Update: In a statement, Microsoft clarified that Windows 11 SKUs will continue to ship in light mode by default, except if PC manufacturers prefer dark mode. As always, users can change the default mode by navigating to Settings > Personalization.
Tech companies are slowly migrating to dark modes on both mobile and desktop, and Microsoft now wants to enable dark mode in Windows 11 by default. According to Microsoft officials, some SKUs of Windows 11 will now ship in dark mode by default, but users can always switch to light mode.
Windows 11’s native dark mode will be activated automatically when you set up a new device or clean install the operating system.
Microsoft is enabling dark mode by default because “we’re spending so much more time staring at bright screens”. During the Microsoft Inspire session, Microsoft confirmed that it plans to force enable dark mode in “all of the Windows 11 commercial SKUs” to support remote work.
“Windows is only one of the whole given life by the stunning devices and the services that you provide, which has and will allow our customers to thrive, and since we’re spending so much more time staring at bright screens not just for endless email but also countless meetings plus keeping up with our personal lives to give your eyes a rest,” says Melissa Grant, Director of Windows Enterprise Marketing at Microsoft.
“Of course, light mode is available if that’s your preference,” Microsoft said.
For some reason, Microsoft says the consumer editions of Windows 11 will continue to ship in light mode.
For those unaware, Windows 10’s Home edition currently ships in light mode by default and Pro uses dark mode. Enterprise and Education SKUs currently use light mode. Starting with Windows 11, Microsoft will enable dark mode for Enterprise and Education educations, while Windows 11 Home and Pro SKUs will continue to ship in light mode.
Of course, you can always switch to a light or dark mode, but these will be the new default configurations for Windows 11.
Windows 11’s new personalization controls
Unlike Windows 11, Windows 11’s Personalization page lets you choose from multiple themes right at the top of the page.
For example, if you select a darker theme, Windows will automatically turn on dark mode, and apply the accent colour to the Start menu, which now uses a new Fluent material called “Mica”.
Microsoft is currently testing six themes and several wallpapers for Windows 11 and more options could be introduced next year as part of the Windows 11 version 22H2 update.
According to reports, Windows 11 is currently expected to debut in October and a wider rollout is scheduled for early 2022.