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NicolSD
Regular Contributor

Dark mode has been enabled. However, the top bar with the tabs doesn't go dark except for the active tab, and that looks weird. It happens because it doesn't override the taskbar setting like the old Edge did. Thanks for bringing it in so early.

 

Enable the flag called Microsoft Edge theme in edge://flags. Then turn on dark mode in Windows' settings.

 

 

32 Replies

@NicolSD   I assume that this is in the current Canary build? 

@tomscharbach Yes, it's for build 75.0.140.0

How to enable this Dark mode?

@NicolSD  Thanks.  Other than the method in set the browser in Dark Mode, does it look like Dark Mode as enabled through edge://flags (see below)?

 

Edge Flags Dark Mode.jpg

 

@tomscharbach -- Sorry, I should have mentioned it right at the start. It is indeed in edge://flags. Enable the one called Microsoft Edge theme.

@JasonLacio -- Enable the flag called Microsoft Edge theme in edge://flags.  Then enable the dark mode in Windows' settings.

@NicolSD   "Sorry, I should have mentioned it right at the start. It is indeed in edge://flags. Enable the one called Microsoft Edge theme."

 

Thank you.  I did that as soon as I installed Edge Chromium and have been running that theme "enabled" since the first day, as you can see from the screenshot in the comment above. 

 

I agree with your comments and submitted a request (through the Feedback smiley, some days ago) to have Edge Chromium's dark mode follow the visual style of Edge Classic's dark mode (see below for the comparison).   Edge Chromium's dark mode is not sufficient, because it does not differentiate the various working areas of the primary controls at the top of the page. 

 

We will see what comes of it.  

 

Favorites Bar Design.jpg

 

 

 

@tomscharbach 

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"   "Everything is subjective"

I use Dark everywhere I can, all the time.  The Snip below is full Dark, (OS, browser) & ONE (OS) Accent colour... that shows in Edge C.  Also, if one hovers a tab, they 'shadow' well in Edge C, helping to making it obvious & easy to see, to tell, which tab one is pointing at, at that moment.

Tom, personally, I beg to differ.  One thing which caught my eye at the onset with Edge C was the top bar.  It seemed to take the (chosen) Accent colour better & do more with it, the tab design looked more realistic, more like an actual tangible folder tab AND the Active tab, easy to see, nicely noticable, stood out well.  Anyway, here are 2 'idendical' top bars; Edge C on top. For me, I suggest the top one 'pops' more & better including the Active tab immediately & blatantly discernable.

So, just my particular view on the matter.  Different eyes, different perception, is all.

NB: Myself, I don't show the Favs Bar except, while opening something from it; then, it's rehidden. 

BtD.jpg

 

Cheers,
Drew 
thVY64FD02.jpg

@JasonLacio 

Hi Jason,

> edge://flags, type Dark in the Search box, hit Enter & enable what you see :)

Dark.jpg

Cheers,
Drew
thVY64FD02.jpg

@NicolSD  What is very interesting to me is that both you and Drew, presumably both running Canary 75.0.140.0, are seeing a different visual design that I am, using Dev 75.0.131.0.

 

Drew is (and from your description, you are also) seeing (Canary 75.0.140.0):

 

BtD.jpg


And I am seeing (Dev 75.0.131.0):

 

Favorites Bar Design.jpg

 

The Canary 75.0.140.0 design is not consistent with Microsoft's implementation of dark mode in other areas of the OS (e.g. Windows Explorer).   I understand what Microsoft is trying to do (better differentiate active tabs from non-active) but it seems to me a regression to go back to Windows XP color values to do so.   One of the things I've appreciated about Windows over the years is internal design consistency, and the Canary 75.0.140.0 design is departure from that practice.

 

But, bah.  It isn't my circus and they aren't my monkeys.

 

@tomscharbach Actually, the new Edge gets the top bar's colour instructions from Windows' Colour settings, unlike the old Edge which used its own. If you enable Transparency effects and Automatically pick an accent colour from my background, it looks quite garish. That was my original complaint though I used the word WEIRD instead of GARISH. That is why I titled the thread "Dark mode -- ok for a first step." I thought this was a first step.

 

So far, I have worked under the understanding that MS is trying to bring back Edge inside of a different container minus the stuff that can be accomplished with existing extensions. I may very well be wrong since MS's doesn't seem to want to be too clear about its intentions.

