James Montemagno
James Montemagno

Live, Love, Bike, and Code.



Opt-out of Dark Mode on iOS, Android, UWP, and macOS

James MontemagnoJames Montemagno

Everyone can't stop talking about dark mode now that iOS 13 and Android 10 are officially released. To my surprise I have actually really been enjoying dark mode on my desktop and mobile devices. I really want to go through all my apps and add proper dark mode support, however I just haven't had the time. When running apps on iOS 13 or macOS and flipping on dark mode can make your app look.... not so great:


This can depend on the framework you are using, hard coded values, or a bunch of other things. You may be in this situation or perhaps you have a completely custom theme and you don't want the operating system to touch it. Well, you are in luck because you can opt-out!


You have two options here. The easiest is to update your Info.plist and add a new entry named UIUserInterfaceStyle. You can manually set this to Light or Dark to apply a theme to your entire app.


If your app is basically ready to go and just a few screens require a specific mode you can set the OverrideUserInterfaceStyle propety. This can be done on any UIView, UIViewController, or UIWindow.

public override void ViewDidLoad()
    if (UIDevice.CurrentDevice.CheckSystemVersion(13, 0))
        OverrideUserInterfaceStyle = UIUserInterfaceStyle.Light;


Similar to iOS you can add a very special key to your Info.plist called NSRequiresAquaSystemAppearance and set it to true:



Android is actually really easy as you have to opt-in for the dark mode to apply to your application. Traditionally, you have always set a light or dark mode for your app in your app's styles. Every Xamarin app defaults to a light theme:

<style name="MainTheme.Base" parent="Theme.AppCompat.Light.DarkActionBar">

You have to opt in by setting the theme to DayNight:

<style name="MainTheme.Base" parent="Theme.AppCompat.DayNight.DarkActionBar">

This also works if you are using MaterialComponents theming:

<style name="MainTheme.Base" parent="Theme.MaterialComponents.DayNight">


UWP is also similar to Android as you have to opt-in for the system wide defaults. Traditionally in your App.xaml file you would set a requested theme:



This means your app will always use light theme no matter what. To opt-in you will need to remove this property completely.

Checking Requested Theme

It is actually pretty simple to check theme of the app. It has been blogged abotu a lot, and I have even submitted a pull request to Xamarin.Essentials that hightlights it, so take a look. There are also great docs for iOS, Android, and UWP to help guide you.


Live, Love, Bike, and Code

Checkout my monthly newsletter that you should subscribe to!