Full Dark Mode in Excel

Brass Contributor

Currently you can set Office Theme to Black which acts as a dark mode. In Word, setting this to Black makes the page dark and the text white when it is set to “Automatic”.


I was wondering if anyone had an idea if Microsoft is planning to release this same thing for Excel too? 

Right now Excel when using the dark theme makes everything dark except the cells. Which kind of makes no sense to me. This is where your eyes are most of the time. It needs to be a proper fully dark theme.


Is there a way to get a full dark mode without manually setting the background color of the cells dark and the text white? Can a plugin be made to do that while keeping the actual cell background “empty” and the text “Automatic”? Is there already a plugin that does that?



39 Replies

Microsoft you're such a disappointment. In 2023 you cant enable dark mode with the click of a button? People have to be jumping through hoops to get this stuff done? C'mon get your act together and give people what they want. Even Google Sheets is better at this.

I'd like to knwo how to get the DARK THEME turned off

Some how it appeared when I launched excel other day and now I cant get back to the regular WHITE background even when I change theme or theme colors

I NEVER requested a change at all, why am I being force to see the dark background that is VERY annoying and hard to read for me

Apparently some CRAZY programmer thought it would be cool to AUTOMATICALLY CHANGE a setting for you to show off a new theme

But the popup is slightly delayed and I started typing as soon as excel opened and accepted the new theme with out even knowing I did

Ridiculous that ANY SETTING should automatically be changed -- give me a popup telling me about the NEW setting BUT
** DO ** NOT ** AUTO ** CHANGE ** ANY ** SETTING **

Excel doesn't have a dark theme. Have a look at this page, perhaps you can solve the issue with the pointers there https://jkp-ads.com/articles/startupproblems.asp

Perhaps it is the Office theme setting, which can be found in File, Options, at the bottom of the General tab?
This is a one-click solution https://github.com/stu0292/ExcelDarkMode

This was EXTREMELY helpful!  Thank you very much for this little trick!@AdrianParker 

@vanbang9710 This macro solution is awesome, thanks. It's more flexible than using a dark template because those who prefer light background during the day and dark at night can toggle any sheet back and forth with one-click! 🥳


Microsoft should add this as a standard feature.

@AdrianParker This part of your suggestion (where you mention the Trust Center locations) did not work for me. I'm a Microsoft 365 subscriber so I'm using the latest version of the Office suite.

The previous suggestion works for new workbooks but I need the dark mode enabled for opening existing workbooks as well.

@vanbang9710  Thank you so much for this link. I've followed the instructions and the macro is a game changer for me. Amazing!

This is amazing; thank you so much!
This step didn't work for me either (using the proper case), unfortunately. I'm using Office 365, so whatever their current release is. That said, USDA has so much extra stuff on these computers that strange conflicts sometimes happen.

But I am grateful to at least have the template that I can load, so thank you for that!

@AdrianParker Thank you so much! 

Okay so in reviewing, it looks like this macro will do a nice job of changing colour of the worksheet to dark mode - but when it's time to print something, we're CERTAINLY not going to want to print what we're seeing on the screen! So if I want to work in dark theme/mode but print in a "normal" view, I'm going to have to toggle each and every time I want to print my worksheet? This is not a good workaround for the scenario outlined here. I too struggle to work on documents that have a glaring white background with dark text, and with Word and Outlook I don't have to - and when I need to print an email or Word document, it automatically prints it in "standard" acceptable formats. How do we create a macro that will apply the appropriate stylings to an Excel worksheet BUT still prints with a white background and black text??? THIS is the solution that is truly needed in order to be functional in practical applications...
As long as Microsoft hasn't added a dark mode for Excel you are stuck with the only workaround I think is a little feasible: Settings Windows to high contrast mode, using the High contrast Black theme. That will affect the way everything in Windows is displayed, but it will leave your print unchanged. But I doubt if this is what you want to use :)


  1. Select the top left corner of the spreedsheet (all cells)
  2. Home section:
    1. select fill color black
    2. select text color white
  3. Enjoy

Then there's this lovely nugget! @AdrianParker Still no dark mode in excel.png

@dktrjoy I saw that message yesterday when attempting to insert a picture as a watermark in Word. Any idea what that's about?

@dktrjoy is your bad request too long something to do with dark mode ?

@Diaa_Amin Weird, I also thought of this, but for me it doesn't work. But I'm a longtime Dark Reader user, so I wonder why, what's different. Did you customize its settings, or did anything special to get full dark mode ?