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Change the Background in Microsoft Word – Dark to Light

If you open Microsoft Word (this may also be applicable to other Office suite programs) and discover that the page background has gone on to “dark mode”, this is easy to fix.

There are 3 reasons that this may have occurred, we will run through the 3 methods to change the background of your page back to white (light).

3 Reasons Word Has Switched to Dark Mode

The most likely reason for Word displaying with a dark background is that your Windows Theme has overridden the settings for how apps should appear.

  1. Windows Dark Theme has overridden appearance of apps
  2. Settings within Office have changed
  3. Accessibility Mode has been enabled

The instructions in this article will work for both Windows 10 & Windows 11.

Note: If you would like the page background to be dark, reverse the instructions in this guide.

A dark background may be beneficial if you are working in a low-light environment or may be beneficial for you if you have visual impairment.

It’s worth noting that if Microsoft Office does appear with a dark background due to a theme or contrast setting, this will not affect how the document will print. When printing or saving as PDF, the dark background will not print as such.

Method 1 – Change Windows Theme (Dark Settings)

If the Windows (Appearance) settings have changed to “dark mode”, this can affect apps such as Word. To correct this follow these steps:

Change Dark Mode to Light Mode For Apps in Windows

  1. Open Settings (from the Start Menu) and in the search box type the word dark.
  2. Select “Turn on Dark Mode for Apps”.
  3. From the drop-down, select Light.
Change Dark Mode to Light in Windows 11
In Windows, switching from Dark Mode to Light mode

Method 2 : Settings Within Microsoft Word

To locate Options within Microsoft Word (this will work within Excel & PowerPoint), open Word and within the Welcome screen, Options is usually down at the bottom-left.

How To Change Appearance Within Word Settings

  1. Open Microsoft Word > Options
  2. In Options > General: Locate the section titled “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office”
  3. Select the box that reads “Never change the document page color”.
  4. Click OK to save & exit.
How to locate and open Options in Microsoft Word
In Microsoft Word, how to alter color appearance of the page

Method 3: Accessibility Mode Has Been Enabled

Accessibility mode is built into Windows to assist users with visual impairment. If this mode has been accidentally enabled, this can cause your Microsoft Word pages to appear in dark mode or high contrast mode.

To Switch-Off Accessibility Mode Follow These Steps:

  1. Open Settings (from the Start Menu) and in the search box type the word contrast.
  2. Select “Contrast Themes”.
  3. Within Contrast Themes – select None.
In Windows how to access the Accessibility contrast settings
In Windows Accessibility Settings, how to switch on or off

Note: Accessibility contrast control can be changed (enabled or disabled) using the following keyboard shortcut:

To Switch Accessibility Contrast Hold Alt | Shift | PrtScr

Alt + left Shift + Print Screen

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