How to activate dark mode in WhatsApp on the web

Dark mode for WhatsApp
(Image credit: WhatsApp Inc/Shutterstock)

If you are a WhatsApp user, you may well have been waiting for dark mode for WhatsApp to arrive in the iOS and Android apps. We know work is underway, but the option is yet to appear in publicly released builds. But what about the web-based version of WhatsApp?

Dark mode options have been gradually spreading to numerous apps in recent months, but the focus has very much been on mobile apps – primarily because of the battery-saving potential of darker hues. Some desktop web browsers have started to introduce the option to convert any website to dark mode, but it can be a bit of a hit and miss affair.

In fact, you may have tried the browser-based means of forcing dark mode in WhatsApp online, and been unhappy with the results. Here, as discovered by WABetaInfo, is a way to activate dark mode in with Chrome or Firefox using a free browser extension called Stylus.

The extension can be used to apply a theme to any website using custom CSS (cascading style sheets), and this is exactly how we will force WhatsApp's web app to use dark mode. We'll focus on Google Chrome, but the method is near-identical for Firefox users.

Turn up the darkness

In Chrome, you can grab the Stylus extension from the Chrome Web Store – visit the site here and click the 'Add to Chrome' button followed by 'Add extension'. (If you're using Firefox, you can download the Stylus extension for your browser.)

With Stylus installed, you can download a special dark theme for WhatsApp. Click the link followed by 'Install Style' and then 'OK'.

That's all there is to it. When you next visit the web version of WhatsApp, you will find that a dark theme has been applied.

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

You can find her on Twitter and Mastodon.