How to Effectively Use Instagram Dark Mode Feature & Turn It On: Mastering the Night

By: Ellen Bartolino

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, the Instagram app stands out as a dynamic platform constantly adapting to user preferences. One such adaptation is the introduction of Dark Mode, a feature that caters to the growing demand for a more eye-friendly user interface. Especially beneficial during nighttime scrolling, Dark Mode on Instagram reduces eye strain and enhances the overall visual experience of the app.

The appeal of Instagram’s Dark Mode lies not only in its aesthetic value but also in its practical benefits. For users on Android 10 and iOS 13 devices, activating Dark Mode can lead to improved battery life and reduced blue light exposure, making it a favorable choice for prolonged app usage. The process to turn on Instagram Dark Mode is straightforward, yet it significantly alters how content is displayed, whether it’s Instagram Stories or regular posts.

Moreover, Instagram’s Dark Mode isn’t just a visual choice; it’s a functional improvement for those who spend considerable time on the app. Whether you’re an Android or an iOS user, switching to Dark Mode can offer a more comfortable viewing experience in various lighting conditions. From enabling Dark Mode to appreciating its subtleties, this article will guide you through everything you need to know about making the most of this feature on your smartphone.

How to effectively use instagram dark mode feature

Introduction to Instagram Dark Mode

The Instagram app has always been at the forefront of social media innovation, and its introduction of Dark Mode stands as a testament to this. Initially rolled out for iOS 13 and Android 10 users, Instagram’s Dark Mode is more than just a visual overhaul; it’s a user-centric feature designed to enhance the app experience.

The Rise of Dark Mode in Social Media Apps

In recent years, the concept of a dark theme in applications has gained immense popularity. Social media platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram have joined this trend, acknowledging the user’s need for a visually comfortable and battery-efficient interface. The dark theme, especially on Android devices and iOS, offers a higher contrast and a darker look that is easier on the eyes, particularly in low-light environments.

As a software developer, I’ve always found Dark Mode essential for reducing eye strain during long coding sessions. Switching to Dark Mode on my devices, including Instagram, has significantly improved my screen time experience, especially when working late at night.

Understanding Instagram’s Dark Mode Feature

Instagram’s Dark Mode changes the traditional bright background to a darker shade, providing a darker appearance that many find aesthetically pleasing and functionally beneficial. It’s particularly useful when scrolling through feeds in a dark room or at night, as it can help reduce eye strain caused by prolonged exposure to blue light.

Steps to Enable Instagram Dark Mode on Android

Enabling Dark Mode on the Instagram app for Android phones is a straightforward process, but it requires specific steps depending on your Android device and operating system version. This guide focuses on Android 10, as it natively supports Dark Mode.

How to Turn On Instagram Dark Mode

The journey to turn on Dark Mode in Instagram starts in your Android phone’s settings. For those using Android 10, the process involves activating the Dark Theme in the system settings, which automatically applies the dark mode setting to compatible apps like Instagram.

  1. Open your phone’s settings: Navigate to the settings menu on your Android device.
  2. Select ‘Display’: Find the display settings where the Dark Theme option is located.
  3. Toggle on ‘Dark Theme’: Activate the Dark Theme mode. This change will not only switch Instagram to Dark Mode but also other compatible apps on your device.

As someone who spends a considerable amount of time on social media for both work and leisure, I’ve found that switching to Dark Mode on Instagram not only makes the platform more visually appealing but also less straining on my eyes, particularly during my nightly browsing sessions.

Troubleshooting Common Issues When Activating Dark Mode on Instagram

While enabling Dark Mode is usually seamless, some users might encounter issues. If Instagram’s Dark Mode isn’t reflecting, here are a few troubleshooting tips:

  • Update the Instagram App: Ensure your Instagram app is updated to the latest version, as older versions may not support Dark Mode.
  • Restart the App: Close and reopen Instagram to refresh the settings.
  • Check Android Version: Confirm that your Android device is running Android 10 or later, as earlier versions do not have a native Dark Mode option.

Confirm that your Android device is running Android 10 or later

Benefits of Using Instagram Dark Mode

The introduction of Dark Mode on the Instagram app offers more than just an aesthetic change; it brings with it several benefits that enhance the user experience. This segment delves into the advantages of using Dark Mode on Instagram, particularly focusing on aspects such as reducing blue light exposure and how it changes the perception of content like Instagram Stories.