@tomscharbach -- Right now, there is no consistency in the windows' dark mode. The attached pictures show the different ways Dark Mode is implemented in Edge Chromium, Edge Classic and File Explorer. They are layered in the following order:

 

Top: Edge Chromium

Second: Edge Classic

Third: File Explorer

 

Right now, Edge Chromium uses all parameters passed on in Windows' colour settings. Edge Classic doesn't. The top bar never changes to the background colour with transparency. As for File Explorer, it uses a mix of both (but not quite) of the two. It doesn't automatically pick an accent colour from the background when it is unselected. It does, however when it is selected it uses the background colour but Edge Classic doesn't.

 

Look at what happened to the second line of the second File Explorer image I snapped. Notice the word FILE is in green? That was the accent colour of my desktop image. Meanwhile, the first image shows two different tones of brown in the selected File Explorer window while different something totally different in Edge Chromium.

 

Right now, the entire Dark Mode scheme is a mess. As I said earlier, there is no consistency. That is one more reason I called this thread "a first step."

@NicolSD   "[T]he new Edge gets the top bar's colour instructions from Windows' Colour settings, unlike the old Edge which used its own."

 

Indeed it does. Thanks for letting me know. The Color setting that toggles tab color in Edge Chromium is "Show accent color on the following surfaces, Title bars and window borders".

 

I had no idea because I don't enable the "Show accent color ..." settings. But once you do that, it takes about two seconds to make Windows remarkably garish, even without transparency. It is actually kind of fun, trying different setting and backgrounds to see if you can come up with the worst looking UI ever.

 

 @NicolSD   "Right now, the entire Dark Mode scheme is a mess. As I said earlier, there is no consistency. That is one more reason I called this thread "a first step."

 

I've been following your footsteps on this, changing settings and so on, and you are dead right. What a mess!

 

I missed most of the issues with dark mode (I've been using it since W10 introduced the option) because of the way I set up W10 -- disable transparency, disable "Show accent colors ...", disable all visual effects except "smooth edges of screen fonts" and "smooth-scroll" in order to get the flat unadorned UI I like. But having turned most of it back on temporarily to follow your footsteps, I see what you are talking about.

 

@NicolSD  "So far, I have worked under the understanding that MS is trying to bring back Edge inside of a different container minus the stuff that can be accomplished with existing extensions."

 

I assumed that Microsoft was going to put Edge Chromium in a separate container, too, but I am starting to wonder after reports in other threads that Edge Chromium is inheriting administrative rights from e-mail programs that open the browser, as Chrome does. That behavior is downright dangerous and one reason I refuse to use Chrome.

 

If Microsoft doesn't put Edge Chromium in a separate container or otherwise sandbox the browser, it is opening users to a lot of unnecessary security risk.

 

 @NicolSD  "I may very well be wrong since MS's doesn't seem to want to be too clear about its intentions."

 

Yup. We've been asking the Edge Team for a high-level list of features/functions that Microsoft intends to include in the release version (a "roadmap" as it has been called in several threads) so that we can spend our time testing instead of nagging Microsoft about including features/functions already planned) and the silence has been deafening.

@NicolSD   By the way, Nichol, I meant to include this in my previous reply, but forgot.  So let me say it now:  I appreciate the effort you put into this forum.  Whenever I see that you've posted something, I can count on it being something worth reading, something that is technical and something from which I can learn.  Thanks for being an active participant.

@tomscharbach  Thank you for the kind comments. I am not a programmer but a techy user from the first days of personal computers who eventually made his way to becoming a computer tech (and a journalist) until he was forced to retire because of a totally different kind of MS, the disease kind. Back in the early 90s, I used to refer to Microsoft as Microsloth because Windows was so slow in those days.

 

I am both a Windows Insider and an Edge Insider because I want to see the changes in Windows development and contribute in my own small way. I spend long days in front of the computer and sometimes figure out how bugs can be reproduced.

 

I may not be a programmer but I still would find it useful to know where Microsoft when features are implemented and/or fixed. It would save me time spent on trying to reproduce bugs day after day.

@NicolSD  "I may not be a programmer but I still would find it useful to know where Microsoft when features are implemented and/or fixed. It would save me time spent on trying to reproduce bugs day after day."

