Get YouTube Dark Mode (and No Ads) With YouTube Vanced for Android

Android: For some reason, Google has yet to provide its YouTube app for Android with the long-awaited update that finally opens up dark mode. IOS users can use dark mode. Web viewers can see dark mode. But Android? It’s either the bright side or nothing (at least at the time of this writing).

This is one of the reasons why I love the modified YouTube YouTube Vanced app, available as a free APK for rooted and stock Android devices. Open this webpage on your Android smartphone, find the correct version for your device – including the optional MicroG installation if you want to be able to sign into YouTube Vanced using your actual YouTube account – and download it. Open the APK, change your smartphone settings to allow installation from a non-Google Play source (if prompted) and you’re good to go. YouTube Vanced will appear inside your app, probably next to the official YouTube app.

When you download YouTube Vanced, you will see a fairly familiar interface. In fact, you probably won’t be able to tell it apart from regular old YouTube at a glance.

Click the person-shaped icon in the upper-right corner — your avatar if you’re logging into YouTube — and click Settings. You will now see a few additional sections that differ from YouTube, as well as a few additional options under sections such as General. Tap on it and you can switch to the dark theme of the app. This is amazing.

Head back to the main settings screen and you can tap Background to customize if you want the app to keep playing videos if it’s not in the foreground – a feature you usually get if you pay for YouTube Red.

You will also see a new “Advanced Settings” option on the main settings screen. Tap it, and in the subsequent video settings menu, you can choose your preferred video quality when you are connected to Wi-Fi, not when you are connected to a cellular network, at what default speed you want your videos to play, and whether you want subtitles for automatic triggering if the volume is turned off on your device.

There are tons of other options in the app that you can play with, but I find them generally the most useful. This is also a hidden function of the application – automatic ad blocking. I tested this by uploading a popular YouTube video, some of the WWE from a recent wrestling contest, and waiting for the ad to end before I could watch the actual video. When I found the same video on YouTube Vanced (and a few extras to make sure this wasn’t an accident), there were no ads.

That alone makes YouTube Vanced a great download. Turn on dark mode, background playback and some useful settings for playback, and I see no reason not to use this great YouTube alternative for Android.

Do you have an iOS or Android app that you really like? Leave a note in the comments or email me: .


Leave a Reply