How to Turn on Google Maps Dark Mode

Last year in 2020 in September, Google released a staggered rollout of Dark Mode for Google Maps. The feature is now officially available for Android users to use.

The requirement to Use the Dark Mode Feature in Google Maps

  • You must have Android 10 or above
  • An updated version of the Google Maps application

What is Dark Mode Feature?

The whole idea of having dark mode is to reduce the light emitted from the device while upholding the minimum ratio of color contrast that is necessary for readability. All apps have been introducing the dark mode feature slowly including Google.

The feature helps in enhancing the battery life of your device. Some tests conducted show up to 15% of screen energy is saved (watching videos on YouTube) when using the screen in dark mode as compared to the regular white mode. Users also praise the dark mode for providing better readability during the night. The default white background may shock the eyes and make it difficult to suddenly focus on the road while driving.

The dark mode has been implemented only for navigation because it wouldn’t be possible for a user to read the map in this mode. Once enabled, the dark mode will automatically enable navigation in this mode as it detects low light. However, you always have the option to set the feature to always be in dark mode when using Google Maps for navigation. Wondering how to turn on Google Maps Dark Mode? Here is a detailed guide on that.

How to Turn on Google Maps Dark Mode

Google is sending an automatic pop-up to all users who are updating their devices to Android 11. However, if you don’t find the pop-up then you can always head over to Settings of your Google Maps application to activate the feature.

Open Google Maps

Click on your profile located on the top right-hand corner of the screen

Tap on Settings

Tap on Theme – tapping on Theme will prompt you with three options – Always in Light Theme, Always in Dark Theme, Same as Device Theme. The first option is the standard theme where the navigation in Google Maps will be displayed on white background. The second option Always in Dark Theme will enable the Dark Mode for your device. The third and last option ‘Same as Device Theme’ will switch the theme between light and dark modes based on the theme of your smartphone. If your phone is in normal mode then navigation of the app will open in white background and when the phone is in dark mode then the app too will display the navigation in dark mode.

Make your selection – since we are trying to activate the Dark Mode – tap on Always in Dark Theme

Exit the screen and go to the map view and you will find the navigation displayed in Dark Mode

Those who wish to use the Same as Device Theme would have to enable the dark mode theme for their device for Google Maps to follow the effect. Here is how you can activate the dark mode theme for your device:

Go to Settings

Tap on Display

If your phone is updated to the latest Android version you will find two icons – Light and Dark. Check the image below for reference.

Click on Dark and this will enable dark mode on the device. Just below the two icons, you will find Dark mode settings. Tap on it and on this page, you have the option to make changes to settings according to your convenience.

The first option in this screen is Turn on as Scheduled – toggle it ON and you will be prompted with more options that permit you to select the time at which you want the dark mode to begin. You can set your choice of time to begin and to end the dark mode.

Once you have set this option for your device, the third option in Google Maps –Same as Device Theme, the dark mode option will work following your device.

Follow these easy steps to enable dark mode on Google Maps and enjoy the new feature on your smartphone.

Experiencing difficulties with your Device, check out our “How To” page on how to resolve some of these issues.


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