Google is finally adding an official dark mode to search on desktops, letting those who prefer to avoid bright webpages complete their searches while bathed in inky gray (via 9to5Google). According to Google’s support page, you can make the change by going to Settings > Search Settings > Appearance. There, you’ll be able to choose light, dark, or device default, which will automatically follow your computer’s mode. If you don’t see the Appearance option, you may have to wait a bit: Google says the setting will be “rolling out over the next few weeks,” as many of its updates do.
Google has been toying with dark mode search for a while now — we noted that it was in testing in February. To take you behind the scenes a bit, since then, we’ve had a few staff members randomly get and lose dark mode as the test continued. Now, though, it’s finally official.
9to5Google also reports some users seeing another quick toggle sun icon and that a few people have the option to enable the change on the mobile web version of Google. Neither change is mentioned in Google’s announcement.
Of course, you’ve had options to search darkly before now — you could turn Google dark using browser plugins or use themes on alternative search engines like DuckDuckGo. Many of Google’s Android and iOS apps, including the main Google search app, have also had a dark mode for a while now.
But Google making it officially available as a setting will make it much easier for those who just couldn’t be bothered to install an extension or switch search providers. Plus, it will hopefully alleviate the experience of logging on to a new device and trying to search for something, only to be blasted with the light of a thousand suns. Perhaps that’s a bit hyperbolic, but hey — all hail the darkness (and the small quality-of-life improvements).