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How to use Instagram dark mode: in four easy steps

The easiest way to switch to Instagram dark mode

Instagram dark mode
(Image: © Shutterstock)

Instagram dark mode is easy to use, and looks great, providing an alternative color scheme that replaces Instagram's usual white interface with shades of gray and black.

Instagram dark mode can help improve your phone's battery life if you're a particularly heavy user, because white pixels draw measurably more power than black ones. This is particularly true of phones with AMOLED screens, where black pixels are switch off entirely.

Many people also find that dark mode reduces eye strain, particularly at night, due to reduced glare. 

As head of Instagram Adam Mosseri revealed when it launched in October 2019, you need to be running the latest version of the mobile operating system – that is, Android 10 or iOS 13 – to enjoy the dark tones. If and when that changes, we'll update this guide accordingly will full instructions explaining how to switch.

Instagram dark mode for iPhone

If you have an iPhone running iOS 13, these steps will allow you to change its system settings and use Instagram in dark mode.

  1. Open your phone's settings
  2. Select 'Display and brightness'
  3. Tap 'Dark' to change the theme
  4. Launch Instagram

Instagram dark mode for Android

To enable Instagram's dark mode for phone running Android 10, simply follow these four steps:

  1. Open your phone's settings
  2. Scroll down to 'Display'
  3. Activate the 'Dark theme' toggle
  4. Launch Instagram

Instagram dark mode

(Image credit: Facebook)

Other ways to save power in Instagram

If you don't have Android 10 or iOS 13 yet, there's still a step you can take to reduce Instagram's power usage (and conserve mobile data while you're at it). 

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 helps.