Microsoft embraces the dark side with new Windows 10 File Explorer theme

Perhaps attempting to keep up with Apple's Dark Mode in the upcoming macOS 10.14 Mojave, Microsoft has announced that the next major release of Windows 10 will bet getting a Dark Theme for File Explorer. 

Available with Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17733, members of the Windows Insiders program will be able to apply the new Dark Theme by going to Settings > Personalization > Colors and then selecting the 'Dark' option found in the 'Choose your app mode' section.

Spurned on by the frequent requests of Windows Insiders, Microsoft's mission to apply a Dark Theme to File Explorer was much more difficult than one would expect, as it had to work within "legacy UI frameworks which don’t plug into that infrastructure automatically." 

The dark theme rises

In creating the new Dark Theme, Microsoft said it was mindful to "only change File Explorer (and the Common File Dialog) and not change common controls generally, which could break a lot of app experiences (such as making dark text in an app unreadable)."

Along with aforementioned details, Microsoft's Dark Theme blog post describes the balancing act of choosing the right shades and tones for the new UI, stating it listened closely to its vocal Insiders in an effort to get it just right. 

While the new Dark Theme is currently only available to Insiders, it's likely that it will officially make its way into Windows 10 with the upcoming Redstone 5 update, which is expected to drop October 2018. 

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.