Nightfall is a free macOS utility by Ryan Thomson that allows users to quickly toggle Dark Mode with a keyboard shortcut, or by clicking an icon in the menu bar. Watch our brief hands-on walkthrough for a demonstration of how it works.

Current ways to toggle Dark Mode

Dark Mode is a feature I often use when working on my Mac in a dimly-lit environment. It can be enabled by clicking on the Dark/Light buttons in System Preferences → General.

You can also toggle Dark Mode via Siri. Just ask Siri to enable Dark Mode or Light Mode and your Mac will switch between the two modes. It’s even possible to make your Mac transition automatically between light and dark based on time of day in your location.

Dark Mode is great because with a toggle, you can instantly transition your Dock, menu bar, first-party apps, and lots of third-party apps as well. It can make working on your Mac much more comfortable depending on the current lighting situation.

Nightfall Video walkthrough

Subscribe to 9to5mac on YouTube for more videos

Using Nightfall to toggle Dark Mode

But sometimes you just want to be able to quickly switch on Dark Mode, and there’s really no one-click option to do that by default in macOS. A new open sourced utility called Nightfall addresses this shortcoming.

The Nightfall app icon

Nightfall is a simple utility that lives in the menu bar. With one click of the menu bar icon, it allows you to quickly toggle between Light and Dark Mode on macOS.

The utility’s preferences also allow the user to customize both the duration of the transition and the delay that occurs upon invoking the switch between each mode. This is a very thoughtful feature because otherwise, switching to Dark Mode is jarring and abrupt. Unlike similar utilities that I’ve seen, Nightfall closely mimics the transition that occurs when switching between Light and Dark Mode via System Preferences.

Nightfall Preferences

In order to use the transition feature, however, you’ll need to lend Nightfall access to the Screen Recording permission in macOS. Bear in mind that Nightfall is an open source utility, meaning its code is free to peruse on GitHub.

Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, Nightfall allows you to assign a global keyboard shortcut to quickly Dark Mode from anywhere. In System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts you’ll find a new Toggle Dark Mode option in the Services menu. The toggle is set to ⌃+⌥+⌘+T by default, but you can customize it to any shortcut you prefer.

Nightfall global keyboard shortcut for Dark Mode

Nightfall is available as a free download, and as I mentioned, is open source. The developer is accepting donations for those that appreciate the work involved in producing this utility.

Do you use Dark Mode on your Mac? What do you think about Nightfall? Sound off down below in the comments with your thoughts.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author