Troubleshooting the Dark Theme in Windows File Explorer

Welcome to an updated guide that addresses the common issue of the dark theme not functioning correctly in File Explorer on Windows. Here, you will learn a range of solutions to restore the captivating interface of dark mode that you prefer.

Understanding the Dark Mode Quirk in File Explorer

Since its introduction in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the dark theme in File Explorer has won many fans for its sleek appearance that’s easier on the eyes, particularly during night-time use. However, some users have encountered glitches where the dark theme doesn’t apply thoroughly or consistently. These issues can often stem from legacy bugs or conflicts with third-party customization software.

Let’s dive into the steps necessary to bring back the seamless dark theme experience.

Solutions to Restore Dark Theme in File Explorer

Toggle the Dark Theme Setting

  • Open Windows Settings by right-clicking the Start menu and selecting ‘Settings’.
  • Navigate to ‘Personalization’ and click on ‘Colors’.
  • Switch the ‘Choose your default Windows mode’ option to ‘Light’, restart your device, and then reselect ‘Dark’.

Reinitiate Windows Explorer

  • Access the Task Manager with the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  • Locate and highlight ‘Windows Explorer’ in the list.
  • Utilize the ‘Restart’ button at the bottom to reboot the process.

Refresh Your User Session

  • Sign out of your account via the Start menu by right-clicking your profile icon and choosing ‘Sign out’.
  • Log back in and reactivate the dark theme in the Settings.

Revert to Default Windows Theme

  • In Settings, select ‘Personalization’ and proceed to ‘Themes’.
  • Choose the standard ‘Windows’ theme from the selection.

Remove Conflicting Customization Applications

  • Identify and disable any third-party apps that alter Windows themes or folder icons.
  • Uninstall these apps if they’re interfering with File Explorer’s dark mode.

Scan for Corrupted System Files

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator from the Start menu search bar.
  • Execute the ‘sfc /scannow’ command to check for and repair system files.

Ensure a Smooth Dark Mode Experience in File Explorer

The dark theme in Windows File Explorer can sometimes be capricious, but with the above steps, you should be able to navigate back to the eye-friendly and sleek interface you love. By following the outlined solutions, dark mode should work flawlessly again, giving you the optimal viewing experience while managing your files on Windows.


Q: What should I do if the dark theme option is missing entirely from my Settings?

A: If the dark theme is not visible, ensure your Windows is up to date with the latest version, as this feature was not available in early versions.

Q: Why does dark mode sometimes revert to light mode?

A: This could be caused by certain software or system updates. Try reapplying the dark theme following a system restart to see if the setting sticks.

Following these steps, we aim to help you resolve dark theme issues in File Explorer, keeping your digital space both visually pleasing and functional.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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