[Update: Available in Stable release] Instagram rolls out an AMOLED dark theme on Android

[Update: Available in Stable release] Instagram rolls out an AMOLED dark theme on Android

Update 10/09/19 @ 3:10 AM ET: Dark mode for Instagram is now available in the stable release channel. Scroll to the bottom for more information. The article as published on September 25, 2019, is preserved as below.

Dark themes are becoming extremely popular in recent months thanks to both Google and Apple adopting dark modes in Android 10 and iOS 13 respectively. While Google has added dark themes to most of its apps, third-party apps are taking more time to adopt dark themes on Android. Instagram, for example, has historically not supported a dark mode, which frustratingly results in what I like to call a “flash-bang of light” when opening the app. Finally, though, the latest alpha update of the Instagram app on Android has added a dark theme. Better yet, it’s an AMOLED dark theme so the background colors are black.


This dark mode isn’t perfectly dark in all parts, but it does theme the majority of the UI elements in Instagram. While the black background color doesn’t really save battery life over the dark grays you’ll find in many Google apps, it can make it more enjoyable to scroll through your Instagram feed at night. There’s a nice contrast between the black and gray parts, making content easier to see without changing the actual content. This means that bright pictures are still going to be bright while any white in pictures will still be white. As you can see in the screenshot gallery below, the new UI is definitely much darker overall.

If you want to enable this on your phone, you need to first update to the latest alpha version of Instagram (linked below) and then enable your phone’s built-in dark mode because it currently follows the system-wide toggle. That means it’ll work if you’re running any Android phone on Android 10, if you have a Samsung Galaxy device running One UI or Xiaomi device running MIUI 10. I tested Instagram’s dark theme on a phone running Android 10 and my Galaxy Note 10, and I can confirm it works on both. If you don’t have Android 10, MIUI, or One UI, you’ll have to wait for Facebook to add a toggle in the settings on Instagram.

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Dark mode is a beloved feature that has really made the rounds in recent months. As more devices get Android 10, we can expect a lot more app developers to add dark themes in their apps. Here’s hoping that we’ll see a wave of new apps rather than the current trickle we’re seeing. Facebook has already added it to Messenger and is testing it in the main app and WhatsApp, so it’s nice to see the company add support for it in Instagram finally.

Update: Dark Mode for Instagram is now rolling out in the stable release channel

After giving users a preview of dark mode in the alpha release channel, Instagram is rolling out Dark Mode for all users through its stable release channel.

The feature is available on v114. We could not spot a dedicated toggle for enabling dark mode, but the app does respect the Android 10’s dark mode settings. Prolific reverse-engineer Ms. Jane Manchun Wong suggests that a dedicated toggle will indeed make its way to the official app, allowing all Android versions to use the app with a dark background. Dark mode is also rolling out for iOS devices.

How do you like Instagram’s Dark Mode? Let us know in the comments below!

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Max Weinbach
Max Weinbach

Former Contributor to the XDA-Developers Portal.

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