Everything that Windows 10's dark mode still owes us despite being as old as the system itself

Today we wanted to talk about another great and remarkable example of the already characteristic lack of consistency in design that Windows 10 suffers: dark mode. This is a way that, although many people do not believe (or remember) it is as old as the system itself. Yes, Windows 10 has had a dark theme since 2015, and in the very year 2021 it is still not complete.

Perhaps you are thinking that in Genbeta we have a hobby to complain about the design of Windows 10, but it is not exactly that, it is that Years go by and the system continues to suffer from the same problems over and over again, and when it seems that we are taking one step forward, we also take two steps back. It is worth examining.

The slow evolution of dark mode in Windows 10

First Dark Theme Windows 10

This was the dark mode options before October 2018

In its early days, Windows 10's dark mode could be activated mainly for everyone the elements with Modern design of the system. That is, things like the Start Menu, the Activity Center, the Settings app, and some of the default apps. The rest of the interface (the vast majority) remained in the same light colors, including the Explorer.

The latter is one of the reasons why many users considered it a bit (or quite) useless, especially considering how unpopular the apps that Windows 10 includes are still, and that even activating the dark mode sometimes you also didn't have a dark mode in the Store or in the Calendar, for example.

First Dark Mode Windows 10 Explorer

The first time Windows 10 Explorer had dark mode

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This story did not change until 2018, when it was first added dark mode to Windows Explorer, that was, in fact, one of the few notable new features of a Windows 10 October 2018 Update that left a lot to be desired when it came to adding value as an update.

But wait the arrival of dark mode to Windows 10 Explorer did not mean that dark mode was complete. No, no, it just means that, since 2018 the file explorer has a dark mode. This is not synonymous with it being a good dark mode or a full dark mode, or even that dark mode is already consistently applied to the system.


Hunting the gaps in dark mode

Dark Mode Fail 1


To give a little credit to the poor dark mode, this one has been improving over the years, in fact, it is less and less common to find the bugs, but it is not difficult at all and it is also one of those (so many) frustrating things about design on Windows 10. It is yet another symptom of inconsistency and little attention to detail that sometimes it is not understood that they happen with a system of this magnitude, but that's the way things are.

The cover image for this article is one of my favorites: Task Manager doesn't have dark mode, and perhaps it will never have it, who knows, it does not seem to interest Microsoft to give consistency to one of the most useful and emblematic tools of its operating system.

But that is a very obvious one, there are other more "fun" such as: the parts of Windows 10 Explorer that remain light even in dark mode:

Windows 10 Dark Mode Fail 3

We missed this little part

Almost three years since the explorer has dark mode, and you still see things like this

Examples are not lacking, cases like those of the properties windows are classics of the mixture of old Windows elements mixed with the most modern ones. We know that multiple styles of interfaces that Windows have used over the years coexist in the system, and that they keep moving us away from the dream of the unified interface that already sounds like an urban myth or legend.

Windows 10 Dark Mode Fail 2

I am overwhelmed by such consistency

Ah, but one would think that this dark theme is perhaps more difficult to achieve just because of that mix between old and new, surely in modern elements the dark theme should be complete, right?

Dark Search

When you open the search in Windows 10 (Windows key + S) it appears dark, but when it shows the results, it is light

Well no, here we can see a beautiful example of how Windows 10 search has dark mode, but when the results appear ... they do it in light mode. This is something that at least we know that Microsoft has already solved in Insider versions, but it is "hilarious" the level of cooking with which these things come out of the oven.

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Control Panel

Do not dream of seeing dark mode in the Control Panel, the poor thing is going out

Dark mode has some very good things, at least this server personally likes the option to customize the dark mode in Windows 10. If you don't know what this is, it's an option in the Colors settings in Settings that allows you to choose "Custom" instead of just Light or Dark.

Basically what this does is allow you to choose light mode as Windows default and dark as application mode, or vice versa. Namely, you can keep using your dark bar while your system is in light mode, or use your light bar while you have dark mode in apps and the rest of the system:

Custom Mode

Custom mode, a mix between light and dark ... by the way

I know, revolutionary. Now, things that do not have the dark mode in Windows 10 and that they do have systems like macOS, Linux distros, or even mobile systems, is automatic dark mode according to the time of day.

This is another debt of Windows 10 in that regard, if we want something like that, we have to resort to third-party apps. And it is not something unreasonable to ask. Windows 10 even already has a similar system up and running with the night light, this one can be programmed for hours as you like best, but the other function that is supposed to relieve your eyesight in low light, that is, the dark mode, does not offer the same.

The moral of the story is that if we want to see features like this or a complete and consistent dark mode, we better wait sitting down.

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