Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 12.08.52

Although OS X Yosemite is still a few months out from public release, the public beta and developer seeds means the OS is already seeing wide adoption — hence, apps for Yosemite are already starting to surface. In fact, the unreleased OS already makes up 18% of Mac users on 9to5Mac, already the second most popular version of OS X.

9to5-image 2014-08-04 at 7.11.38 AM


As standard, Yosemite offers a dark mode that changes the look of the menubar and Dock from the stock white appearance to a black translucent material. Unfortunately, the option is quite primitive, toggled on or off by a checkbox in System Preferences. Lights Out is a neat utility by Sam Turner that adds a new preference to pane to enable Dark Mode automatically at specific times of day. This means you can set Dark Mode to turn on at night (to help with screen glare) and wake up to the brighter look the next morning, sort of like a faux-Flux.

Lights Out is free to download, so there’s no real harm in trying it. Turner admits that something like this is very unlikely to be accepted in the Mac App Store (as changing system settings in dark mode is not exposed in the public API). There is also a good chance F.lux will integrate this feature directly into their screen-dimming apps in the future, but for now Lights Out is the only option.

9to5Mac has previously reported that Yosemite will make its public debut in late October, potentially alongside some new hardware.

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25 Responses to “Make OS X Yosemite’s dark mode turn on automatically with this neat utility”

  1. aeronperyton says:

    I feel compelled to gift PPC users a refurbished Intel Mac, just to bring them into the light.


  2. rahhbriley says:

    Installed Yosemite this weekend, loving it!


  3. It should instead use the brightness sensor embedded in Macs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • driverbenji says:

      when I read the headline, that’s what I also was expecting. …dark mode isn’t fully implemented yet, it’d be smart if Apple included the option to turn on/off w/brightness sensor…auto mode or manual on/off.


  4. Thats a cool idea. I’d also like the option to change it according app. So I could set an app like photoshop to always use the dark mode. Maybe I’d get annoying having it switch from app to app but It would nice to try it.


  5. I would like to be able to set the menu bar and dock separately; I don’t like the dark mode in the menu bar, but much prefer it to the light mode in the Dock.


  6. I installed Lights Out and now I can’t change back to the default mode. Please help>


  7. Installed this app, doesn’t work. Now when I turn it off my menubar and dock will not revert back to white, it stays dark.


  8. Don’t install this app. It doesnt work properly. You wont even get the option window (top picture in this article). This app changed the menu and dock to dark mode. But can’t change back to normal mode. Please, do not recommend faulty apps. Thanks!


  9. raymondwilliams says:

    I too installed it, and now it stays in dark mode- won’t turn off. AVOID!!


  10. With so much press and growing public awareness of the need for restorative sleep and dangers of using electronic devices before bed, due to their bluish backlit displays, I’m surprised Apple hasn’t jumped all over this and integrated f.lux functions in the OS itself. You can’t even run the f.lux app on an iOS device without a jailbreak, so I hope Apple resolves the issue in it next OS releases.

    After all, the CDC says 70% of working adults sleep less than 6 hours during the week when 7-9 hours is recommended, and they’ve associated “short sleep” with significantly increased risk of all sorts of health conditions, including hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, some cancers, diabetes, obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s, and more. And then there’s the impact on public safety (e.g. drowsy drivers killing 1,500 people a year and injuring 75,000) and performance (at school, work and in sports). The economic impact (of short sleep and bright screens) should alone prompt Apple to address this defect in their OS. Since all if it’s smart phones have a camera that can detect ambient light, it should be easy to automatically adjust screen brightness and color temperature when it’s dark or in hours before bedtime. Responding to this need is, in my opinion, a corporate responsibility. Will Apple step up?


  11. I also can’t use the app or turn the dark mode off, also after uninstalling and rebooting twice :( I’ve also tried the terminal instruction with no luck. I guess that I’ll have to keep the dark mode on for some time, but please try not to recommend faulty apps without testing them.


  12. This whatever you want to call it sucks so so bad. It doesn’t work properly and you have to remove it and other shit to actually make it go Light mode again and/or being able to manually controle it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. “Dark mode” feels like an incomplete feature, since menus and windows remain light grey. I’d much prefer a comprehensive dark theme.


  14. Help,my Mac is now ALWAYS Switching between Dark and Light even when this shitty app is deleted …


  15. I can’t switch back from dark to light mode. Anyone with a solution?


  16. cajh says:

    Install f.lux, the new mac version has an option to automatically switch to dark mode on sunset


  17. I put some stuff together to solve this problem. Ingredients:
    -Some Terminal commands

    I made an automator to run a piece of Applescript and then put it on my calendar and set the alert to run the automator.

    Let me know if anyone is interested.