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

Dark Mode is cool, until you accidentally lock yourself out

by Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire Moraa
Claire likes to think she's got a knack for solving problems and improving the quality of life for those around her. Driven by the forces of rationality, curiosity,... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • 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

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

If you’re one of those people who like to use high-contrast themes or light colors, then it can get annoying having to stare at a dark background all day long. 

And if you’re trying to work on something like a presentation or document that relies on colors that aren’t easily visible against a dark background, then it’s going to be very difficult to read anything when working on your PC.

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 may face this problem as you cannot modify some settings until you enter the product key.
  • Virus/malware – It’s possible that you have a rogue program running on your machine that automatically changes your Windows theme to dark mode. If you don’t have an antivirus installed, we recommend installing a reliable antivirus program to secure your system.
  • Incompatible programs – Another possibility is that you have some incompatible applications installed. If any apps are using their own custom themes, they could be preventing Windows from switching to dark mode properly.
  • Recent Windows updates – Microsoft releases Windows updates from time to time that includes security fixes for vulnerabilities. But, sometimes they have issues that can interfere with the performance of your PC and make your Windows 11 stuck on dark mode.

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

1. Restart PC

One of the most basic fixes is restarting your computer. Sometimes, just restarting your PC will solve all your problems related to Windows 11 getting stuck in dark mode.

It’s because when you start up your PC again, it will automatically switch back to its default theme and start working normally once again.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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Windows defender provides only basic cybersecurity protection, so it might not detect various issues that are new to it. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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 to add functionality to Windows. It is used to install, uninstall, configure and update Windows features. SFC on the other hand scans your system for integrity issues and replaces incorrect versions with correct versions.

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 just 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 automatically change the color temperature of your screen at night. 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 click of a button.

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

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

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