I love Xcode 10 dark theme, but I'd like to keep the whole OS on light theme. But by default to have Xcode on Dark theme you have to set the whole OS to Dark.

How can I achieve this?


Open Terminal and run the following:

defaults write com.apple.dt.Xcode NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance -bool FALSE

source: https://medium.com/@pawelurbanowicz/boost-your-productivity-with-macos-mojave-enable-dark-mode-for-xcode-only-33d86e452ea9

| improve this answer | |
  • 4
    Doesn't have any effect for me, unfortunately :( – Grishka Oct 6 '18 at 1:10
  • This doesn't work for me either. – Magnus Lind Oxlund Dec 30 '19 at 17:58

1) First ensure you have the appropriate system setup:

defaults write -g NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance -bool Yes

2) Then use:

defaults write com.apple.dt.Xcode NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance -bool FALSE


You can also configure any other app by knowing its BundleID. For example:

  • App Store.app -> com.apple.AppStore
  • Calendar.app -> com.apple.iCal
  • Mail.app -> com.apple.mail
  • Maps.app -> com.apple.Maps
  • Notes.app -> com.apple.Notes
  • Safari.app -> com.apple.Safari

To restore defaults:

defaults delete -g NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance
| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I'm on MacOS 10.15.2 Catalina and this doesn't seem to work for any apps. – Magnus Lind Oxlund Dec 30 '19 at 18:03

You can use nightowl app to enable dark mode only for Xcode

| improve this answer | |
  • Nightowl does allow enabling light mode for individual apps when in system-wide dark mode, but not the other way around, so that solution doesn't work, unfortunately. – Magnus Lind Oxlund Dec 30 '19 at 18:38
  • The app Gray seems to be more versatile, so you can configure the desired look for a specific application regardless of the appearance of the selected OS appearance. You can install it with Homebrew/cask like this: sh brew cask install gray – Carlos D. Álvaro Jan 1 at 10:43
  • Per its readme file, Gray utilizes the NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance option that others have suggested, which doesn't seem to work anymore. That method also has the above shortcoming. – Magnus Lind Oxlund Jan 2 at 23:46

There didn't seem to be anything that can be done using preferences and such, so I made a plugin for that: https://github.com/grishka/XcodeAppearanceSwitcher

| improve this answer | |

On iOS you can

Temporarily opt out by including the UIUserInterfaceStyle key (with a value of Light) in your app’s Info.plist file

Source: https://developer.apple.com/documentation/appkit/supporting_dark_mode_in_your_interface/choosing_a_specific_interface_style_for_your_ios_app

| improve this answer | |

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .