Unlock the Light: A Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Dark Mode in Your Android Studio App with Code Samples

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding Dark Mode in Android Studio
  3. Step 1: Adding Styles and Themes to Your App
  4. Step 2: Creating a Light Mode Theme
  5. Step 3: Removing Dark Mode Code
  6. Step 4: Testing Your App in Light Mode
  7. Conclusion


Dark mode is a popular feature on many apps, including Android Studio. While some people may prefer the darker interface, others may find it difficult to read or navigate. Fortunately, you can remove the dark mode feature from your Android Studio app with just a few lines of code. In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step approach to removing dark mode from your app, along with code samples to help you achieve the desired result. Whether you're a seasoned programmer or a beginner, this guide offers a comprehensive approach to removing dark mode and unlocking the light on your Android Studio app. So, if you're ready to learn how to do it, let's get started.

Understanding Dark Mode in Android Studio

Dark Mode is a feature introduced in Android 10 that can be enabled in Android Studio by adding a theme that supports it. When this feature is enabled, the app's background color is set to a dark shade, and the text and other elements are displayed in light colors. This can be a useful feature for users who prefer a darker theme or for those who are using their phone in low light situations to reduce eye strain.

To enable Dark Mode in your Android Studio app, you will need to add a "DayNight" theme to your project. This theme allows the user to switch between a light and dark mode by changing the system settings. Once the theme is added, you can use it to apply different styles to your app's elements depending on whether or not Dark Mode is enabled.

It is important to note that Dark Mode is not always the best choice for all types of apps. For example, if your app requires a lot of user input or reading, it may be better to stick with a light theme as it is easier on the user's eyes. Ultimately, the decision to use Dark Mode should depend on the type of app you are building and the preferences of your target user demographic.

Step 1: Adding Styles and Themes to Your App

Styles and themes are an important part of Android app design, and they can be used to customize the look and feel of your app. To add styles and themes to your Android Studio app, you first need to create a new resource file.

  1. In the project view, right-click the "res" folder and select "New > Android resource file."
  2. Choose "values" as the resource type and "styles.xml" as the file name.
  3. Click "OK" to create the new file.

Now, you can add styles and themes to the file. For example, you might create a new style for the action bar:

<style name="MyActionBar" parent="@style/Widget.AppCompat.ActionBar">
    <item name="android:background">#FF0000</item>

This style sets the background color of the action bar to red. You can then apply this style to your app by setting the theme in your app's manifest file:


This line of code sets the theme of your app to the "MyTheme" style, which in turn sets the action bar style to "MyActionBar".

By using styles and themes, you can easily customize the look and feel of your app across a variety of devices and screen sizes.

Step 2: Creating a Light Mode Theme

To create a Light Mode theme, you'll need to create a new theme that inherits from the Material Components theme in the styles.xml file. You can start by copying the default styles.xml file and saving it as styles-light.xml.

Next, you'll need to modify the theme attributes in the new styles-light.xml file to ensure that the colors and other visual aspects of your app are optimized for Light Mode. This may include changing the background color, text color, and other visual elements based on your app’s design.

In order to ensure that your app responds to system changes, you should add a NightMode resource qualifier. This will ensure that your app can automatically switch between Light Mode and Dark Mode depending on the user's system preference.

Overall, creating a Light Mode theme involves customizing various elements of your app's appearance to ensure that they work well in a bright, well-lit environment. With the right tools and techniques, you can easily optimize your app for use in either Light Mode or Dark Mode, giving your users the flexibility and control they need to enjoy your app in any situation.

Step 3: Removing Dark Mode Code

To remove dark mode code from your Android Studio app, follow the following steps:

  1. Open your project in Android Studio.
  2. Navigate to your app's theme XML file, located in "res/values/themes.xml".
  3. Remove any references to "DarkActionBar" or "Dark" in the parent attribute of your app theme. For example, change "parent="Theme.AppCompat.DayNight.DarkActionBar" to "parent="Theme.AppCompat.Light.NoActionBar"".
  4. Save the file and rebuild your project.


By removing any references to "DarkActionBar" or "Dark" in the parent attribute of your app theme, you are changing the parent theme to a light theme. This will remove any predefined dark mode styling from your app. It's important to save the file and rebuild your project after making these changes to ensure the changes take effect. Once you've completed these steps, your app should no longer have a dark mode option.

Step 4: Testing Your App in Light Mode

After completing the previous steps, it is important to test your app in light mode to ensure that the changes you have made are working as expected. To do this, you can either run your app on an emulator or a physical device.

When your app runs in light mode, it should display the original color scheme and design elements of the app. If any dark mode elements are still present, you will need to revisit your code and make further adjustments.

To test your app in light mode, follow these steps:

  1. Run your app on an emulator or physical device.
  2. Navigate to the phone’s settings menu.
  3. Look for the “Display” or “Themes” option, depending on the phone model.
  4. Choose “Light Mode” or “Default” if available.
  5. Return to your app and observe the changes.

If your app looks and operates as expected in light mode, you can consider your work complete. However, if you encounter any issues or inconsistencies, you may need to modify your code further.

It is also advisable to repeat this process periodically to ensure that your app continues to function properly in both light and dark mode.



In , removing dark mode from your Android Studio app can be done quickly and easily by following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article. By adjusting the app's color scheme and implementing the appropriate changes in the code, you can create a brighter, more inviting user interface that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Whether you are a novice programmer or an experienced developer, this guide provides you with the tools and knowledge you need to create an app that stands out in the crowded world of mobile applications. As you begin to explore the capabilities of Android Studio, remember that there are always new tools and techniques that can help you unlock the full potential of your app. With commitment and dedication, you can create an Android Studio app that meets the needs of your users and stands the test of time.

Throughout my career, I have held positions ranging from Associate Software Engineer to Principal Engineer and have excelled in high-pressure environments. My passion and enthusiasm for my work drive me to get things done efficiently and effectively. I have a balanced mindset towards software development and testing, with a focus on design and underlying technologies. My experience in software development spans all aspects, including requirements gathering, design, coding, testing, and infrastructure. I specialize in developing distributed systems, web services, high-volume web applications, and ensuring scalability and availability using Amazon Web Services (EC2, ELBs, autoscaling, SimpleDB, SNS, SQS). Currently, I am focused on honing my skills in algorithms, data structures, and fast prototyping to develop and implement proof of concepts. Additionally, I possess good knowledge of analytics and have experience in implementing SiteCatalyst. As an open-source contributor, I am dedicated to contributing to the community and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry trends.
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