How to use Instagram's dark mode on iOS and Android

Instagram dark mode
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Instagram dark mode is one of those features that's well worth learning how to use. Not only does that darker palette offer more immersive viewing of images and videos, but it also comes with a range of other perks that will make your life better and easier.

Regardless of whether you have the best iPhone or one of the best Android phones, it's super simple to use Instagram's dark mode. And trust us, making the switch is well worth it. As well as making images and videos pop like never before, dark mode considerably reduces the bright light that so many of us are exposed to throughout the day, which means you'll experience far less eye strain, especially at night.

Switching to Instagram's dark mode isn't purely worth it for the aesthetics. Dark mode tends to use up a lot less battery than regular mode, especially if you have a smartphone with an AMOLED screen like the Google Pixel 7 or one of Apple’s new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models. This type of panel turns pixels completely off when they’re displaying black, lowering its power consumption.

To help you do this, we've compiled a handy set of instructions to guide you through the process of setting up Instagram dark mode on your iOS and Android devices. It's not hard to do either, so the whole process will be quick, simple, and totally painless. And if you're wondering how to repeat the process with Google Chrome or WhatsApp, check out our guides on how to get Google Chrome dark mode on iOS, Android and Windows and how to use WhatsApp dark mode on iOS and Android.

Switch on Instagram's dark mode in iOS 16

Turning on Instagram dark mode for iPhones is a simple affair. If you have an iPhone running iOS 16 or you've recently upgraded to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, these steps will allow you to change its system settings and use Instagram in dark mode.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select 'Display and Brightness'
  3. Tap 'Dark' to change the theme
  4. Launch Instagram

Switch on Instagram's dark mode in Android

Enabling Instagram's dark mode for Android is just as simple. To enable it for phones running Android 13 and below, follow these five steps:

  1. Launch Instagram
  2. Tap your profile picture in the bottom right to go to your profile.
  3. Select the top right hamburger menu.
  4. Tap Settings, then select Theme.
  5. Choose Dark.

How else can I save battery life in Instagram?

Switching to Instagram dark mode may be an energy-saver, but if you’re on it all day long, you’ll have to find other ways to extend your battery life. Luckily, there are other steps you can take to conserve a little more extra juice. If Instagram is draining your phone's battery, you’ll want to know them.

To keep you scrolling, Instagram pre-loads images and videos, but you can limit this behavior. Tap the menu icon at the top right of the app, then tap the settings icon at the bottom. Tap 'Account', followed by 'Mobile data use' and toggle 'Data saver' on.

This will prevent videos loading in advance, so they'll only be downloaded when you choose to play them. It's unlikely to have a huge effect, but if you regularly find your battery down to its last 10% with no charger in sight, every little bit helps.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.