A Closer Look at the New Windows 10 Light Mode

Posted on November 14, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows, Windows 10 with 39 Comments

Microsoft today introduced a major change to Windows 10’s design after a while. Windows 10 is finally getting a new light mode, and if you already thought the OS had a light theme before, you won’t be wrong.

Right now, Windows 10 has a light theme that applies to apps and some other parts of the OS, but it’s not a system-wide theme. More notably, things like the Start Menu, the taskbar, and the notification centre continued to have the dark look of Windows 10 ever since the initial launch of the OS. That’s changing soon with the new light mode, which introduces a light theme for almost all parts of the OS. And it looks really gorgeous after using the dark theme for years.

Here’s a closer look:

The start menu context menu with Acrylic

Action Centre with light theme

Quick Action editing also has the light theme

Taskbar jumplists with the light theme acrylic

Other system popups have the light theme too

The time/date popup with the light theme

Toast notifications with the light theme

Search with the light theme

Cortana still has the dark look

And here is new default wallpaper that compliments the new light theme:

(1024×768)

(1366×768)

(2560×1600)

(3840×2160)

Enjoy.

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Comments (39)

39 responses to “A Closer Look at the New Windows 10 Light Mode”

  1. kherm

    Thanks for that wallpaper! That'll come in handy.

  2. TheFerrango

    That's basically Plasma 5, which I like already. I'll wait for the actual release before commenting on MS' take on this, though

  3. Otto Gunter

    I like it a lot, it's very easy on my eyes so I look forward to giving it a try. The dark theme is ok at night, but a bit jarring in the day, like the Cortana screenshot above.

  4. brettscoast

    Actually its not too bad

  5. ChristopherCollins

    I wonder how many serious bugs will go unfixed to get the insider tweaks to light mode done in time...


    On a lighter note, I do personally like this look and will use it. I truly wish they would pause some of the beauty crap and just hammer out an entire year of quality and optimization updates. By a year, I mean both builds too.

  6. Jacob Klein

    For the themes, if you want the original resolution versions, install the build then go to: C : \ Windows \ Web

    The ones shared in this article are ... lossy compressed even further, sadly. Same with another download location I found.


    Mehedi: Any chance you could re-upload the original versions from that location, for maximum fidelity?

  7. Xatom

    Themes as innovation. Are the big tech companies simply out of ideas? I guess the future is being worked on in a garage somewhere.

  8. irfaanwahid

    Light theme is the result of the pressure to churn out new features every 6 months. There is so much one can add new every 6 months.

    Don't get me wrong, I do like light theme too. But at this stage where Windows desperately need quality over feature updates, Light theme is unimportant in my opinion.

    Stability and fit/finish should be the highest priority.

  9. fjjjcf

    All the hate...


    i think it is good good Windows is finally adressing UI stuff instead of new functional features.


    i wish they would focus the next 2 releases on visuals and bugfuxing only. No new features needed. Just cleaning up what is there.



  10. dcdevito

    Wake me up when control panel and the classic UI is completely removed

  11. pachi

    Looks better than the “dark” theme but feel like this is three years late. Why is it such a huge ordeal to add a drop shadow or hover effect on a menu for the windows team? These things seem to take multiple versions to accomplish!

    • warren

      In reply to pachi:


      The reason this stuff is difficult for them is because the GUI was programmed in several different ways over the last 25 years. The menus that are drawn in some programs are done using completely different than in other programs. They also have to find ways to make the changes without introducing problems with third-party software.



  12. RM

    Now how about finishing the dark theme! Not just windows, but all Microsoft programs/apps. Then SQL Server Management Studio and Edge.

  13. 2ilent8cho

    How about instead of this light theme which makes my eyes burn just looking at it they have a Windows 7/Vista theme and put one of the biggest complaints about Windows 10 to bed, its horrid start menu and nasty tiles. I booted up an old laptop i got out the store room just for fun, it had Windows NT 4.0 Workstation on, it's GUI was clean, crisp, uncluttered and a joy to navigate and made sense, i wanted it as my daily interface so badly , reminded me of when Windows use to have a really decent GUI and was way better than MacOS. Now its the other way round!

  14. generalprotectionfault

    Shades of Whistler Watercolor theme.

  15. paulwp187

    The bright and airy look reminds me of early Windows 7 builds and wallpapers.

  16. hrlngrv

    Tangent: isn't one of the points of JPEGs that they can scale? I could see needing to provide images in different aspect ratios, but is there really a NEED for multiple resolutions at the same aspect ratio? IOW, couldn't Windows scale the 3840x2160 image so that it fit in a 1366x768 screen?

  17. CompUser

    The most interesting thing about this type of release to me is, there was a time when, if a person wanted something different than what Microsoft released as part of Windows, or they wanted a theme that Microsoft didn't build into Windows, they would go online, find it, and install it. Now they just seem to sit back, wait for Microsoft to release it, and then bitch about it when they do.

  18. beatnixxx

    it's sad that a "unified theme" is news in 2018.

  19. Mike Widrick

    Dark themes, light themes, in the old days you could pick any color.


    We had hot dog theme. That was a theme.

  20. Illusive_Man

    Thank Goodness for Classic Shell

  21. navarac

    Any light type themes tend to glare for me. Far TOO bright.


  22. ph-sth

    I seem to be the only person who thinks this looks absolutely horrific.

  23. wunderbar

    I actually like it a lot. I think on some machines I'll definitely use this over the dark one.

  24. truerock2

    Last week I cleaned up an old Windows 7 PC to give it away. It reminded me that the Windows 7 GUI is better that the Windows 10 GUI.

  25. jpr75

    BFD. Looks awful. What's the point. Wasted development hours.