To change your Gmail theme,
- Click the gear menu button at the top-right corner of the Gmail website and select “Themes”.
The option is in the same area either in the new Gmail or in the classic Gmail.
- If you wish to use a basic dark theme with gray keys, scroll down and click the “Dark” tile by the right of the default Gmail Light Theme.
- If you want to use a darker theme with black keys, scroll down and click the “Terminal” Theme.
You could also opt for a custom background image to act as the background for your dark theme.
- To select a photo, click one of the suggested photos at the top of the Themes pane or click “My Photos”.
At this point, you could click the “Featured” tab to select from the backgrounds Google has made available or click the “My Photos” tab to select any photo from your Google Photos.
- To make any custom image available, go to the Google Photos website and upload the image to your Google Photos storage.
- Once you select an image, click the “Text Background” button that looks like an A-shape at the bottom of the Pick Your Theme pane, and select the “Dark”. Click “Save” to save your changes.
Gmail will use a dark theme with your selected image shown in the background.
If you want to use the default theme again, head back to Themes and select it.
Getting an Improved Dark Mode for Gmail
The problem with the built-in dark themes is that they display on the inbox but if one wants to view an email thread, compose an email or use the Google Calendar, Google Keep, or Tasks sidebar, they still see a white background.
For a complete dark theme Gmail, you can get user styles. They are custom style sheets that your browser can apply to websites you visit much like user scripts which are snippets of code you can run on websites you visit.
To get these user styles, you have to install a browser extension that will let you use them. The Stylish browser extension which is quite popular has started spying on its users and that is why we recommend Stylus for Chrome or Firefox.
Once you have the extension installed, you can install user styles. We advocate installing Dark Gmail 2018 by DM which turns your emails and compose button dark and give Gmail a dark theme that’s more complete.
- Go to the website and click the “Install Style” button and click “OK” to install it into your browser.
The developer also recommends that you choose the default “Light” theme in Gmail’s theme settings when using this dark theme because using the Gmail dark theme will make some interface elements look strange.
Caution: Each style is hosted on the userstyles.org website operated by the company which owns Stylish. They will install if you make use of Stylus extension. But if you visit the website without installing Stylus, the site will encourage you to install Stylish. We strongly advice against it.
- If you wish to turn the sidebar that contains Google Calendar, Keep and Tasks dark, install the New Gmail Dark Theme Tweaks – Gmail 2018 style.
- To uninstall the scripts, click the Stylus button on your browser toolbar. Select “Manage” and then delete any styles you don’t want to use. Or, you can uninstall the Stylus browser extension if you are not using it.