How to Invert Colors on Chromebook

Written by Ivana Kotorchevikj Gadgets / Chromebook

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Staring at a Chromebook screen with bright colors can cause eye strain.

Inverting the colors on your Chromebook is a practical feature for people who are sensitive to bright lights, and have visual impairments or have eye fatigue. This solution can be of great help, especially if you are working or spending a lot of time in front of a laptop.

You can invert the colors on your Chromebook in just a couple of minutes, and you can easily reverse the change by going back to the same settings section.

Continue reading below to learn the steps to invert your Chromebook colors.

How to invert the colors on a Chromebook

Inverting the screen colors on Chrome OS also means switching to high contrast mode, meaning switching all the colors to their opposites or negative values.

This is how to invert the colors in just a few clicks:

  1. Navigate to your Chromebook desktop screen. You can get here by closing or tabbing out of all open windows.
  2. Click on the Options menu in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  3. Then click on the Settings (gear) icon in the pop-up menu. Here you can access most of the system settings you can configure on a Chromebook.
  4. On the Settings screen, select ‘Advanced’ in the left-hand side menu. Alternatively, scroll to the bottom of the Settings window, where you’ll also find the Advanced options.
  5. In the Advanced menu on the left, select Accessibility > Manage accessibility features, or just select ‘Manage Accessibility Features’ on the Advanced screen.
  6. Scroll down to the Display section of the Accessibility option, and toggle on the switch next to ‘Use high contrast mode’ to invert screen colors.
  7. When you enable high contrast mode on your Chromebook, a notification will pop up letting you know it’s been enabled, which is useful if you forget to turn it off or have enabled it accidentally.
  8. To turn off inverted colors or contract mode, click on the toggle again to switch back to its original position.

Your Chromebook screen will immediately invert its colors. This is what your screen will look like when you turn on the high contrast mode:

Note: If you take screenshots while your Chromebook is in high contrast mode, they won't be captured in high contrast mode, rather with normal color contrast.

Tip: You can also use a keyboard shortcut to invert the colors. Press CTRL+Search (magnifying glass key)+H, which will take you through the same steps above without navigating all the way through the settings.

To exit high contrast mode, just press the same combination again.

You might find it strange at first to look at a screen with inverted colors. But give it some time, and you would appreciate it after you get used to the screen color inversion.

How to enable dark mode on your Chromebook

Another thing you can do if you have eye fatigue from looking at a screen is dim the lights on your Chromebook.

Note: As of January 2022, you no longer have to enter the Beta or Dev channel of Chrome OS, as the dark mode feature has been put to the Stable channel, but it’s not enabled by default yet.

This is why you need to enable a few Chrome flags to turn on dark mode on Chromebook:

  1. Open chrome://flags on the browser and search for ‘dark’.
  2. Alternatively, you can open chrome://flags/#dark-light-mode to access the flag directly. Here, click on the drop-down menu next to ‘Dark/light mode of system UI’ and select ‘Enabled’.
  3. Search for 'Force Dark Mode for Web Contents' or just go to chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark and enable it. Note that this will also turn on dark mode for web pages on Chrome.
  4. After doing both updates above, click on the ‘Restart’ button at the bottom-right corner.
  5. After the restart, open the Quick Settings panel and you will find a new Dark theme widget – Click on it to instantly enable the system-wide dark mode on your Chromebook.
  6. You can also customize the color mode by clicking on the down-pointing arrow. If you choose ‘Themed (default) mode’, Chrome OS can extract the color from the wallpaper and apply the theme accordingly. If you want to have a consistent dark palette across the system, choose ‘Neutral’.

If you notice some elements are unreadable due to the dark theme, reboot the Chromebook and it should be fixed.