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How to Enable Dark Mode in Microsoft Excel, Including Cells

Many software applications now offer a "dark mode" option, which can be more comfortable to use, especially in low-light conditions. In dark mode, the color scheme is reversed, making it easier to read text on a dark screen in high-contrast environments. Excel now offers a dark mode option as part of Microsoft's Office suite.

While this is a step in the right direction, there is still room for improvement. Even with the UI darkened by default, the spreadsheet cells are still white, which can be disorienting. Dark mode can be enabled by following these steps, which will also darken your cells.

  • In Microsoft Excel's dark mode, you can modify the colour palette of various parts of your spreadsheet by going to the File menu on the ribbon and accessing the Account settings. There, you can adjust the dark mode.
  • To darken the cells, select a solid black or grey image from the Background setting in the Page Layout menu.

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How to Enable Dark Mode in Microsoft Excel, Including Cells

  1. Click on the File tab in the upper left corner of the screen, then select Account from the File drop-down menu.
  2. In the General tab, scroll down to the Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office section and select the Dark option under the Office Theme drop-down menu.
  3. Select Dark Gray or Black from the Office Theme drop-down menu.
  4. In the upper-left corner of the screen, click the Back arrow.

You may need to change the color of the text. The basic black lettering can be difficult to read on a dark background.

  • To select the entire spreadsheet, press Ctrl-A.
  • Click Home in the ribbon and choose white from the Font color dropdown menu.
  • If you're not happy with the background or text color, you can experiment with different combinations until you find one you like.


If you have the option, we recommend you try out the dark mode setting. If you use Excel on a regular basis, you can find the dark mode option in the View tab in Excel. If you don't have the option, or have a computer or device without a dark mode setting, you can still use your software comfortably. For example, you can use a brighter screen setting, or use a high-contrast theme, or your computer's high-contrast mode.