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How to use Instagram in dark mode with iOS and Android

The easiest way to switch to Instagram's darker theme

Instagram dark mode
(Image: © Shutterstock)

Since 2019 Instagram has provided a dark theme that replaces Instagram's usual white interface with shades of gray and black across the app for your iPhone or Android smartphone.

With the iPhone 13 and Pixel 6 series of phones coming out, showcasing your profile in dark mode will be one of the first jobs to do once you upgrade your smartphone.

It can also 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.

Instagram's dark mode for iPhone

If you have an iPhone running iOS 15, 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 11, 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

How else can I save battery life in Instagram?

If Instagram is draining your phone's battery, there are other steps you can take to conserve a little extra juice.

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.

Daryl Baxter

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', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and iPad. If you have a story about a newly-updated app or one that's about to launch, drop him a line.