Microsoft’s Outlook.com dark mode is now live

Outlook.com
Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

Microsoft is introducing a dark mode to the company’s Outlook.com web mail service today. The software maker previously teased the dark mode earlier this month, and previously introduced a temporary version for Halloween last year. This new permanent dark mode can be enabled from the quick settings toggle, and only currently works with the default blue theme. It’s a lot more refined than the Halloween mode, with more of a grey appearance than black.

“One of the most crucial principles we had when designing Dark Mode was to minimize the amount of eye strain that people felt,” explains Microsoft. “Many email clients on the web today advertise a dark mode, but we learned from interviews with others and our own usage that having the reading pane be on-light while the rest of the interface was left on-dark often made the experience worse than if the full screen were left on-light.”

The dark mode for Outlook.com is one of the most highly requested features for Microsoft’s web mail service, and the company says it tuned the Halloween prototype to redesign the colors and code “multiple times” before releasing it today. Microsoft has even included a toggle within the body of emails so you can disable the dark mode if a message is difficult to read.

Microsoft hasn’t implemented the new dark mode as a theme, and the company says it imagines “that there would be a dark experience for all available themes in the future.” Outlook.com is now used by more than 400 million active users, and Microsoft recently launched a new design and features for the calendar and contacts sections. This new design is coming out of the beta phase today, alongside the dark mode addition.

Comments

Why is offering a dark mode in anything, app, os, whatever, such a huge deal? I do not get it… You have a multi billion dollar company and you can just toss out an update that would enable a dark mode. Every single thing they’ve done has been generally useless to 99% of the users. Please name a feature that windows has introduced socne windows 10 that you care about? I’m on board with MS, I use windows daily for 14 hours at work and home, but ffs… start inplementing anything that remotely matters. If that’s just a simple dark mode then that would be more useful than anything added since the release of windows 10.

Why is offering a dark mode in anything, app, os, whatever, such a huge deal? I do not get it… You have a multi billion dollar company and you can just toss out an update that would enable a dark mode. Every single thing they’ve done has been generally useless to 99% of the users. Please name a feature that MS has introduced since windows 10 that anyone cares about? Creators update? Give me a f’in break. I’m on board with MS, I use windows daily for 14 hours at work and home and rely on it to do my job, but ffs… start inplementing anything that remotely matters. If that’s just a simple dark mode then that would be more useful than anything added since the release of windows 10.

sorry, stupid edit rules.

Why is offering a dark mode in anything, app, os, whatever, such a huge deal? I do not get it… You have a multi billion dollar company and you can just toss out an update that would enable a dark mode. Every single thing they’ve done has been generally useless to 99% of the users. Please name a feature that MS has introduced since windows 10 that anyone cares about? Creators update? Give me a f’in break. I’m on board with MS, I use windows daily for 14 hours at work and home and rely on it to do my job, but ffs… start inplementing anything that remotely matters. If that’s just a simple dark mode then that would be more useful than anything added since the release of windows 10.

It isn’t out yet, but I’m really looking forward to Sets – I use both Windows and macOS, and the ability to have different applications tabbed in the same window looks really useful (and I hope macOS gets something similar soon!). Dark mode might be overrated if you don’t care for it, but with Sets and the Timeline features in particular, I think it’s unfair to suggest Microsoft hasn’t done anything notable with Windows 10 since 2015.

Why not? Remember that you are not the only person in this world…

Hahaha just go, get a beer and relax

What are you ranting about it? This is an update to outlook.com yet you’re complaining about Windows updates. There are useful features implemented in every Windows update.

Have to say I agree on the dark mode thing. I just don’t get it. But whatever, to each his (her/their) own.

As for useful features, I find Windows 10’s timeline feature to be genuinely helpful, as well as some parts of Cortana.

Who said it was a huge deal? Its a nice feature a lot of users want that appears to be well implemented beyond just a simple theme. I’m 10x more excited about this than I was the Focused Inbox

Whattt. Focused inbox is so good! I hate that gmail refuses to work properly on it from my desktop. It’s refreshing to know that I only have this many important emails I need to get to, instead of the hundreds there would be in total.

For starters this is Outlook.com, so it’s not a feature tied to Windows 10…it’s a website. But in regards to Windows 10, what have they added that matters? Let’s see…

  • XBOX Game Streaming to PC’s.
  • Nearby Sharing (via WiFi or Bluetooth).
  • Dynamic Lock via Bluetooth.
  • Windows Hello
  • GPU usage monitoring in the Task Manager
  • Continue on PC (via Microsoft Edge).
  • Pick Up Where I Left Off
  • SMS from Cortana
  • One-click Bluetooth
  • Nightlight
  • Storage Sense
  • Shape writing keyboard

Its a website, but its a webapp that will likely replace Windows Mail eventually. Its closer to Windows than just any old website. This dark theme also puts it more in sync with how the desktop apps work as well.

No it won’t replace Windows Mail… there’s no reason to do that. If Outlook.com was supposed to do that they wouldn’t have made the Mail app in the first place.

I like it! Particularly like how the messages themselves are dark – unlike the Windows 10 Mail app which leaves messages with a white background (at least the last time I used it).

I am not seeing it yet

Should be live very shortly for everyone. Most Outlook.com accounts are seeing it now.

Developing developing developing!!

Developers goin’ to develop…

No subtitles, no rec for you.

They are redundant. Everybody knows what he is saying.

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I’m having trouble seeing this as ‘news’. Reporters got to report even when there is nothing to report on. I’m not surprised at this, but I AM surprised so many people saw fit to comment on it. Shoot! I’m surprised at ME commenting on it nor that I think about it.

Life is not logical.

Life is especially illogical without an understanding of the influence of perspective.

As for mine, I’m a big fan of dark mode implementations. I just prefer light text on a darker background. It’s easier to read and "calmer". The big issue with this is that when you open or switch to something that’s primarily white background it’s really jarring. Therefore, being notified of other apps and services that have a dark mode helps me reduce the times I’m blasted with a white light during my day.

I wish they’d add dark mode for the Outlook iOS app

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