How to enable dark theme in File Explorer on Windows 10?

By Alexandra Bagratian | August 16, 2018 |

greater than 3 minutes

‘There is a dark side to everything’


Dark themes are undoubtedly awesome: they are stylish, easy on the eyes, and, what is most important, actually good for your eyes – especially if you spend nights sitting in front of your PC or lying in bed with a laptop resting on your chest (the second is even worse). Anyway, if there is an opportunity to switch to a darker theme, users usually grab it without a second thought.

As such, we have great news for you: at last, the prayers of Windows 10 users have been answered. Good old Microsoft has finally introduced the long-awaited dark theme for File Explorer. So, if you keep asking, ‘Should I download Windows 10 build 17733?’, our answer is that there is at least one reason to do it because this build is where File Explorer goes dark. And that is a big step towards Windows 10 becoming a thoroughly customizable system.

So, if you are looking how to get the File Explorer dark theme in Windows 10, what you should do first is get Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17733 (RS5), which is packed full of improvements, fixes, and developments. To download this build, you should join Microsoft’s Windows Insider program in the Fast ring. You can easily do that, but first, let’s back up your system in case things go wrong:

  1. Connect an external storage device to your PC (this is where the backup of your system will be stored).
  2. Open your Start menu and proceed to Control Panel.
  3. Navigate to System and Security.
  4. Click Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
  5. Move to the left pane and select Create a system image.
  6. When asked, ‘Where do you want to save the backup?’, select ‘On a hard disk’.
  7. Press Next. Then click Start backup. A full backup of your system will be created.
  8. The ‘Create a system repair disk’ window will show up. Select the drive which you will use to access the recovery options in case your system refuses to boot and insert a blank disc into this drive.
  9. Disconnect your external backup device and your system repair drive.

And here is how you can restore your system in case things do not go as planned:

  1. Connect the external backup device and the system repair drive to your PC.
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. On the Windows Setup page, configure your basic settings and press Next.

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  5. Click on System Image Recovery.
  6. Select Windows 10.
  7. Check the Use the latest available system image option.
  8. Press Next twice and select Finish.
  9. Press Yes to begin the recovery process.

After backing up your system, you are free to join the Fast ring of the Windows Insider Program:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + S shortcut on your keyboard.
  2. In the Settings app, select Update & security.
  3. In the left-pane menu, click on Windows Insider Program.
  4. Click Link an account and select your Microsoft account. Click Continue.
  5. When asked, ‘What kind of content would you like to receive?’, select Active development of Windows and press the Confirm button.
  6. When asked, ‘What pace do you want to receive preview builds?’, select Fast and click Confirm.
  7. Click Confirm again after reading the terms.
  8. Click Restart now.

Once you are done, your PC will automatically receive updates and get enrolled in the Fast ring of the Windows Insider Program. If that doesn’t happen, go to Update & security and click Check for Updates.

To help updates settle down on your computer (and now you are going to get them in greater numbers), we recommend you to keep all your drivers up to date so that your system can offer maximum performance. The easiest way to do that is by using a dedicated tool, such as Auslogics Driver Updater, that can automate the process and ensure that you always have the latest manufacturer-recommended driver software.

You can easily opt out of the Windows Insider Program by entering the Windows Insider Program menu in Update & security and selecting Stop Insider Preview builds.

Now that you are a Windows insider, you can switch to the dark theme:

  1. Open the Settings app and navigate to the Personalization menu.
  2. In the right pane, locate the Colors section.
  3. Select Dark as your default app mode.

This will enable the dark theme in all your apps and interfaces, File Explorer being among them.

Do you like the new dark theme? Please share your opinion in the comments below!

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.
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