How to enable the Light appearance theme on Mac

If you’re currently using the Dark mode theme in Mac OS, you may wish to change to the Light visual theme.

The Light theme in Mac OS was the default visual option on the Mac for ages, but with MacOS Mojave came the new visual option for enabling the Dark mode theme for the Mac interface. Many users may have chosen the Dark mode theme during the initial setup of MacOS, or another time, but later may want to set their Mac to use the brighter Light mode theme instead. The process of changing from the Dark to Light appearance is quite simple, as you’ll see.

How to Enable the Light Appearance Theme on Mac

  1. Go to the  Apple menu, and then choose “System Preferences”
  2. How to enable the Light appearance theme on Mac

  3. Choose the “General” preference panel
  4. How to enable the Light appearance theme on Mac

  5. At the top of the ‘General’ settings, look for the “Appearance” section
  6. Select “Light” from the available Appearance options to immediately switch MacOS to the Light visual theme
  7. How to enable the Light appearance theme on Mac

  8. Close System Preferences when finished
  9. Light appearance theme selected on Mac

The setting change is immediate and all onscreen elements and apps that are visually themed will adjust to the new Light theme appearance you selected.

If you have a lot of apps and windows open, it can take a few moments as the interface elements change from Dark to Light (or vice versa) so be patient in that situation as the user interface redraws accordingly.

Light appearance theme on Mac

You can enable the Dark theme in MacOS again at any time simply by returning back to the General preference panel and choosing Dark again.

Keep in mind if you used this trick to set Dark mode to enable automatically on a schedule then that will still happen on whatever predefined schedule you chose, so if you want to completely stop using the Dark theme you’d need to stop that scheduled calendar task as well.

The Dark Mode theme for Mac OS is very popular and many users enable the Dark theme for any number of reasons, whether for personal visual preference, working in low light, or just for fun. The Light theme is equally popular however, and for many users the Light appearance is preferable for any number of reasons as well. Which of the appearance themes you use, and when you use it, is really a matter of personal taste and each individual Mac usage environment, so use which works for you.

By the way, if you’re changing Mac appearance themes because of a usability reason, then you might find disabling transparency and using Reduce Motion may be helpful to.