Android 11 has brought to life some new features and polished up a few bits and pieces that came into being in previous incarnations. One such bit of polish found its way into the dark theme management of the platform.
For those that like to use the dark theme, you can always just turn it on and have at your day. For those that prefer the regular theme during the day, but need the more subdued option at night, you could schedule it for specific times. That’s a great option, but it’s not always ideal–especially when you have to account for time changes and time zones.
Fortunately, the developers of Android took the time to refine this feature a bit and add a new sunset to sunrise option. When you enable this, your Android UI will automatically switch to the dark theme at sunset and return to the standard theme at sunrise. This is a solid solution, especially for those that wake up in the middle of the night to check their phone.
Insomniacs around the globe rejoice–no more unlocking your phone, only to be blinded by the glow of the light theme.
How do you schedule this shift from sunset to sunrise? I’m going to show you.
What you’ll need
The only thing you’ll need to schedule the dark mode for a sunset to sunrise appearance is a device running Android 11.
How to schedule the automatic dark mode switch
Open the Settings app and go to Display. Tap Dark Theme and then tap Schedule (Figure A).
From the drop-down, tap Turns On From Sunset To Sunrise (Figure B).
Once you’ve scheduled the dark theme, you’ll also have a button that allows you to enable it at any time. Return to Settings | Display | Dark Theme and tap Turn On Until Sunrise and the UI will immediately shift. Once the dark theme is in effect, you can either wait until sunrise or you can return here and tap Turn Off Until Sunset (Figure C).
An easier way to manually switch to dark mode
There is, of course, an easier way to switch between dark and light themes. If you pull down the Notification shade to reveal the Quick Action tiles, you can edit the existing tile set to include one to enable dark theme.
To do this, pull down the Notification shade twice and tap the pen icon in the bottom-left corner (Figure D).
With the edit window open, scroll down until you find the Dark Theme icon (Figure E).
Tap and hold the Dark Theme tile and drag it to the top of the screen so it’s where you want it in the Quick Action portion of screen.
Once you’ve taken care of this, tap the back arrow at the top-left of the screen. If you now pull the Notification shade down twice, you’ll see the Dark Theme tile (Figure F). Tap that tile to enable the dark theme.
To disable the dark theme, tap the tile again and it will then be disabled until sunset.
And that’s all there is to scheduling the dark theme for sunset to sunrise and making it easier to manually enable it when you need it before sunset.