How to Get Snapchat Dark Mode on iOS & Android: The Complete Guide

default image

Have you ever picked up your phone in the middle of the night, only to be blinded by the bright light of the screen? I‘m sure we‘ve all been there. The glow of your phone at night can be downright painful on the eyes.

Luckily, more and more apps nowadays offer a dark mode feature. Dark mode displays content on a black or dark background instead of the usual bright white. Studies show that staring at white screens in the dark can disrupt sleep patterns and cause eye strain. Dark mode helps prevent those issues by reducing glare and blue light exposure.

According to a 2021 survey by software company Shiny, over 90% of people use dark mode on at least one device or app. The sleek, modern aesthetic of dark mode is appealing to many users. But the benefits go beyond looks – dark mode has been shown to improve battery life and accessibility for those with photophobia or other visual impairments.

One popular app that has started testing dark mode is Snapchat. Both iOS and Android users have been eagerly awaiting an official black theme from Snapchat. The good news is that iPhone users can already enable dark mode manually!

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll walk you through how to turn on dark mode for Snapchat on iOS and Android. I‘ll also discuss the pros and cons of using dark mode, troubleshoot common issues, and answer frequently asked questions. Let‘s dive in!

What Exactly is Dark Mode on Snapchat?

Dark mode, also known as "night mode" or "dark theme", inverts the typical light color scheme of an app. Instead of a white background, dark mode uses black or gray. Text and icons usually appear light-colored instead of dark.

Snapchat‘s dark mode applies a dark gray theme. The backgrounds of snaps and stories switch from white to black. Icons like the arrow and pencil switch from black outlines to white. This color inversion creates a stylish dark aesthetic for the app.

Dark mode has been a popular trend in mobile apps over the past few years. Social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, Discord, and Messenger have added dark themes. According to Google Trends data, global search interest for "dark mode" quintupled between 2018 and 2021.

Software developers say dark mode not only looks sleek but can also improve usability. Studies suggest that prolonged exposure to bright white screens at night contributes to eye strain, headaches, and disrupted sleep patterns. Dark mode alleviates some of that eye fatigue, especially for nighttime phone use.

Dark mode may also slightly extend battery life on devices with OLED displays. On OLED screens, black pixels use less energy than white pixels. So displaying darker colors requires less power.

Snapchat debuted a test version of dark mode on iOS devices in 2020. Only select users had access initially. Snapchat has continued slowly expanding the dark mode test over the past couple years. Android support has lagged behind, with no native dark mode option yet available.

Keep reading to learn how both iOS and Android users can currently enable dark mode for Snapchat, even while still in testing.

Step-by-Step Guide to Get Dark Mode on Snapchat for iPhone

Snapchat‘s dark mode is officially available only for iOS as of February 2023. The feature remains locked for most users during testing, but can be manually activated if you know where to look.

Here are the steps to enable dark mode on Snapchat for iPhone:

  1. Open the Snapchat app and tap your profile icon in the top left corner. This opens your Snapchat profile page.

  2. In the top right corner of your profile, tap the Settings gear icon. This opens the Snapchat Settings menu.

  3. Scroll down and select "App Appearance" under the Account Actions section.

  4. Under the Themes heading, choose "Always Dark".

That‘s it! Snapchat will now permanently switch to dark mode. You can change it back to the normal light theme at any time by returning to App Appearance and selecting "Always Light".

The option “Match System” will sync Snapchat’s theme to your overall iPhone light/dark mode setting. So if you have dark mode enabled system-wide, Snapchat will also use a dark theme.

Keep in mind the App Appearance menu only appears for users that Snapchat has unlocked dark mode for during testing. If you don‘t see the option, you‘ll have to wait for a wider release.

Now let‘s look at how Android users can activate dark mode, despite no official support yet.

Activating Dark Mode for Snapchat on Android Devices

Unfortunately Snapchat has not yet provided native dark theme access on Android devices. The App Appearance menu is nowhere to be found in the Android app.

However, you may be able to forcibly enable a makeshift dark mode using Android‘s system-level Dark Theme setting. Here‘s how:

  1. Open Settings on your Android device.

  2. Tap "Display".

  3. Turn on "Dark Theme" or "Dark mode". This makes your overall Android interface black/gray.

  4. Open Snapchat. It should now display in dark mode to match your system theme.

The steps may vary slightly depending on your specific Android device and OS version. On Samsung phones, you may need to go to Display > Dark mode settings. On Pixel phones look for Display > Theme.

