January 20, 2020 Last updated on December 3rd, 2020
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Instagram Dark Mode has been available for a few months now, but have you taken advantage of it yet?

Instagram Dark Mode enables you to “turn the lights out” and use the app with a black color scheme. It’s also available for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and even Pinterest now! Here’s a quick guide on why you could consider making a switch and how to do it:

How to Enable Instagram Dark Mode
(+ Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & YouTube)
How to Enable Instagram Dark Mode

Is Dark Mode Better For Your Eye Health?

This might come as a surprise to you, but Dark Mode was the default mode for decades in the early days of computing. Remember those Matrix-like green-on-black monitors? Those were known as monochrome monitors, which were black due to the phosphor coating inside the screen.

It’s been a long time since manufacturers last painted monitors with phosphor, but some people still swear by dark mode. Apple has been offering dark mode feature since September 2019, announcing that this new dramatic look is not only better for photo and video editing, but is also easier on your eyes. Many thus believe that Instagram Dark Mode, too, is more gentle on your eyes.

However, you should know that this is simply not true.

There’s a wide array of human experience that keeps that from being true for everybody. There’s no science showing that dark mode is any easier on the eyes than normal mode, so it’s still up for debate. In fact, it’s the duration of use or the brightness of your screen that might affect your eye health, says Dr. Euna Koo, an ophthalmologist at the Stanford Byers Eye Institute. Research actually shows that “blue light”, which is part of the light spectrum made of short, high-energy wavelengths, is a typical factor in eye fatigue, so adjusting your display to warmer (or yellower) tones could do the trick (here’s a tutorial on how to do this for iOS).

In addition to that, people get dry eyes from not blinking for long periods, as we tend to stare at the screens literally forgetting to blink often enough. Typically, any human being blinks 15 times a minute, but it can decrease as low as 3.6 when we’re gazing at our phones or computers — causing serious eye fatigue and dryness. That can further contribute to having headaches and even blurred vision. The solution lies in taking more frequent breaks from your screen time and simply not forgetting to blink — as simple as that!

The Real Benefits of Dark Mode

So, what are the real benefits of dark mode?

For starters, Dark Mode is trendy. Memes, Twitter quotes, etc., are often displayed in Dark Mode on Instagram now, so it could be wise to keep up with trends if you want to resonate to a young audience.

Secondly, Dark Mode is good for your battery life, as the swaths of black areas in dark themes conserve battery. Which means you can scroll Instagram for longer, if needed!


In October 2019, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, announced that Dark Mode is now available for Instagram too:

Adam Mosseri announced Instagram Dark Mode

If you’re looking to make the switch, keep on reading to learn how for both iOS and Android:

How to Switch on Instagram Dark Mode for iOS

If you want to start running Instagram in Dark Mode, you need to make sure your device’s operating system is updated to iOS 13 first.

For that, go to your Settings → Software Update. There, you’ll be able to see which software version is currently running on your Apple device and if you need to update your system.

Update your iphone to enable dark mode on Instagram

Once you’ve ensured you’re up-to-date with your iOS software, open the Settings app again to enable Dark Mode. Go to Display and Brightness and select Dark, instead of default Light, mode:

Switch to Dark Mode on iPhone

There, you can also turn on Automatic Mode, which would automatically switch to Dark Mode at sunset and back to Light Mode at sunrise. Up to you!

Having done that, now that you’ll go to Instagram, your favorite app will display in the new black theme!

Instagram Dark Mode example from Iconosquare

If not, fret not.

If you see that the Instagram Dark Mode isn’t enabled, then you probably need to check if you have the latest version of the app.

Head to the App Store and search for Instagram. If you’re running an old version, you’ll see a suggestion to make an update. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to run Instagram on Dark Mode!

Remember: iOS Dark mode impacts all of your apps, not just Instagram. You won’t be able to select it for specific apps only. This means that once Instagram Dark Mode is switched on, you’ll automatically see the change enabled on other apps that also have Dark Mode compatibility — like Twitter or Pinterest.

Pinterest and Twitter Dark Mode

For apps like FB Messenger or YouTube, you’d have to switch Dark Mode on manually. For Messenger, go into your app first and click on your own profile picture in the top left corner. There, you should be able to make the switch with a click of a button:

Dark mode on Facebook Messenger

For YouTube, head into your Account settings, click Settings and enable the Dark Theme option right there:

youtube Dark Mode

How to Switch on Instagram Dark Mode for Android

To enable Instagram Dark Mode, make sure your device is updated to Android 10. Similarly to the previous steps, also don’t forget to check you have the latest Instagram version, too!

Then, follow these quick steps to start running your Android device on Dark Mode:

Go to Settings → Display →  Advanced. From there, select Dark from the Device theme menu:

Android Dark Mode

Et voila! Now Dark Mode will automatically start to run both on your phone and all compatible apps — that include Instagram 💪

Bonus 1: Enable Dark Mode on Threads

If you started using Threads already, Instagram’s messaging app for close friends, you can use Dark Mode there as well, which, unlike on Instagram, is more personalized. This new app allows you to choose between different modes of darkness, making it more adjusted to your own preference.

When you tap the Home button in the top left corner of the app, go to Themes. There, you’ll see a variety of display options available during Daylight, Twilight, Midnight, Aurora, and Sunrise. Once you’ve set your theme in Threads, it will override the Dark or Light Mode that you’ve selected from your phone — which means that all the other apps will run on Light or Dark Mode, but Threads will run on whatever theme you set!

Dark Mode on Instagram Threads

Bonus 2: Get Dark Mode on Iconosquare

Did you know that Iconosquare offers Dark Mode too?

Well, if you didn’t, now you do!

To enable dark mode on Iconosquare, go to My account → Settings → Themes.

There, you can easily switch between the classic white theme or the new dark theme. Don’t forget that these display settings affect all of your Iconosquare accounts on the browser of your choice, and these settings are only visible to you. Meaning, if you have a team of people using Iconosquare, your display settings won’t overlap with theirs.

Iconosquare Dark Mode Feature


Turning on Dark Mode does have some benefits, so it’s worth trying out the feature yourself to see if you like the new look. After all, how else would you know?

Have you tried Instagram Dark Mode yet?
Leave a comment to let us know!

About the author
Olga Rabo

Olga Rabo

Olga is a LeadGen manager at Iconosquare, based in Berlin. She’s all about creating strategies, increasing clickthrough rates, and sharing her in-depth knowledge of content and social media marketing. She’s a big travel addict, a huge Katherine Ryan fan, and her favorite time of the day is brunch.

More posts by Olga Rabo

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