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How to Enable Dark Mode in Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PPT)

Desktop software and mobile and web apps are getting darker. More and more publishers have been updating their software with optional dark modes that add black color schemes to the apps’ toolbars, sidebars, and menus. Google, Apple, and Adobe are just some of the big software developers that have become somewhat obsessed with dark modes.

Microsoft is also among the software giants that has jumped on the dark mode bandwagon. Windows 10 and Edge include alternative dark themes. The big M has also added a dark mode to its MS Office suite. MS Office users with a Microsoft (Office) 365 subscription can select a “Black” theme option that applies a white text on dark background color scheme to Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

Black themes consume less battery. At an Android Dev Summit, Google presented data highlighting how apps’ dark modes drain mobile device batteries more slowly. So, enabling Microsoft Office’s black theme might save a little battery power on laptops and mobile devices.

Overall, there are four alternative theme color settings available in Microsoft Office. Users can select the white, black, dark gray, and colorful themes for their Office applications. You can activate the Microsoft Office dark mode for Windows applications with the alternative methods below.

Option 1. Enable Dark Mode in All Microsoft Office APP (Excel, Word, PPT) on All Windows PCs

If you utilize Microsoft Office applications on multiple PCs, you can apply an Office dark theme to all the PCs that you log-in to a Microsoft account with. That will save you from having to separately configure the theme for Office software on your other PCs. This is how you can enable dark mode for all MS Office software you utilize across multiple devices.

Step 1: First, open PowerPoint, Excel, or Word. It doesn’t matter which one because the steps for applying the dark mode theme are the same for all the MS Office applications.

Step 2: Click the File tab shown in the snapshot directly below.

Hit the File tab and choose Account in Microsoft office app

Step 3: Then click “Account” on the left side of that tab.

Step 4: Click the “Office Theme” drop-down menu shown directly below.

Choose the Black theme in the Office Theme drop-down menu

Step 5. Select the “Black” option to apply the dark theme showed directly below. That theme will also be applied to all other Office applications linked with your Microsoft account.

activate the Microsoft Office’s dark mode successfully

One thing to note about the dark mode theme is that MS Word documents remain white. Microsoft has recently announced that it intends to make the theme even darker by giving MS Word documents dark canvases. The Microsoft program manager Mr. Forelli said: “This has been a long-requested feature from many of Office Insiders and we’re excited to make it happen… With Dark mode, you’ll notice that the previously white page color is now a dark grey/black.” However, the big M has not yet implemented that feature update at the time of writing.

If you also want to apply a black canvas color for documents to enhance Microsoft Word’s dark mode, click the “Page Color” button on that application’s Design tab. Clicking that button will open a page color palette. Then select the “Black, Text 1, Lighter, 15%” palette setting there, which also applies lighter text to the dark canvas.

Option 2. Enable Dark Mode in Microsoft Office Apps (Excel/Word/PPT) on Just This PC

Step 1: You can also apply a dark mode to an MS Office suite on just a single PC via one of its application’s options window. To do so, open one of your Office applications.

Step 2: Click the “Options” button to open a settings window.

Step 3: Select the General tab shown in the screenshot directly below.

choose General in the PowerPoint Options window

Step 4: Click the “Office Theme” drop-down menu.

Step 5: Then select the “Black” option on the drop-down menu.

Step 6: Press the “OK” button to apply the new settings. The “Black” theme setting applies Word, PowerPoint, and Excel dark mode for the MS Office suite installed on the PC you’re currently utilizing. If you also utilize Office on other devices, however, it’s better to change the theme via the Account tab setting.

Microsoft has also extended a dark theme to one of the MS Office web apps. Outlook web app users can toggle a “Dark mode” setting on/off. Furthermore, the Outlook web app also includes 10 additional theme settings.

To enable the black theme in Outlook, click the “Settings” button at the top right of that app’s tab. Clicking that button opens the sidebar in the screenshot below. There you can toggle the “Dark mode” option on, which will apply a black background to the app. Selecting one of the 10 theme options changes the background of the Outlook bar at the top of the page.

Microsoft Outlook’s “Dark mode” setting


It’s very straightforward to enable Microsoft office dark mode on one or multiple PCs. Whether that theme looks better than the default white one is debatable, but many users might prefer Microsoft Office’s black theme. Laptop users will also benefit from the potential battery time boost dark themes can provide.

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