Heat_Fan89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 23, 2016
814
688
Weird, it was working fine right up until the update yesterday to 15.5 and now Dark Mode (Auto) doesn't switch over. I checked that location was turned on and Dark Mode was set to "Auto". I have Night Shift set from Sunrise to Sunset and it's dark outside so it should make the switch. So I set N.S. to Custom, from 9pm to 7am. It did not make the switch over until I selected Light then Auto, that's when Auto when the switch to Dark Mode. Weird, anyone else have a working solution? I may just have to switch over manually until it sorts itself out.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 603
Jan 26, 2014
6,168
4,039
Horsens, Denmark
Weird, it was working fine right up until the update yesterday to 15.5 and now Dark Mode (Auto) doesn't switch over. I checked that location was turned on and Dark Mode was set to "Auto". I have Night Shift set from Sunrise to Sunset and it's dark outside so it should make the switch. So I set N.S. to Custom, from 9pm to 7am. It did not make the switch over until I selected Light then Auto, that's when Auto when the switch to Dark Mode. Weird, anyone else have a working solution? I may just have to switch over manually until it sorts itself out.

I haven’t updated yet, but a tip that may make it easier for you to work around until it’s fixed; There’s a tiny little app called Night Owl. It lives in the menu bar, and allows you to assign A keyboard shortcut to toggling dark mode. You can also right/optoon click the menu bar icon to toggle. It also has other features like forcing some apps to stay light in dark mode.

Alternatively, there’s a Terminal program you can brew install called dark-mode that can toggle it, so you could set up your own time-based scripts that toggles it with that command - like a cron job
 
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sdp77

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2019
107
32
Weird, it was working fine right up until the update yesterday to 15.5 and now Dark Mode (Auto) doesn't switch over. I checked that location was turned on and Dark Mode was set to "Auto". I have Night Shift set from Sunrise to Sunset and it's dark outside so it should make the switch. So I set N.S. to Custom, from 9pm to 7am. It did not make the switch over until I selected Light then Auto, that's when Auto when the switch to Dark Mode. Weird, anyone else have a working solution? I may just have to switch over manually until it sorts itself out.
Turn your computer off, give it a few minutes, restart. It might just solve it.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2019
1,557
847
Restarts haven't fixed it (it's completely broken, switching to light and back to auto and it then goes dark. Goes light just fine. Night shift works fine, and sometimes the dynamic wallpaper doesn't update)

It's a server side switch that is either being blocked at my router or my Mac can't pinpoint my location at times. Oddly though, if it let my Mac sleep to like 10 PM it wakes up dark like it should. But it stopped doing it while I'm using it a month or so ago.

I haven't updated beyond 10.15 itself. It's been hit or miss now completely broken. It goes from dark to light fine, but you have to toggle 'light' and 'auto' after sunset to have it switch to dark or use one of the manual modes. Dynamic wallpaper is randomly not changing as it should (twice this week stuck at mid-day or sunrise until I switched wallpapers then it cycled properly to sunset/night).

Only thing working 100% is night shift--right on cue.
 
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snyp1193

macrumors regular
Nov 2, 2019
107
52
Canada
It’s also been hit or miss sometimes for me. One reason for me was I’ve noticed Catalina sometimes is unable detect Location (you can tell by the arrow in the menu bar) and you need to untick/renable Location Services or restart the Mac (logging out doesn’t work). Very frustrating and 10.15.5 hasn’t done much to fix it.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2019
1,557
847
When mine doesn't update like it should the arrow for location doesn't display period. When it does display (solid black) you can notice the wallpaper updating.

I noticed last night the wallpaper despite it seeming to change when I went into settings-->desktop, it showed 'still' as the wallpaper type instead of having 'dynamic' selected. I've selected 'dynamic' and we'll see if it has any effect on the night/dark switch.

All my other devices (TV, iPhone, iPad, etc) seem to work perfectly fine. Just my Mac is missing whatever triggers dark mode over the internet.
 
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Heat_Fan89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 23, 2016
814
688
I haven’t updated yet, but a tip that may make it easier for you to work around until it’s fixed; There’s a tiny little app called Night Owl. It lives in the menu bar, and allows you to assign A keyboard shortcut to toggling dark mode. You can also right/optoon click the menu bar icon to toggle. It also has other features like forcing some apps to stay light in dark mode.
Thanks for the Night Owl aka Dark Night tip. It works great although it didn't match my sunrise to sunset. I went ahead and scheduled it to switch at a certain time of the day. I moved my 2012 mini back to Mojave so it really is a valuable app to automatically switch to Dark Mode.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2019
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847
I've just figured out that auto dark mode doesn't seem to trigger if I'm using my Mac when it should trigger. If I put it to sleep first, then wake it up, it goes dark. It does NOT behave this way going from dark to light. It USED to not do this going from light to dark. Up until a few weeks ago I'd be eying MacRumors or some other site that supports dark mode/light mode and it'd go dark to light or light to dark and a toast alert in Safari saying 'theme changed' would display for a second. Now it appears you have to sleep the Mac to make it switch or manually go into settings-->General and toggle light/auto. Why is this happening? Did they change how it behaves even without me ever doing any updates? The wallpaper seems to work fine.
 
