Windows 11 Is Stuck in Dark Mode: 5 Ways to Fix It

Dark Mode is cool, until you accidentally lock yourself out

Reading time icon 5 min. read

Readers help support Windows Report. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Tooltip Icon

Read the affiliate disclosure page to find out how can you help Windows Report effortlessly and without spending any money. Read more

Key notes

  • Windows 11 is a great operating system with light and dark themes but sometimes it can give you problems.
  • One of the most common complaints is that the OS seems to get stuck in dark mode no matter what you do.
  • It's worth checking that your computer meets all the minimum specs required for running Windows 11.
best windows 11 dark theme

If you’re using Windows 11, you know you can enable the dark mode feature. Unfortunately, sometimes it can get stuck, and it won’t change back to light mode when you want it to.

This feature gives your screen a cool black look and is particularly helpful for those who don’t like too much brightness. For most people, this isn’t much of a problem. However, some people find it annoying because it makes it harder to see their computer screens.

Why is my computer stuck in dark mode? 

Wondering why your Windows 11 might be stuck in dark mode? Here are some possible causes:

  • You have not activated your Windows version – If you have not activated your copy of Windows, you cannot modify some settings until you enter the product key.
  • Virus/malware – If you don’t have an antivirus installed, we recommend installing a reliable antivirus program to secure your system.
  • Incompatible programs – If any third-party apps use their own custom themes, they could prevent Windows from switching to light mode.
  • Recent Windows updates – Sometimes, Windows updates have issues that can interfere with the performance of your PC and block your OS in dark mode.

Now that we know why this happens, let’s go to the actual solutions to the problem.

How do I get out of dark mode in Windows 11?

Before getting to the more complex solutions, let’s check some preliminary measures from our list of possible fixes:

  • One of the most basic fixes is restarting your computer. Restarting your PC sometimes solves all your problems related to Windows 11 getting stuck in dark mode.
  • Ensure you don’t have third-party personalization apps working in the background. They can take over and block your system into dark mode.

If you did all these and still can’t switch to Light mode, apply the solutions below.

1. Disable the High Contrast theme

  1. Hit the Windows key, type control panel, and click on Open.control panel
  2. Go to Ease of Access.Opening Ease of Access in control panel
  3. Search for Turn High Contrast on or off in the search bar and click to open.
  4. Scroll to High Contrast and toggle it off.

Once you have disabled high contrast, you can go back and try to change your theme settings to light, then restart your PC.

2. Scan for viruses

  1. Press the Windows key, search Windows Security and click Open.
  2. Select Virus & threat protection.
  3. Next, press Quick scan under Current threats.
  4. Wait for the process to finish and restart your system.

Windows Defender provides only basic cybersecurity protection, so it might not detect any new issues. A full scan using a premium antivirus is recommended from time to time.

In that case, we can only recommend ESET Internet Security, since it has some of the best features in terms of security protection, anti-malware, and safety.

3. Uninstall recent apps/programs

  1. Hit the Windows key, search Control Panel and click Open.
  2. Under Programs and Features, select Uninstall a program.
  3. Navigate to the latest installed program/app, right-click, and select Uninstall.

4. Run DISM and SFC commands

  1. Press the Windows key, type cmd in the search bar, and click Run as administrator.
  2. Type in the following command and press Enter: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealthdism-now nmi hardware failure windows 10
  3. Once the command has been executed, type and Enter the next one: sfc /scannowsfc windows 10 not restarting
  4. Wait for the command to be executed and restart your PC.

The DISM command can be used to repair corrupt files or add Windows functionality. It is used to install, uninstall, configure, and update Windows features. On the other hand, SFC scans your system for integrity issues and replaces incorrect versions with correct ones.

How do I change the dark mode back to normal?

  1. Right-click on a free space on your desktop and select Personalize.
  2. Click the Colors menu.
  3. Now, click the Choose your mode drop-down menu and select Light.

Is there Auto Dark Mode in Windows 11? 

Auto Dark Mode is a feature that automatically adjusts your display’s brightness depending on the time of day and your location. It can be helpful when you’re using your PC in a dark room at night or if you find yourself staring at your screen for hours on end.

You can find it under Night Light settings. It dims the color of your screen in the evening or when you schedule it.

Night Light uses your computer’s display settings to change your screen’s color temperature at night automatically. This helps reduce eye strain and makes it easier to fall asleep after using your PC.

You can set up Night Light to turn on automatically based on the time of day or manually with a button click.

There is also the option to schedule Dark Mode, and the highlighted guide will help you achieve that.

Should the built-in Windows 11 dark theme not satisfy you, you can opt for other dark themes that offer many more customization options.

Let us know which solution worked for you in the comments section below.

More about the topics: dark mode, Windows 11