Gadgets How to

MacOS Dark Mode with the Touch Bar Shortcut

Written by Hassan Abbas

MacOS Dark Mode with the Touch Bar ShortCut: Follow our step-by-step guide to learn how to quickly switch between macOS’s dark and light themes. Just by adding a dedicated toggle for Dark Mode to the Touch Bar of your Mac.

Do you know what is the Dark Mode feature? It uses a system-wide dark color palette for the user interface. Some people say Dark Mode is easier on their eyes while others suggest that it helps them focus on their work. For those who not know that Dark Mode is available in macOS Mojave 10.14 or later.

You can also toggle a darkened look for the macOS user interface manually or set your Mac to use the light appearance during the day and the dark appearance at night but how? In System Preferences → General, choose one of the Appearance options at the top:

  • Light: Use light appearance.
  • Dark: Use a dark appearance.
  • Auto: Automatically switch between light/dark mode depending on the time of day.

Make sure that the Auto option is available in macOS Catalina 10.15 or later.

Switching between dark and light modes is quite an easy and multi-step affair. You can it quicker by adding a dedicated Dark Mode toggle to your Mac’s Touch Bar. Recently we elaborate on how to run custom Automator workflows as Quick Actions right from the Touch Bar.

How to Toggle MacOS Dark Mode with the Touch Bar

Using Automator, to create Quick Action workflows that can be made available in places like Finder windows. The Services menu or the Touch Bar on a Mac has a Touch Bar. After that, we’ll add our Dark Mode toggle quick action to the Touch Bar through System Preferences.

Step 1:

Firstly, Open the Automator app from your Applications folder.

Step 2:

Tap the File menu and select New, or hit Command – N on the keyboard.

Step 3:

Choose Quick Action as the document type, then click Choose.

Step 4:

Then adjust your workflow settings:

  • Select “No input” from the popup menu next to “Workflow receives current”.
  • Set a custom glyph for the workflow next to “Image”.
  • Select a custom color for your workflow next to “Color”.

After using these options proceed to the next step.

Step 5:

Now drag the Run AppleScript action and drop it on the right side of the window to add some custom AppleScript code to our workflow.

Step 6:

Copy-paste the code in the script:

on run {input, parameters}
tell application "System Events"
tell appearance preferences
set dark mode to not dark mode
end tell
end tell
return input
end run

Step 7:

Tap the hammer icon above the AppleScript code to confirm that there are no errors.

Step 8:

Tap the File menu and select the choice Save, or hit Command – S on the keyboard, to save your custom workflow. Make sure it a memorable title, such as “Dark: Light”. Now add the custom script to the Touch Bar.

Step 9:

Tap the Apple menu and select System Preferences.

Step 10:

Tap the Extensions icon in the System Preferences window.

Step 11:

Tap the entry Touch Bar. If you don’t see the choice, your Mac doesn’t have a Touch Bar or the Touch Bar is currently unavailable because the lid is closed.

Step 12:

Here is a list of previously saved Quick Actions in the righthand column. Click the box for toggling Dark Mode on or off to make that quick action available via your Mac’s Touch Bar.

Step 13:

Time can also be used to customize the Touch Bar by adding a special button that provides quick access to your saved Automator workflows from the Control Strip. You can also start by selecting the choice System Preferences from the Apple menu.

Step 14:

Tap the Keyboard icon in the System Preferences window.

Step 15:

Now choose the Keyboard tab.

Step 16:

Tap the button Customize Control Strip.

Step 17:

Drag the icon that looks like a signpost to the bottom of the screen into the Touch Bar, then tap Done to save your new Touch Bar layout.

Step 18:

With the Touch Bar modified to show the Quick Actions button in the Control Strip, you can now toggle Dark Mode with just two taps. First, click the Quick Actions icon in the Control Strip section, then select your custom Automator workflow for toggling Dark Mode.


For further queries and questions let us know in the comment section below!

Also Read: Preview Items in the Files App: Quick Look in Apple

About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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