Problems with a headache or irritated eyes? It could be a strain on the computer eyes! Dark themes for Windows can help, especially in the dark.
Computer screens can be particularly bright, especially in the dark. Try to reduce eye strain by using a dark Windows visual style and web browser theme. You can even add white text on a black background to any webpage you view.
You can choose between two types of dark themes for Windows 7: a high-contrast theme that doesn't look that pretty but doesn't require any additional software, or a third-party dark theme that requires you to perform a little hack on Windows to get it to install.
Both Windows 7 and Windows 8 have several built-in high contrast themes that can help you get a dark desktop and applications. Right click on your desktop and choose Personalizeand choose one of the high-contrast themes. Just give it a try and find out which one you prefer.
Dark themes for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
The high-contrast themes are not ideal. They are designed for accessibility, not for eye candy. They don't use Aero either, so they aren't properly hardware accelerated and they don't look that good.
However, Microsoft doesn't support third-party dark Windows 7 themes. Download and run the UltraUXThemePatcher installer and restart your computer to patch your system.
The tool changes the uxtheme.dll file in Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 to load any theme. By default, it will check topics you want to load and only load them if they are signed by Microsoft.
Once the patch has been applied, theme files can be downloaded and placed in C: Windows Resources Themes. You will appear in the personalization Dialog.
Selected dark themes for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
Since there are so many different topics to choose from, here are a few examples.
Some of these dark themes also come with icons and fonts. The following screenshots show what they look like without the extra elements. Note that the themes will not look perfect in every program because many programs just assume that you are using the standard themes provided by Microsoft.
Dark Agility for Windows 7 focuses on providing a dark user interface. Many dark themes for Windows 7 feature a dark toolbar and white content windows, but Dark Agility goes all the way. Compare it to the high-contrast theme above and you'll see why you'd want to use a third-party theme. It's a lot smarter.
Dark Pearl VS for Windows 7 contains more gray for extra contrast. The content windows are no longer dazzling white, so this is a good compromise between a completely black or a completely light theme, which makes it a great dark theme for Windows 7.
Steam VS for Windows 7 uses dark grays to match the look of Valve's Steam game service.
Abisso 2014 for Windows 8.1 is as dark as possible. Aside from the text and surface elements, which are white and blue, everything is black to make it stand out. The contrast makes it a decent dark theme for Windows 8.1.
For more topics, see the visual styles for Windows 7 or the visual styles for Windows 8 on deviantART.
Dark browser themes for Windows 7 and 8.1
You may want to install a dark browser skin so that your web browser matches your dark Windows theme.
The topics here are only suggestions. You can find many more dark themes on your web browser's theme download site.
Slinky Elegant for Chrome offers a nice looking minimal dark theme that will make Chrome fit into your new dark desktop.
With Dark Fox for Firefox, you get a dark Firefox logo on your toolbar and white, colorful buttons.
Dark theme web styles
User styles can go beyond the theme of your desktop and the applications that run on it. You can choose to have User Styles give a single website – or even the entire web – a dark look. These work by applying a CSS style. You must have the Stylish extension installed to use these scripts in Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.
Midnight Surfing Alternative is a user style that tries to turn every webpage that is displayed into a dark theme. Of course, it doesn't work perfectly on every site.
Dark Google Minimalist tries the same thing, but only for Google. It won't interfere with other websites.
Search userstyles.org for "Dark" to find dark themes for other websites.
The best dark themes for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
You have a great list of dark themes for Windows 7 and 8.1! We hope these will help reduce eye strain and provide a more enjoyable surfing experience. These dark themes are also helpful if you're just looking for a change of pace.
Recently updated to Windows 10? You have far more customization options for dark themes. Give your eyes a break!
The best Windows 10 Dark Themes for your eyes
Windows 10 now has its own dark theme. But also try these other adjustments for dark Windows themes and avoid eye strain.
About the author
(289 articles published)
Chris Hoffman is a tech blogger and all-round tech addict living in Eugene, Oregon.
By Chris Hoffman
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