If your version of Android lacks a system dark theme toggle, you can try enabling "Force Dark Mode" in Developer options:

  1. Go to "About phone" in Settings then tap "Build number" 7 times.

  2. Back in Settings, go to "System > Developer options".

  3. Toggle on "Force Dark Mode".

Unfortunately these are not guaranteed solutions since Snapchat has not yet optimized the Android app for dark mode. You may encounter bugs like text rendering issues, crashes, or slow performance. But the workaround could still be worth trying, especially if you frequently use Snapchat at night.

Hopefully Snapchat will officially launch dark mode for Android users soon! Next let‘s discuss the pros and cons of using dark mode.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Dark Mode on Snapchat

Should you bother toggling on dark mode once it‘s available? Here are some of the notable pros and cons:

Benefits of Using Dark Mode

  • Easier on your eyes – Staring at a bright screen in the dark can strain your eyes. Dark mode helps prevent eye fatigue and headaches.

  • Better nighttime use – Dark mode is easier to look at and less disruptive to others when using your phone in bed or in dark rooms.

  • Improved battery life – Dark mode extends battery life slightly thanks to darker pixels using less power on OLED screens.

  • Reduced glare – Dark mode cuts down on screen glare when using your phone outdoors or in brightly lit rooms.

  • Stylish modern look – Many users think the black background looks sleek and aesthetically pleasing.

  • Customization – If you like toggling between light and dark themes, the option is fun for personalizing your experience.

Drawbacks of Using Dark Mode

  • Decreased readability – For some users, lighter backgrounds provide better text contrast and readability.

  • Less color – Dark mode mutes or hides colors by design. Some users prefer seeing photos and videos "pop" against white.

  • Change adjustment – If you‘re accustomed to light mode, it may take time for your eyes to adapt to the darker scheme.

  • Accessibility limitations – Low contrast and hidden colors caused by dark mode can make apps harder to use for some users with visual impairments.

  • Glitches – Early dark mode implementations often have bugs. Snapchat‘s Android dark mode workaround may have issues.

So in summary, the benefits tend to focus on aesthetics and eye strain reduction, while drawbacks relate to usability and personal preference. Overall dark mode is worth trying if you frequently use apps in the dark.

Next let‘s go over some troubleshooting tips for common dark mode problems.

Troubleshooting Issues With Snapchat‘s Dark Mode

Since dark mode remains in testing, you may encounter bugs or inconsistencies while using the feature. Here are some potential issues and fixes:

Dark mode turned off randomly – Snapchat is still experimenting with which users have access. They may remove dark mode from some testers during development.

Can‘t find App Appearance option – The dark mode setting only appears for select iOS testers. Unfortunately, you‘ll have to wait if the option is missing.

Dark mode not working on Android – The Android workaround is not officially supported, so results will be hit or miss depending on your device.

App is slow or crashing – Try resetting the app by force quitting Snapchat and toggling dark mode off and on. Report ongoing issues to Snapchat.

Weird text rendering – This visual bug may occur on unsupported Android devices. A future update could improve compatibility.

Colors appearing incorrectly – Some colors may display oddly in dark mode. Report color issues to Snapchat so they can improve the feature.

Hopefully these tips will help you troubleshoot any problems with enabling or using dark mode. Overall performance and consistency should improve once Snapchat finishes testing and officially launches the feature.

Now let‘s wrap things up with answers to some frequently asked questions!

FAQs About Snapchat Dark Mode

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about using Snapchat in dark mode:

Is dark mode available natively for Android?

No. Snapchat has not yet released official dark mode support for Android, only iOS.

When will Snapchat fully launch dark mode?

They haven‘t announced an official date. Based on testing so far, we estimate a full release will come sometime in 2023.

Does turning on dark mode use more battery?

No, dark mode will actually extend your battery life slightly compared to light mode.

Can Snapchat Plus subscribers use dark mode?

No, Snapchat‘s paid subscription does not currently unlock any special dark mode features.

Is dark mode available on the Snapchat web app?

No, Snapchat‘s web version does not currently support a dark theme. Mobile apps only for now.

Why does my Android device lack a system dark mode toggle?

The setting was added in Android 10. Older OS versions may not have a system-wide dark theme option.

Is it bad for your eyes to use light mode at night?

Yes, prolonged use of light mode in the dark can contribute to eye strain and disrupt sleep cycles. Dark mode is better for nighttime eye health.

Does dark mode use less data?

There‘s no noticeable difference in data usage between light and dark themes. The design doesn‘t affect data consumption.

I hope this guide gave you a comprehensive overview of how to enable dark mode on Snapchat! Let me know if you have any other questions. Feel free to share this with other Snapchatters who may be wondering how to reduce eye strain and get access to dark mode.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.