 

Wouldn't we all ...   The Edge team has made a small but useful advance in that regard -- see Dev channel update to 75.0.139.1 is live posted today.  Progress not perfection, as it is said.

@tomscharbach Posting about build 139.1 when 141.0 is in the wild? Yep, that's a good first step but the belated information is quite typical of MS. Have you ever checked Win10's Feedback Hub? Build information is always late in coming?

@tomscharbach  @NicolSD 

Tom & Nicol, I run both Dev & Canary.  But, I'm quite sure I did those Snips from Dev 131.  Might look a wee be different from yours because of the Accent colour being used on the (my) OS.

Cheers,
Drew
thVY64FD02.jpg

@Drew1903 -- Yes, it does. But it handles those settings from File Explorer. Check the two linked files in my previous posts. What's more, Edge Classic doesn't even respect Accent colour settings.

@NicolSD   "Posting about build 139.1 when 141.0 is in the wild?"    Yup, becaue that's the build I'm on.  Depends on which channel you are in.  The Dev Channel upgraded to Version 75.0.139.1 (Official build) dev (64-bit) this morning.  I gather that Version 75.0.141.1 is in the Canary Channel ...

@NicolSD 

"Edge Classic doesn't even respect Accent colour settings."

Exactly, which, is certainly part of why I, personally, prefer the Edge C (design) approach.

Cheers,
Drew
thVY64FD02.jpg

@NicolSD 

 

Is there any way to enable dark mode without enabling it in windows? I had to turn off dark mode after using it for years because 1809 forces it on File Explorer with no option to turn it off :(

@james_edge 

Hi James,

Short answer, no.  The OS Dark has to be on to have Dark in Edge C.  And, right now*, there is no 'splitting' where Dark is applied.  *I say, right now, because, that is changing soon.  1903 has Light, Dark and Custom

Dark Opts.jpg

Cheers,
Drew
thVY64FD02.jpg

@Drew1903 

 

That's sad to hear, especially as Windows 10 Mail has had the on/off/system toggle for years.  It's good that MS seem to be attempting to address the issue in 1903 however from your screenshot it looks like they're going to miss the mark completely, the toggle needs to be per app not just an apps/windows split :(

@NicolSD @tomscharbach @Drew1903 @james_edge 

Thanks so much for the detailed feedback on our first step towards full support for dark mode, our team appreciates it! 

 

Would love to dig in a bit more and hear your thoughts on the following:

- Why do you use dark mode? How does it help you when using the browser or browing the web?

- What would your ideal dark mode experience look like? Would it look more like Edge Classic, Edge Chromium, or something completely different?

- What would a "consistent" dark mode in Edge mean to you? 

 

Thanks!

Irina

@IrinaL 

Irina,

Here are MY views:

Why do you use dark mode? How does it help you when using the browser or browing the web?
>> It is (more) pleasant, pleasing, relaxing & easier on the eyes :eyes:

What would your ideal dark mode experience look like? Would it look more like Edge Classic, Edge Chromium, or something completely different?
>> I'll say Chromium but, only because it 'sees', respects & applies, uses the OS Accent colour & Edge doesn't.  Some End Uses prefer Edge because it doesn't.

What would a "consistent" dark mode in Edge mean to you?
>> Similar to YouTube and Twitter where the whole page/site is Dark.  And, personally, I would, really, like it.  I use both YT & Twitter in Dark Mode.

YTDark.jpg

Cheers,
Drew
thVY64FD02.jpg


@IrinaL 

 

- Why do you use dark mode? How does it help you when using the browser or browing the web?

 

I use dark mode in my browsers because dark mode helps visually separate content/reading areas (black on white) from control/menu areas (white on black). The visual separation helps to avoid distraction. Years ago (roughly when Moses was a boy) Yale researched people's eye movements as they scanned web pages, and made recommendations about how to design pages so that user's eyes were drawn to key elements more easily, in an order that enhanced the information flow of the website. Dark mode assists that goal better, in my opinion, than light mode, because dark mode draws the user's eyes away from menu/control areas and focuses the user on content/reading areas.

 

- What would your ideal dark mode experience look like? Would it look more like Edge Classic, Edge Chromium, or something completely different?

 

I think that Edge (Classic) does a good job of visual design in this respect. The control/menu areas are separated visually by using black for some elements and charcoal grey for others, which helps distinguish between different control/menu elements, and the entire menu/control area is muted by using black/grey in those areas.

