#TechBytes: How to enable dark mode on WhatsApp Web
Back in March, WhatsApp added the much-coveted dark mode for Android and iOS, and the feature was welcomed by users around the world. But, even after the stable mobile release, the feature remained missing from the web client of the messaging service. Now, we have a way to change that and enable the dark mode on WhatsApp Web. Here's how.
'Dark WhatsApp Web' in development
WhatsApp has been developing a dark mode for its web version since early February. The feature was discovered by WABetaInfo - a popular update-tracker for WhatsApp releases - but is not yet available for use. A few recent updates have only indicated that the theme is nearly ready and is being tested with users - to prepare for the final rollout.
Now, dark mode can be enabled manually
Now, even though the dark mode is not officially available, the advanced stage of development ensures you can enable it manually. WABetaInfo detailed the process, which mainly involves making a small change in the code of the main WhatsApp Web (web.whatsapp.com) page and hitting enter. Once you do it, the dark theme loads and works normally.
Here's what you need to do to enable dark theme
To enable the dark theme, open web.whatsapp.com, and sign-in with your account by scanning the QR Code on the screen with WhatsApp's mobile app (if not done). Now, when the messages load on the browser, right-click outside the chat area and select "Inspect" to open the code of the page. From there, go to the code and scroll to find the string 'body class="web"'.
Add the word 'dark' in the string
In the code, add the word 'dark' next to 'web' - turning the string to 'body class="web dark"' - and hit enter. This will tweak the site and enable the dark mode immediately.
However, there is a major caveat involved
The trick will let you use dark mode on WhatsApp Web instead of the light theme, which can be hard on your eyes in dark environments, but it will not last forever. Given that the feature is in development and not officially available, the code change and theme will roll back to default once you reload the page or sign in from another browser.
How does the dark mode look like?
In its current form, the dark mode of WhatsApp Web displays the same color tone from the mobile versions of the theme. It is not OLED-friendly but will work on all screens of WhatsApp Web and stay dark enough to let you chat at night without any discomfort. Notably, WhatsApp's parent Facebook has already enabled the dark mode for its main website.