Reducing Blue Light Exposure with Night Mode

One of the most significant benefits of Dark Mode, or Night Mode, is the reduction of blue light emitted from the screen. Prolonged exposure to blue light from devices like smartphones can lead to eye strain and disrupt sleep patterns. By switching to Dark Mode in the Instagram app, users can minimize these risks, especially during extended usage periods or in low-light environments. This feature is particularly beneficial for users who frequently scroll through Instagram at night.

How Dark Mode Improves the Look of Your Instagram Stories

Beyond health benefits, Dark Mode offers a unique aesthetic appeal, particularly noticeable in Instagram Stories. This mode provides a higher contrast between the text, images, or videos and the background, making the content more visually striking. For content creators and regular users alike, Instagram in Dark Mode offers a new way to experience the platform, where visuals are more prominent, and the overall look feels more sophisticated and modern.

Practical Tips for Optimizing Instagram Dark Mode

While turning on Dark Mode on Instagram is straightforward, there are several tips and tricks to optimize your experience. This section will provide practical advice on how to make the most out of the Dark Mode feature for both viewing and posting on this popular social media platform.

Making the Most of Dark Mode for Viewing and Posting on Social Media

When you switch to Instagram Dark Mode, you’ll notice an immediate difference in how you view content. To enhance this experience further, adjust the brightness and contrast settings on your smartphone. This is especially helpful for Instagram Stories and images, where a darker background can make colors pop and reduce glare.

When you switch to Instagram Dark Mode, you’ll notice an immediate difference in how you view content.

Tips for Creating Content in Dark Mode

For content creators, Dark Mode offers a unique canvas. When creating posts or stories, consider how they will appear against the dark background. Use brighter colors and high-contrast elements to make your content stand out. Remember, what looks good in light mode may appear differently in Dark Mode.

Approximately 81.9% of smartphone users prefer operating their devices in Dark Mode, with this preference extending across different operating systems like iPhone iOS (70-85%), Android (71-87%), MacOS (76-80%), and Windows.

Switching Between Dark Mode and Regular Mode on Instagram

Quick Toggle Between Modes

While some users may prefer to always use Instagram’s Dark Mode, others might find switching between dark and light modes beneficial. You can easily toggle between these modes through your phone’s settings or Instagram profile settings, depending on your device. This flexibility allows users to choose the mode that best suits their current environment or mood.

Automatic Option for Easier Transition

Some Android 10 and iOS 13 devices offer an automatic option where Dark Mode is enabled based on the time of day or ambient light. This feature can be found in the system settings, allowing for a seamless transition that suits natural lighting conditions, reducing eye strain.

Instagram’s Dark Mode and Accessibility

Customizing for Visual Accessibility

Dark Mode is not just a trend; it’s an essential feature for enhancing visual accessibility. Users with certain visual impairments may find Dark Mode easier on the eyes. Explore the accessibility options in your device settings to customize the experience further, such as adjusting text size and screen contrast.

In conclusion, Dark Mode on Insta offers a range of benefits and possibilities for customization. Whether you’re using it to reduce eye strain, save battery, or just prefer the aesthetic, these practical tips can help you optimize your Instagram experience. Experiment with these settings to find what works best for you and enjoy a more comfortable and personalized browsing and content creation experience on one of the world’s most popular social media platforms.

Dark Mode on Insta offers a range of benefits and possibilities for customization

Comparing Dark Mode on Different Platforms

The implementation of Dark Mode has become a widespread feature across various apps and operating systems. This section compares Dark Mode on Instagram with its implementation on other platforms, particularly focusing on differences between Android and other operating systems.

Dark Mode in Android vs. Other Operating Systems

Android 10 marked a significant leap in Dark Mode adoption, integrating it at a system level. This integration means that when you enable Dark Mode on an Android device, it’s applied across all compatible apps, including Instagram. The experience is seamless and unified, providing a consistent look and feel across the device.

In contrast, on other operating systems, such as earlier versions of iOS or older Android versions, Dark Mode might need to be activated separately for each app. This can lead to a less cohesive experience but offers more customization for users who prefer specific apps in light or dark mode.

The adoption rate of Dark Mode in email marketing increased from a mere 0.35% in December 2020 to a peak of 9.64% in May 2023, reflecting its growing importance in digital communication and marketing strategies​.

How Instagram’s Dark Mode Stands Out from Other Social Media Platforms

When compared to other social media platforms, Instagram’s Dark Mode implementation is noteworthy for its elegant design and focus on visual content. While platforms like WhatsApp and Quora have their versions of Dark Mode, Instagram’s approach enhances the visual appeal of photos and videos, making them stand out against the dark background. This focus on visual aesthetics is a key differentiator for Instagram, as it aligns with the platform’s emphasis on imagery and visual storytelling.

