Microsoft Office

Why is my Microsoft Word black?

Darth Vader costume
Joined the dark side in Word? Change it back (Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash)

Microsoft Word has a few options to change how it looks. Its default theme – and the one most of us use – is a mix of a white page, black text, a grey ribbon, and various coloured icons.

Default Theme - Microsoft Word

It can therefore be a bit of a shock if your Word suddenly turns to the dark side and becomes mostly black with white lettering.

Dark mode - Microsoft Word

So let’s see what you can do to get things back to how they were – without using the Force.

Changing themes

The reason Word is black is that you’ve likely changed the theme to dark mode. Microsoft created dark mode to help reduce eyestrain, especially in low light. However, if it’s not for you, you can change it back to the default theme or one of the other alternatives.

How do I turn off Microsoft Word’s dark mode?

To return to the default theme and turn off dark mode in Word, first click on File in the ribbon menu.

File icon - Microsoft Word

Now, click on Account at the bottom of the File menu.

Account option in File menu - Microsoft Word

Under the heading Office Theme, click the dropdown arrow and select Colorful to return Word to the default theme. If you normally use another theme instead of Colorful, then select that instead.

Offcie Theme Drop Down Menu - Microsoft Word

Once selected, the theme will change and you can click the back arrow at the top of the File menu to continue what you were doing.

Back Arrow in File Menu - Microsoft Word

The Office theme dropdown menu also allows you to try the other themes, so it’s worth checking them out to see if something else suits you better. However, keep in mind that whichever theme you choose will also become the default for any other Office apps you may use, such as Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

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About the author

Mark Parvin

I have worked with and wrote about computers, video games and consumer tech for more years than I care to admit.
I currently run my own IT support business and write about the wonders of tech whenever I can.

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