How to enable YouTube Dark Mode on Android right now (Root)

Google recently added a Dark Mode to the YouTube mobile app (following Dark Mode for the desktop website), but there’s just one problem: iOS users get it first. Dark Mode is still “coming soon” to Android and we’re not exactly sure how long it will take. The good news is the Android developer community has once again come through for us. If you have root access on your Android device, you can get Dark Mode in the app right now.

Update 6/29/18: It has been over 3 months since this article was originally published and the dark theme is still not officially available for Android users. However, the flag to enable dark theme has changed so we have updated this article.

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This method requires modifying a value in the shared preferences folder in the app’s data folder. That’s why root access is necessary. If your device is not already rooted, check out your device’s forums for instructions. Once you have root access, you will need the Preferences Manager app and, of course, YouTube.

Here’s how to do it:

Preferences Manager (Free, Google Play) →

  1. Install Preferences Manager from the Google Play Store.
  2. Find YouTube in the list. (If it doesn’t show up, you may need to enable “show system apps” in the menu.)
  3. Tap it to open its preferences files.
  4. You should be on youtube.xml. If not, swipe left/right until you are.
  5. Search for dark
  6. Change both values from false to true. 
    • If you don’t see the values, add them manually (app_theme_dark_developer and app_dark_theme) and set them to true YouTube Dark Theme YouTube Dark Theme
  7. Save the changes.
  8. Force close YouTube.

When you open up the app again it should be in Dark Mode. The app will have a nice dark gray background and white-on-black icons. You can scroll through videos without the blinding white interface. Thanks to XDA member AL_IRAQI for sending in this method and providing screenshots.

YouTube (Free, Google Play) →

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