Dimmed & minimalistic computer interfaces

In the evenings it’s good to prepare your body for the upcoming sleeping sessions by dimming the lights at least an hour before going to bed. Unfortunately there are often reasons to quickly check something on your phone or computer and, by that, you get blended by crazy white User Interfaces (UIs) – the screen brightness often automatically changes these days already. Only on Google Maps Navigation mode I noticed that also the UI theme changes when it gets dark but e.g. your browser or your operating system UI usually don’t change automatically.

For this reason I am switching those UIs to a dark theme which usually is okay during the day, saves battery and is much nicer to control during the night. As this is not a no-brainer for every tool I am collecting how to do this for tools I use in the following.


How to get a dark file manager theme

Ubuntu (Nautilus)

This is pleasently easy:

  • Press the Windows/Commad button, search “Tweak Tool” and hit enter.
  • At “Appearance” Tab you can simply switchGlobal Dark Theme” to on.
  • Nautilus’s appearance changes after you log out, restart or execute the command “killall nautilus” and reopen the file browser.

Windows 10 (Explorer)

Checkout this blog post (however, this didn’t work for me last time out of the box :/):

“For example, we installed UxStyle and the Windows 10 – Dark Edition visual style”

Other file explores

If you experience that other file explorers make it non-trivial for you to change the theme to dark please tell me so that I can complete this list.

Night-friendly browsing experience

– this seems too trivial to mention but after switching your browser to a dark theme and activating an extentio which converts the web pages to dark you notice that there are still some bright things which distract you –

Some websites are too bright?

  • Go to the Chrome Web Store, Section “Extentions” and install “Dark Reader” which you can then activate in the extention bar to turn all web pages into a dark mode

Google Chrome: completely dark interface

  • Dark Theme: Go to the Chrome Web Store, Section “Themes“, scroll down and click on “Dark & Black Themes” and choose one. (I use Dark Theme v3)

“New tab” pops up white?

  • Go to the Chrome Web Store, Section “Extentions”, and install “Humble New Tab Page
  • In the Extention bar select the newly installed one, choose “Options“, go to Section “Appearance” and set the background to “#000000″ (i.e. black).

How to get the Chrome address bar dark

So far I didn’t get Chrome’s address bar dark on Ubuntu Gnome but I might give it a try some day …


update, Oct’17: Still loving dimmed and minimalistic computer UIs. I try my best to keep this post updated! Newest little improvement: Hide the top bar of Gnome Ubuntu Desktop

update, Feb’16: After a couple of days using my both computers (work & home) only in dark mode (day & night) I really, really like it already. I also don’t care about others wondering why all the websites I browse have a bit weird colors (-; After a 8-10 hour work day at the computer I was so unfocused and totally out of energy but now I am still able to think clearly after work! This might of course also have different reasons so I’ll see for how long this lasts and get back to you 🙂

Years don’t matter

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