it mostly involves clicking the ‘Next’ button.


4. After installing the application, you will be taken to the home page of the Automatic Dark Mode application, where you will find the options for scheduling dark mode in Windows 11.

auto dark mode home

Set Custom Clocks to Enable Dark Mode in Windows 11

1. If you prefer to define a custom start and end time for light and dark themes, this app is all you need. Select ‘Set custom hours’ You can configure the time from the main page of the application (Time settings page) and then according to your preference.

set custom clocks to program dark theme Windows 11

2. To change the default start and end times, click the time picker to select the time that works best for you and click the checkmark icon to save the changes. You do not need to click any ‘Done’ or ‘Apply’ button, the changes will be made automatically.

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set custom watches win11 theme

Automatic Dark Mode in Windows 11 Based on Sunrise and Sunset

If you’re someone who prefers to use dark mode after sunset, you can do that too with this nifty app in Windows 11. Follow the steps below:

one. Select the ‘sunset to sunrise’ transition, and you’re all set. Note that you will need to allow location permission for the app to detect your city’s sunset and sunrise times.

sunrise auto light or dark theme scheduling in windows 11

2. If the exact sunset and sunrise times are a little earlier or later for your liking, you can choose to balance them, which is a nice addition for the user. Enter the minute you want to trigger the theme, before or after the default sunrise/sunset time, under the Offset section and click ‘Set’ to apply the values.

balance sunrise time to schedule dark theme windows 11

3. If you don’t plan to allow location access, you can choose to manually enter geographic coordinates to let the app estimate the sunrise/sunset time. all you have to do Switch to ‘sunset to sunrise (geographic coordinates)’ and enter the coordinates (latitude and longitude).

Windows 11 light or dark theme toggle based on geographic coordinates

Set Exceptions When Switching Between Windows 11 Light and Dark Themes

Now that you have the automatic light and dark theme switching feature set up, you can choose to set exceptions based on which Windows 11 will not trigger the theme changes. Currently, you can choose to avoid changing the theme while playing some of the best PC games. You also have the option to automatically enable dark mode when your Windows 11 laptop is disconnected from the power source. You’ll find both of these options in the ‘Change Modes’ section of the app.

change mods autodarkmodex

Adjust Application Behavior When Changing Windows 11 Theme

Auto Dark Mode X app also allows you to set theme preferences for your apps and system settings separately. This means you can choose whether the apps installed on your Windows 11 PC will always use a dark theme, a dark theme, or automatically adapt to the programmed light/dark theme switch. Find out how this feature works here:

1. Switch to ‘Applications’ from the left sidebar and select the correct theme mode from the drop-down list.

change app theme win11

2. As you can see below, you even have the option to set your preferred theme mode to custom for Microsoft Office 2013-19 versions.

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set theme for msoffice

Set Different Wallpapers on Multiple Monitors Based on Windows Theme

The list of features offered by Auto Dark Mode X does not end there. The developer added an option that allows you choose a wallpaper for individual monitors based on system theme. You can even set it up so you’ll see different wallpapers for light and dark themes.

1. To configure the theme-aware wallpapers, go to ‘Personalization’ and click ‘choose a wallpaper‘.

choose wallpaper win11

2. Here, ‘Activate wallpaper switch‘ switch and select the theme mode. After you set the wallpaper for the Light theme, you can select the Dark theme and follow the instructions below.

wallpaper transition theme

2. Under Background settings, you will see the option to set the wallpaper for a single monitor, multiple monitors, or use a solid color as the background.

set background per monitor

3. If you select multiple monitors, select the first monitor from the Monitor drop-down list.

select monitor to change wallpaper

4. Next, click on ‘Choose file’ and select the wallpaper for the selected monitor. Similarly, repeat the steps for all other monitors you have connected to your Windows 11 PC and repeat these four steps if you need different wallpapers while using the dark theme.

choose wallpaper for monitor when planning dark theme Windows 11

Change Windows 11 Wallpaper by Theme

1. Another way to set wallpaper replacement is to rely on Windows themes. Although setting this up is a bit more complicated than before, additional customization featuresincluding the option to set the mouse cursor and highlight color in addition to the wallpapers.

Choose a theme to switch to timed dark theme in Windows 11

2. First, click on the hyperlink you see in the app to open the Windows theme settings.

open theme settings

3. Change the background, highlight color and mouse cursor from the theme settings and hit the ‘Save’ button.

save theme w11

3. After customization you need to name the theme and click ‘Save’. For example, I save this theme as ‘New Light’.

name theme win11

4. Now, go back to Auto Dark Mode X and select the theme you just created. You can repeat these steps to set different backgrounds for the dark theme.

Select created theme when switching to timed dark theme in Windows 11

Automatically Change Themes in Windows 11

Despite major design changes, it’s unfortunate that Microsoft missed the opportunity to add dark mode timing as a native feature in Windows 11. Still, we hope this guide will help you plan a light or dark theme based on your preference. Another notable shortcoming in Windows 11 is the system tray clock on secondary displays in the taskbar, and you can check out our linked article to bring it back in just a few clicks. To further personalize the experience, see our guides on customizing the Windows 11 Start menu and customizing the Windows 11 taskbar.

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