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casperes1996

macrumors 603
Jan 26, 2014
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Horsens, Denmark
Thanks for the Night Owl aka Dark Night tip. It works great although it didn't match my sunrise to sunset. I went ahead and scheduled it to switch at a certain time of the day. I moved my 2012 mini back to Mojave so it really is a valuable app to automatically switch to Dark Mode.


You're very welcome. It's a great little tool, and I too use it on Mojave, though mostly for quick keyboard shortcut toggling to quickly see how my website behaves when toggling and such.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2019
1,557
847
BTW my Mac does actually switch to dark while in use. I at first figured it had to be asleep and woken up after the trigger should happen to switch but apparently Apple's servers think sunset for Kentuckians is at 9:50 PM.
 
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tthomson

macrumors newbie
May 20, 2020
27
21
Auto dark mode completely borked after 10.15.5. Quickly locking/sleeping the Macbook doesn't work. It only changes to dark if I go into general settings and select dark mode. Very annoying!
 
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Taz Mangus

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2011
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I haven’t noticed an issue with auto dark mode. Seems to work as expected for me.
 
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IvanW

macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2018
11
5
Well “auto” never worked in that the switch just does not happen while in use, 10.15.5 works for me like previous releases, that is, switching after display sleep/wake.
This begs another question though, why iOS switches while in use but macOS does not. So lame for macOS :mad:
 
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llllllllll

macrumors member
Mar 18, 2020
94
55
Auto dark mode completely borked after 10.15.5. Quickly locking/sleeping the Macbook doesn't work. It only changes to dark if I go into general settings and select dark mode. Very annoying!


Same here.
Night shift works as expected though..

Also dark mode works perfectly fine on my iPhone, just not on the Mac.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2019
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Auto dark mode works whenever it wants. The dynamic wallpaper sometimes breaks as well. It's some server side switch going bonkers IMO. I also have been having iMessage issues as well, getting messages hours after they were sent to me, or getting repeat messages, and this happens on all Apple devices.
 
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dschulian

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2015
227
392
Germany
Same here. Auto dark mode didn't even work once, since I've bought my MacBook Pro 16".. Dynamic wallpaper stops working every day.
 
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Taz Mangus

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2011
5,438
1,598
I just had dark mode fail on me today. My situation was that I had used the computer at night which triggered night mode. One of my kids needed to use the computer so they switched to their user account and used the computer. When they were done using the computer they closed the lid for the night. The next day when I opened the lid the computer to use it, I fast switched to my user account. Dark mode was still active. Going into System Preferences to toggle off/on dark mode did not help. Even enabling light-mode only did not help. If I fast user switched back to the kid's account, their account was correctly showing daylight mode. I had to logout and login again before dark mode was correct. That is the first time that dark mode was not working correctly. I reset PRAM to see if that helps.
 
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Heat_Fan89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 23, 2016
814
688
Dark Mode (Auto) continues to be glitchy for me. What I did to get around the glitch of not switching from light to dark automatically is I set Night Shift to come on at a certain time of day. Then Dark Mode switches over from light to dark usually 15 minutes after Night Shift comes on.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2019
1,557
847
I tried that manual night shift setting months ago, and all it done and did was not only not switch form dark to light, or light to dark, but my dynamic wallpaper refused to change. It just remained static. Whatever it did, it took away location-based settings that affected all those things. Night shift itself, however, came on at the manual setting.
 
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Heat_Fan89

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 23, 2016
814
688
I tried that manual night shift setting months ago, and all it done and did was not only not switch form dark to light, or light to dark, but my dynamic wallpaper refused to change. It just remained static. Whatever it did, it took away location-based settings that affected all those things. Night shift itself, however, came on at the manual setting.
In setting a custom schedule, the dynamic wallpaper changes the way it should and the theme switches from light to dark mode 15 minutes after Night Shift turns on. You may want to try it with another dynamic wallpaper and see if it changes with time.
 
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nickdalzell1

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2019
1,557
847
I only tried it with the default Catalina wallpaper and it refused to go light to dark or dark to light (night shift itself worked though) and the wallpaper was 'stuck' on whatever 'midday' look it had. It wasn't using location services either.

The only othe dynamic wallpapers were the gradients and the old Mojave one I'm not interested in either of those.

Whatever doing a custom schedule does, it apparently disables location services for the whole shebang.
 
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Taz Mangus

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2011
5,438
1,598
I just had dark mode fail on me today. My situation was that I had used the computer at night which triggered night mode. One of my kids needed to use the computer so they switched to their user account and used the computer. When they were done using the computer they closed the lid for the night. The next day when I opened the lid the computer to use it, I fast switched to my user account. Dark mode was still active. Going into System Preferences to toggle off/on dark mode did not help. Even enabling light-mode only did not help. If I fast user switched back to the kid's account, their account was correctly showing daylight mode. I had to logout and login again before dark mode was correct. That is the first time that dark mode was not working correctly. I reset PRAM to see if that helps.

Update on this. When the situation I described previous happens, if I put the computer to sleep and then wake it up, it switches from dark mode to light mode. Very repeatable (every time) on getting the issue to happen.
 
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IvanW

macrumors newbie
Nov 18, 2018
11
5
Update on this. When the situation I described previous happens, if I put the computer to sleep and then wake it up, it switches from dark mode to light mode. Very repeatable (every time) on getting the issue to happen.
Sounds about right (for macOS that is ;)
macOS only switches when there’s “kick” like login/logout or sleeping/waking the screen...
Not like iOS which indeed switches on the fly. Shame
 
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