User Experience Across Different Devices

The user experience of Dark Mode can vary depending on the device and screen type. For instance, users with OLED or AMOLED screens will notice a more pronounced difference in terms of battery life and visual impact. Instagram’s Dark Mode on these devices offers deeper blacks and vibrant colors, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

Compatibility with Older Devices

Another aspect to consider is compatibility. Newer devices running iOS 13 or Android 10 are optimized for Dark Mode, but users with older models may not have access to these features. This limitation can affect how users interact with apps like Instagram and their overall experience with Dark Mode.

In summary, Dark Mode has become an essential feature for modern apps and operating systems, offering both aesthetic and practical benefits. While Instagram’s Dark Mode is particularly effective in enhancing the visual content, its experience can vary based on the device and operating system used. Understanding these differences can help users make the most of this feature and tailor their social media experience to their preferences and needs.

A comprehensive study reveals that between 91-95% of users prefer Dark Mode overall, showing a strong preference over Light Mode. This trend is not limited to younger demographics; it spans across generations, including 89% of Gen Z, 85% of Millennials, 77% of Gen X, and 69% of Baby Boomers.

Newer devices running iOS 13 or Android 10 are optimized for Dark Mode


In conclusion, the integration of Dark Mode in the Instagram app is a reflection of the evolving user interface preferences in today’s digital world. On Android 10 and iOS 13 devices, Dark Mode offers not just an aesthetic shift but also significant benefits like reduced blue light exposure, improved battery life, and enhanced visual comfort. This feature’s impact on the way users interact with the app, especially in terms of viewing and creating content, is profound.

Instagram’s Dark Mode stands out among social media platforms for its sleek design and user-friendly interface. Whether it’s for browsing Instagram Stories or scrolling through feeds, Dark Mode provides a visually appealing and eye-friendly alternative to the traditional bright interface. The simplicity of toggling Dark Mode on and off, coupled with its accessibility features, makes Instagram more inclusive and comfortable for a wider range of users.

As digital media consumption continues to rise, features like Dark Mode are not just trends but necessities. They represent a shift towards more user-centered design, acknowledging the diverse needs and preferences of social media users. For those who haven’t yet tried Instagram’s Dark Mode, now is the perfect time to explore this feature and discover its benefits.

Whether you’re an avid Instagram user or someone who values digital wellbeing, the Dark Mode feature offers something for everyone. It’s an example of how small changes in an app’s interface can significantly enhance the overall user experience, making our interactions with technology more pleasant and personalized.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Instagram’s Dark Mode adjust colors differently than a light mode?

Instagram’s Dark Mode changes the color scheme of the app interface to darker shades, primarily using a black theme. This adjustment reduces glare and is easier on the eyes, especially in low-light conditions. The contrast between the dark background and content enhances readability and focuses attention on photos and stories.

Can I use Instagram in Dark Mode on both iOS and Android devices?

Yes, Instagram’s Dark Mode is available on both iOS and Android devices. However, the way to activate it differs slightly. For iOS users, especially on iPhones running iOS 13 or later, Dark Mode can be enabled from the system settings. Android users can also activate it from their device settings, provided they are using Android 10 or newer versions.

Is there an option to set Instagram’s Dark Mode to automatically switch between light and dark?

Some smartphones offer an automatic setting where Instagram, along with other apps, will switch between light and dark modes based on the time of day or current lighting conditions. This feature is often found in the phone’s system settings and provides a convenient way for users to enjoy both modes without manual switching.

Does Instagram Dark Mode offer better readability compared to its standard mode?

Yes, many users find that the Dark Mode on Instagram offers better readability. The darker background reduces glare and strain on the eyes, making text and images easier to view, especially in low-light conditions or at night. This can be particularly beneficial for lengthy browsing sessions or when reading detailed captions and comments.

Can Dark Mode on Instagram help save battery life on my device?

Dark Mode can help save battery life, particularly on devices with OLED or AMOLED screens. These screens use less power to display darker colors, so using Dark Mode on apps like Instagram can lead to less battery consumption. This is especially noticeable with frequent use or on smartphones with larger displays.

Author Bio

Ellen Bartolino

Ellen is a seasoned author and communication expert, with a particular focus on Instagram. Her extensive knowledge of the platform has allowed her to create engaging and effective content for businesses and individuals alike. Ellen has a proven track record of crafting compelling Instagram captions and influencer marketing.