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How to Add Dark Mode to Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

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Do you want to add dark mode to your WordPress admin dashboard?

A darker color scheme can make it easier to work later in the day or in low-light conditions, by reducing the white and blue light coming from your screen. According to some users, reducing this light may also help if you suffer from eye strain, headaches, or sleeping problems.

In this article, we’ll show you how to add dark mode to the WordPress admin dashboard.

How to Add Dark Mode to Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

What Is Dark Mode and Why Add it to Your Website?

If you often work on your WordPress website late at night or in poorly-lit conditions, then the bright light from the computer screen can cause eye strain.

Some people even believe that bright light can disrupt your natural circadian rhythms and make it more difficult to fall asleep.

With that in mind, many apps, websites, and even operating systems come with a built-in dark mode that reduces the amount of white light coming from the screen.

Dark mode in macOS

If you have an iPhone or Android smartphone, then you may be able to switch to dark mode using a toggle.

Some popular websites like YouTube even offer a built-in dark color scheme.

An example of Dark Mode on the YouTube website

Adding dark mode to your WordPress website is great for visitors, but you may also want to add a dark mode to your website’s back-end. WordPress comes with admin color schemes, but none of the default color schemes actually reduce the amount of white light coming through the screen.

With that being said, let’s add a dark mode to the WordPress admin area so you can work comfortably on your site late into the night or in low-light conditions.

Adding Dark Mode to Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

The easiest way to add a dark mode to the WordPress admin dashboard is by using WP Dark Mode. This plugin allows admins to enable and disable dark mode with a single click.

Even better, if you run a multi-author WordPress blog, then each person can toggle dark mode on and off as they prefer. The plugin will remember their preference the next time time they log in.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the WP Dark Mode plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to the WP Dark Mode » Settings page in your WordPress dashboard and then click on the General Settings tab.

Enabling dark mode for the WordPress admin dashboard

You’ll notice that the ‘Enable Frontend Darkmode’ switch is turned on by default.

This means visitors will see the regular, light version of your WordPress blog or website. They can switch to dark mode at any point, by clicking on the icon in the bottom-right corner.

Adding dark mode to your WordPress website

If you want to use dark more on the admin dashboard only, then you’ll need to disable the ‘Enable Frontend Darkmode’ slider.

This removes dark mode from your website’s front-end so visitors will always see the regular, light version of your blog, website, or online store.

How to configure dark mode for the admin area

After that, click on the Save Settings button at the bottom of the page.

At this point you’ll see a new ‘Light / Dark’ switch in the admin toolbar. You can click on this toggle to enable and disable dark mode in the admin area.

Dark Mode Switch

‘Dark Mode’ is not an admin color scheme, so after activating it you may want to try changing the admin color scheme.

By choosing a dark color scheme, you can further reduce the amount of light coming from the screen. Another option is to choose a brighter color scheme, which will make the dark mode dashboard easier to read.

To change the admin color scheme, go to Users » Profile and then choose any of the options under Admin Color Scheme.

Admin Color Scheme

Even with dark mode enabled, you’ll still see the light version of the page and post editor.

To switch to the dark version of the editor, simply click on the small color wheel in its toolbar and then select ‘Darkmode.’

Dark Mode in the Gutenberg Editor

The plugin will remember this change, and open the page and post editor in dark mode from this point onwards.

We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to add dark mode to your WordPress admin dashboard. You may also want to see our guide on how to create a landing page in WordPress, or see our expert pick of the must have WordPress plugins.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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12 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Jiří Vaněk says

    Thank you for the advice. I have both system and browser dark mode set on Windows 11, but WordPress keeps ignoring this setting. Browser settings and even a browser extension that should force dark mode didn’t help. And now I understand that it will be a problem of WordPress missing color scheme for dark mode. Thank you for the valuable experience and advice on how to force dark mode.

  3. Dan says

    Thank you.
    This is a workaround plugin, which is not ideal.
    I’ve observed that every time I click anything in the interface, it blinks for 1 second in the original color and then switches to dark mode.
    Ideally, WordPress should add it to its color scheme.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You may want to change your color scheme under User>Profile to set the base color to help prevent the delay in the style’s loading.


  4. Kuldeep Singh says


    Thank you guys. It helped me to get desired dashboard dark theme. But I need the default editor background in dark theme too. It there any single plugin which can change the dashboard and editor background to dark mode?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to reach out to the plugin’s support for their recommendation first


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