Auto Dark Mode gets new features and improved reliability in the latest update

Auto Dark Mode gets new features and improved reliability in the latest update

Taras Buria

Neowin
·

November 4, 2022 8:54 AM EDT

The Windows Auto Dark Mode app icon with the Windows 11 bloom background

Automatic theme switching today is a standard feature of every operating system. For some reason, Microsoft doesn’t want to (or can’t?) implement such a basic feature (very annoying), so users have to resort to third-party apps like Auto Dark Mode. The latter has received an update with new features and many improvements under the hood to make the app more reliable and practical.

For those unfamiliar, Auto Dark Mode allows you to schedule theme changes and have Windows enable or disable dark mode at sunset, a specific time, or by using a dedicated shortcut. Auto Dark Mode has many customization options that allow you to set dedicated themes or wallpapers for dark and light modes, delay theme switching, set additional conditions and more.

The Auto Dark Mode app and its settings

With version 10.3.0.90, the app gets even better with new scheduling options, a more modern user interface, new context menu entries and more. Here’s what’s new:

New functions

  • Use Windows Night Light as a source for light and dark time. You can of course still configure an offset in ADM.
  • Pause automatic theme switching once (dynamically postpones until the next sunrise/sunset time).
  • Pause automatic theme switching for a short time.
  • Managed postponement of theme change via the user interface on the time page:
    • Pause and resume theme switching via the user interface on the Times page.
    • See which modules hold a theme switch and for how long (if they have an expiration time).
  • Display a notification and postpone or delay this action interactively:
    • Before an automatic theme switch is used and the theme must be updated.
    • When auto dark mode is started.
  • New keyboard shortcuts:
    • Turn on/off automatic theme switching.
    • Pause theme switching until the next sunrise/sunset.
    • Switch themes between light and dark with a single hotkey. If you switch to a theme that doesn’t match the time, we’ll automatically pause the theme switch and notify you.
  • New context menu options in the notification area / tray that provide the same functionality as the hotkeys.
  • Change the coloring of title bars and window borders for Windows 10 (works on Windows 11 for some windows, but not all).
  • Ignore certain options such as background, markers, and sounds when using Windows theme mode.

Improvements:

  • Uses an additional, more modern theme switching method that supports more options and makes ADM more reliable (Big thanks to @namazso for the awesome contribution)!
  • Proper support for switching themes on the lock screen. Windows 11 will switch as soon as you unlock the PC, Windows 10 will switch the theme under the lock screen.
  • Clicking on the icon when the app is minimized will now immediately bring it to the front page.
  • Many stability improvements for theme state sync which include but are not limited to:
    • More reliable wallpaper retrieval from an existing custom theme (for support with third-party wallpaper tools),
    • Better detection when an unsaved Windows theme is used.
    • Improve potential background flicker by reducing the number of synchronization calls required.
    • More robust detection of the active Windows theme.
  • Single-screen and multi-screen wallpapers as well as solid colors are now fetched when the background picker is enabled and when auto-dark mode kicks in for a smoother background switching experience with our custom picker.
  • The tray context menu now supports dark mode.
  • The background page now requests a theme update when the setting is turned on, resulting in a slightly better user experience.
  • We redesigned the personalization page to look a little more modern.
  • Added informational text by pressing the copy button on the about page.
  • The notification area icon and pointer indicate whether automatic theme switching is paused or disabled.

Corrections

  • Fixed an issue where ADM stopped working with versions older than 19044 (#508).
  • Fixed an issue on Windows 10 that caused several users to experience lost theme switches in one user account when they were currently logged in to another. You can turn support for this on or off in the settings menu (#544).
  • Fixed an issue where Windows default themes were not syncing correctly.
  • Fixed an issue where custom theme syncing was dependent on the system language and would only work correctly in English.
  • Fixed an issue where enabled slideshows in the source theme would cause the wallpaper picker to fail to set wallpapers.
  • Fixed an issue where solid background failed to sync (#547).
  • Fixed several issues where incorrect theme paths were fetched, leading to either too many or too few theme syncs and applications.
  • Fixed an issue on Windows 10 where the “Restore themes when modified remotely” setting would cause excessive theme updates by limiting updates.
  • Fixed an issue where the updater would parse whitelisted files with uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Fixed an issue where the theme chooser page would always force a theme update when loaded, even when the setting is disabled.

Auto Dark Mode is available for free from the Microsoft Store and GitHub, where you can also contribute to its further development. It’s a user-favorite app (it recently won an Open Platform Award), and we’re excited to see it grow with new features, improved mechanics, and other improvements.

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