 

I tried using "system accent colors" to control dark mode and use of the "system accent color" (rather than, say, using black or charcoal grey for the active tab, and the other for the inactive tabs) for inactive tabs draws the user's eyes away from content/reading areas toward the inactive tab area of the menu/control part of the screen. That distracts users from content.

 

Look at the photo.  Where is your eye drawn?  To content or to the menu bar?

 

dark mode how not to do it.jpg

 

- What would a "consistent" dark mode in Edge mean to you?

 

For me, it means that all dark mode elements throughout W10 should use the same conventions, so that a user familiar with one dark mode element of W10 would be instantly conversant with the design/use conventions of the others.

 

Two thoughts along those lines:

 

(1) Black/grey shades (black, dark grey, medium grey) would be consistent throughout W10, that is, identical values for each (black, dark grey, medium grey) would be used in MS Mail, W10 menus, File Explorer, Edge, and so on.

 

(2) Content/reading areas, if content-intensive (as in the case of this message board, where people are expected to be able to quickly read the content), should be black on white, rather than white on black. MS Mail screws this up, big time, by rendering the e-mail content itself white on black. There is a reason why books and other reading media use black on white, and it isn't mindless tradition. Numerous studies have emerged recently reporting that people have a much more difficult time reading content-intensive material in white on black as opposed to black on white.

 

A final thought: Right now, the options for dark mode in Edge Chromium seem to be (a) follow the OS mode (default), (b) always use dark mode independent of the OS mode (dark), and (c) always use light mode (light). The options don't work that way in practice, that is how they should work.

@IrinaL 

 

Here are my opinions:

 

- Why do you use dark mode?  How does it help you when using the browser or browsing the web?

I believe we have a consensus across the board. It is easier on the eyes.

 

How does it help you when using the browser or browsing the web?

It doesn't scream "look at me." It is a nice, quiet, more subdued way of sorting where to look at the time it's needed. If I need to look at the controls, I look at the dark stuff. If I want to look at the web page, it's easy to ignore the dark stuff.

 

- What would your ideal dark mode experience look like? Would it look more like Edge Classic, Edge Chromium, or something completely different?

To me, the Edge Classic team did the best job so far to create a Dark Mode that could be used across the board. Just look at the tabs used by Edge Chromium compared to the regular Edge. Look at the screenshots below.  Edge Chromium has this horrible gap on the left corner and on top. Edge Classic had no gaps.

Ugly.jpg

 

Nice.jpg

 

- What would a "consistent" dark mode in Edge mean to you? 

To me, consistency could be achieved by getting all apps to use the same Dark mode look (that includes the top bar. If I choose Dark Mode in Windows settings, all apps that use dark mode should share the same look. Yes today, you can go to Windows' Settings/Personalization/Colours" and turn on Dark Mode throughout the system. But the problem is that the Windows accent colours can still be changed even if you are in Dark Mode. Here are a few examples of "Dark Mode."

Colour 1.jpg

 

Colour 2.jpg

 

Colour 3.jpg

 

Here is the palette in Windows' Settings/Personalization/Colours. People should not have access to it if they pick Dark or Light Mode.

Colour palette.jpg

 

 

Dark Mode should be one design and one set of colours. To me, it seems like every development team at Microsoft came up with its own version of Dark Mode. Just look at File Explorer. It's the ugliest one of the bunch. Please come up with one way to display Dark mode and stick with it across the board. My personal favourite is Edge Classic.

@Drew1903 @tomscharbach @NicolSD 

Thanks so much for the detailed responses and screenshots. that is very helpful to have for our design explorations!

@NicolSD 

"Edge Chromium has this horrible gap on the left corner and on top. Edge Classic had no gaps."

And some would say it's an appealing, more artistic, design because it looks more realistic, more like an actual, physical (folder) tab & indeed, stands out from the background or the rest of the bar.

And some prefer that the Accent colour is given (more) respect by the Edge C upper bar.

Some will find it easier to pick out the active tab with Edge C.

Cosmetics are so subjective.

Cheers,
Drew
thVY64FD02.jpg



@IrinaL 

Yes, Irina, the old adage, eh?  "A picture is worth a thousand words".

Cheers,
Drew
thVY64FD02.jpg

Absolutely! It helps us ensure we are on the same page :)
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