WhatsApp‘s upcoming Dark Mode is perhaps one of the most awaited dark themes, as the popular messaging service with over 1.5 Billion Monthly Active Users as of early 2018 has been incredibly slow to adopt a darker theme for its predominantly white interface. WhatsApp had tested bits and pieces of a dark theme since March 2019—back when other popular apps had begun rolling out dark modes—while early references to the dark theme can be traced all the way back to September 2019. We have witnessed signs of progress over the past months, but WhatsApp has not initiated any rollouts nor have they announced anything yet. If you are feeling absolutely restless and just want to enable a dark theme in WhatsApp, you can force enable a dark theme for the app (and other apps) through Developer Options settings on Android 10
The option for force enabling dark themes across unsupported apps has been present since Android Q, so this isn’t exactly brand new information. But with more and more apps officially adopting a dark theme, this option has been relegated out of the limelight as it could cause issues with how an unsupported app displays visual elements. Now, Android 10 is much more widely available across flagships and mid-rangers alike, and so many other devices have also received Android 10 custom ROMs. So it is worth revisiting this setting in light of WhatsApp’s lethargy towards dark mode.
To enable dark mode on WhatsApp and other unsupported apps, all you have to do is enable Developer Options on your Android 10 device, and then scroll down to the “Override force-dark” setting and enable it. Doing so on my OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 6 themes WhatsApp to a darker color palette.
You can also enable the same on older Android versions on certain OEM skins which have a similar option baked in to force-enable dark themes. For instance, the recent Color OS 6 update based on Android 9 Pie for the Realme 3 and Realme 3i contain a switch for system-wide dark mode as well as for enabling it on apps like WhatsApp.
On versions of Android older than Pie, you can also trigger dark mode through ADB or other dedicated apps. Do note that this method won’t work with all devices since some manufacturers completely disable the night mode option on their phones.
You can change the white background within a conversation/chat with the dark wallpaper that was recently spotted. If you are interested, we have decompiled the APK and extracted the dark wallpaper, so you can simply download the image by saving it from this link.
As has been the case for more than a year now, it is unknown when WhatsApp will roll out a dark theme officially. Until then, you can make use of these options to fulfill your needs. If you are looking to theme WhatsApp on Windows or MacOS, we have you covered there as well.