Force websites to comply with macOS Catalina’s Safari Dark Mode

By

Dark mode for safari
Sometimes only Dark Mode will do.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I stopped reading white text on a black background the moment I left school, and I’ve never liked it since. Especially on a screen, where the black expanse becomes a dark mirror that reflects everything in its sight. But even I prefer Dark Mode late at night, when I want to read without disturbing other people.

The trouble is, many websites don’t support Dark Mode. Everything else in Safari is rendered in tasteful black, but the page itself is still rendered in glaring white. Happily, on the Mac at least, there’s a way to fix it. Here’s how to force any website to support Safari Dark Mode on Mac.

Safari Dark Mode on Mac.... So relaxing.
Ahhhhh. So relaxing.
Photo: Alex Denk

Dark Mode for Safari is an Apple-recommended Safari extension that forces Dark Mode on sites that don’t support it. Instead of pages flashing bright white when they load, they will open in restful white-on-black.

Just like Dark Mode on the rest of your Mac, the extension’s operation can be scheduled. You can activate it manually, run it on a schedule of your choosing, or set it to activate whenever Mojave/Catalina’s native Dark Mode is active.

How to use the Dark Mode for Safari extension

Enable extensions in Safari’s preferences.
Enable extensions in Safari’s preferences.
Photo: Apple

Enabling the Dark Mode Safari extension couldn’t be easier. Just download the extension from the Mac App Store, and activate it in Safari’s Preferences. The preference page is found in Safari, under the Safari menu bar item. Open it, click on the Extensions tab, and click the check box for the Dark Mode extension.

The Dark Mode for Safari extension tames badly behaved websites.
This handy extension tames badly behaved websites.
Photo: Alex Denk

You can choose between three dark themes — Dark, Soft Dark and Mono — and you also can whitelist sites so they are not automatically darkened.

Dark Mode for Safari, from developer Denk Alexandru, seems essential for anyone using Mojave or Catalina’s Dark Mode. Nothing says “half-assed implementation” like a bright webpage popping out of your tastefully dim desktop. Apple chose not to build this in, but you can add it for just $2.

Price: $1.99

Download: Dark Mode for Safari from the App Store (macOS)