There’s an unofficial way to get WhatsApp dark mode on Android − but it’s not ideal
There have been rumours about an apparently upcoming official dark mode for WhatsApp for months, but there’s still no sign of the feature. However, a workaround that you can use to try out an unofficial WhatsApp dark mode is doing the rounds online − though it’s a pretty long-winded process.
It all hinges on whether or not your phone is compatible with the Android Q beta. You can find out by clicking the following link.
Related: How to install Android Q
But before you press ahead with installing the Android Q beta on your handset, a few words of warning. The software is a work in progress, and installing it comes with some big drawbacks. As Google explains:
“The updates that you’ll receive as a part of this program are pre-release versions, and may contain errors and defects that can affect normal functioning of your device.
“The current release contains significant behavior changes that affect apps in particular. The latest updates around isolated storage may cause issues with apps that access photos, videos, media, or other files stored on your device, such as when browsing or sharing in social media apps.
“You will not be able to unenroll and revert back to a lower public release version of Android without first wiping all locally saved data on your device. You may also encounter issues restoring a backup.”
We’d therefore think long and hard about running the Android Q beta on your primary smartphone. If you decide it’s worth it, we’d recommend backing up the data on the device you plan to update to Android Q.
Still keen to see what dark mode could look like on WhatsApp? Once you’ve installed the Android Q beta, go to Settings > Display, and turn on the Dark Theme toggle.
The next step is to unlock Developer options, which you can do by going to Settings > About Phone and tapping Build Number seven times. Once that’s done, go to Settings > System> Advanced > Developer options and tap the Override force-dark option (it’s in the Hardware Accelerated Rendering section).
This will grant an unofficial dark mode of sorts not only to WhatsApp, but every other app on your phone.
Related: Dark mode apps
However, in the case of WhatsApp, only the main page will go dark. That means more fiddling is required − told you it’s a long-winded process.
To make the background of your conversations dark too (as shown in the image above), go to Settings > Chats > Wallpaper > Solid Colours and select the dark shade you like the most.
If you have an OLED device, it makes the most sense to opt for straight-up black, as doing so could also help you extend your battery life.