Switch Dark Mode and Light Mode on Mac quickly from Spotlight

Do you wish you could enable Dark mode or Light mode interface themes faster in Mac OS? Maybe you wish there was a keystroke to switch from Dark or Light mode on the Mac?

If you’re tired of heading over to System Preferences to make the change, you can use a nifty trick to quickly toggle between Dark mode and Light mode on the Mac right from Spotlight, which effectively allows you to switch the interface themes entirely from the keyboard.

How to Create a Dark Mode / Light Mode Toggle for Spotlight in MacOS

First you will need to create a simple Automator app that toggles the Mac theme.

Note: if you followed our previous guide for automatically enabling Dark Mode on a schedule then you can use the exact same Automator tool for this purpose and skip this section.

  1. Open “Automator” on the Mac, it’s in the Applications folder
  2. The Automator icon in MacOS

  3. From the Automator options, select to create a new “Application”
  4. Select the Library actions section in the sidebar and search for “Change System Appearance” and drag that into the Automator workflow on the right side of the Automator window
  5. Set the ‘Change System Appearance’ option to “Toggle Light / Dark” if that isn’t chosen by default already
  6. Now save the Automator application with a name like “Toggle Light or Dark Mode.app”, and place it somewhere like like the Documents folder or Application folder
  7. Exit out of Automator when finished

That’s it, now you’re ready to use this simple Mac dark / light interface theme toggle from Spotlight.

How to Change Dark Mode or Light Mode from Spotlight in MacOS

Now that you’ve created the Automator app to toggle from Light and Dark mode, you can access this at anytime and from anywhere with Spotlight on the Mac:

  1. Open Spotlight as usual with Command + Spacebar, or by clicking the Spotlight magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner
  2. Type in “Toggle Light / Dark” and hit the RETURN / ENTER key on the keyboard to instantly launch the application, this will switch from Dark mode to Light Mode or Light Mode to Dark Mode
  3. How to Toggle Dark Mode on or off from Spotlight on Mac

  4. Repeat this Spotlight search and return/enter key trick anytime you want to quickly change between Dark mode and Light mode on the Mac
  5. Toggle Dark Mode or Light Mode from Spotlight on Mac

Now anytime you want to switch between the Mac themes of Dark Mode and Light Mode you can just open up Spotlight with Command + Spacebar, type in “Toggle Light / Dark” (or whatever you named the Automator app) and hit return. The interface theme will immediately change. Repeat again to switch back.

Switching Dark Mode and Light Mode on Mac quickly from Spotlight

There are other options for getting in and out of Dark Mode too, for example you can schedule Dark Mode to turn itself on automatically on a Mac with Automator and Calendar app. Or you can always just manually enable the Mac Dark Mode theme or default Light theme in System Preferences too. Note that if you’re using the Darker dark mode theme then you’ll need to maintain the gray accent color choice to toggle between that and the light theme.

Using the Dark Mode theme is great for working at night and dim lighting situations, so being able to get in and out of it quickly is quite nice.