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I've just got my Google Chrome updated to Version 73.0.3683.86 and run it on macOS Mojave 10.14.3 with dark mode set.

I prefer to use Chrome in light mode with some custom themes.

Can I revert Chrome back to the light mode in spite of Mojave operating in dark mode?

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4 Answers 4

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Easy. Open up your terminal and write:

defaults write com.google.Chrome NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance -bool YES
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  • 3
    confirmed, this worked for me!
    – Leo
    Commented Jun 26, 2019 at 14:38
  • Still works today, just requires a relaunch of Chrome to see the changes. Commented May 12, 2022 at 14:47
  • Worked today on Monterey 12.x after restarting Chrome.
    – RichVel
    Commented Jan 19 at 14:36
  • Thanks again for this. Confirmed it still works in 2024 on Chrome 121 and macOS Sonoma 14.3. Simply delete the key to revert behavior. defaults delete com.google.Chrome NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance Commented Feb 5 at 19:02
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Can I revert Chrome back to the light mode in spite of Mojave operating in dark mode?

Install a theme from the Chrome Web Store.

Chrome themes do not "respond" to dark mode -- the colors specified in the theme will be used regardless of the current system appearance.

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Unfortunately, the dark mode setting is entirely macOS-controlled and cannot be disabled for specific apps which are dark mode enabled. If you have dark mode enabled in macOS, Chrome will run in dark mode. There is no corresponding setting in Chrome to ignore the macOS setting.

Like you, I don't like the Chrome dark mode, but I do like the macOS dark mode, so we're both stuck.

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  • I'm in similar pain with terminal - some outputs just don't yet translate to the inverted color scale (or my brain can't handle the color changes of any of the color translations I've yet seen). I would have to bet some apps will have an override added to re-render a window or all windows over time as we all struggle with this for some text centric use cases.
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 13:46
  • I vaguely remember reading about a terminal command that can override dark mode for a specific app, am I just misremembering? Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 14:07
  • There's this explanation about how to disable dark mode for Microsoft Office apps. I tried the same mechanism, substituting com.google.Chrome in the default write command, but it seems not to have had any effect.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Mar 23, 2019 at 16:17
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The "Plain" theme from the Chrome Web Store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/plain/ajpcdipecmmhmhfchegpaflpjkmceiip?hl=en
appears to revert Chrome to its default settings.

I no longer have to squint to tell which is the active tab. The icon for the "Tabs" extension is recognizable again, also without squinting.

This solves the problem that was why I came to this thread.

For a more generic solution that applies to different apps, here's a Terminal technique that resets the default for any specific app, even built-in apps:
https://webtrickz.com/disable-dark-mode-for-specific-app-on-mac/

YMMV.

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  • The theme link is broken, but the 2nd tip worked well. I did this for Chrome on Monterey 12.7: defaults write $(osascript -e 'id of app "Google Chrome"') NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance -bool Yes then restarted Chrome. Thanks!
    – RichVel
    Commented Jan 19 at 14:35

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