As promised, Microsoft is launching the new dark mode for Outlook.com today. The company teased the new dark experience for Outlook on the web earlier this month, and it’s now bringing the experience for everyone after multiple prototypes and iterations.
Outlook.com’s new dark mode is based on the Halloween theme the company implemented to celebrated Halloween last year. Since then, the company has iterated on the design to help bring a permanent dark mode to Outlook.com, with an improved look. The new dark mode actually looks really good, and it even works for the email reading pane, too.
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Microsoft says the company’s research showed users are less likely to suffer from eye strain when the reading pane is dark like other parts of the application. However, if the reading pane features a light background, users are more likely to suffer from eye strain. That’s the reason Outlook.com’s dark mode will automatically try to implement a dark background for your emails, but there’s a “Turn off the lights” feature that lets you view the original design for an email when you want to. This is crucial for when Outlook.com breaks the design of certain emails when the formatting breaks because of the dark background.
Another interesting fact about the dark mode is that it isn’t implemented as a theme — instead, it works as a separate mode. Redmond wants to add themeing support to the dark mode eventually, so you will be able to use different themes with the dark mode. Right now, though, it only works with the default theme.
If you are running the new Outlook.com, you will be able to enable the new dark mode simply by going to the app’s settings.