Color Mode

Chakra UI comes with built-in support for managing color mode in your apps.

By default, most of Chakra's components are dark mode compatible. In some scenarios, you might need to make your component respond to color mode.

Tip: Chakra stores the color mode in localStorage or in cookies and appends a className to the body to ensure the color mode is persistent.

In case you need to reset the color mode, you must delete the item from localStorage or cookies, so on next page load the value is initialized like the first time user visited the page.

Introduction to Color Mode#

In the recent years, operating systems (system for this guide) give user the option to choose from Light or Dark color mode. Some operating systems include also an automatic option that toggle color mode based on daylight, (day = light, night = dark).

Browsers can access this value provided by the operating system, and subscribe to the changes.

With Chakra UI, you can customize the behavior of color mode.

You can decide:

  • Where to store the current value, choosing from localStorage, cookies, or custom.
  • If the application color mode changes based on the system's color mode.
  • Whether the initial value (used on the first visit or after storage reset) is decided by the system or the developer.

Setup#

To get dark mode working correctly, you need to do two things:

  1. Update your theme config to determine how Chakra UI should manage color mode updates.

  2. Add the ColorModeScript to your application, and set the initial color mode your application should start with to either light, dark or system. It is light by default.

Updating the theme config#

The theme config for color mode has 2 options:

  • initialColorMode: The initial mode you'd like your app to start with when user visit the page for first time (or after storage reset). Can be one of dark, light or system. Default is light.

  • useSystemColorMode: If true, Chakra UI subscribes to changes in system color mode. If set to false, the app's color mode is detached from the system color mode. Default is false.

// theme.js
// 1. import `extendTheme` function
import { extendTheme } from '@chakra-ui/react'
// 2. Add your color mode config
const config = {
initialColorMode: 'light',
useSystemColorMode: false,
}
// 3. extend the theme
const theme = extendTheme({ config })
export default theme

For typescript, you need to explicitly describe the theme config type as ThemeConfig object.

// theme.ts
// 1. import `extendTheme` function
import { extendTheme, type ThemeConfig } from '@chakra-ui/react'
// 2. Add your color mode config
const config: ThemeConfig = {
initialColorMode: 'light',
useSystemColorMode: false,
}
// 3. extend the theme
const theme = extendTheme({ config })
export default theme

Remember to pass your custom theme to the ChakraProvider, otherwise your color mode config won't be taken into consideration.

Common Configurations#

To help you define your desired behavior, here we define all common usage of the theme config. In alternative, you can use this playground to try different values.

Note The hook useColorMode let you update color mode of your app in every cases. Learn more

// A.
// System sets initial value.
// App subscribes to system color mode changes.
const config: ThemeConfig = {
initialColorMode: 'system',
useSystemColorMode: true,
}
// B.
// System sets initial value.
// App color mode is detached from system color mode changes.
const config: ThemeConfig = {
initialColorMode: 'system',
useSystemColorMode: false,
}
// C.
// You choose initial value.
// App color mode is detached from system color mode changes.
const config: ThemeConfig = {
initialColorMode: 'dark', // 'dark' | 'light'
useSystemColorMode: false,
}
// D.
// You choose initial value.
// App subscribes to system color mode changes.
const config: ThemeConfig = {
initialColorMode: 'dark', // 'dark' | 'light'
useSystemColorMode: true,
}

Behavior of ColorMode#

The current hierarchy of how Chakra UI resolves the color mode:

  • Get the color mode value in the specified storage (localStorage, cookie manager or custom)

  • If value doesn't exist, use the initialColorMode value specified.

    • If the initial value is system, then we'll compute the color mode using matchMedia
    • Else, we use the initial value as is.
  • If user specifies useSystemColorMode: true, then we'll subscribe to color mode changes from the operating system. It is no longer used to determine the initial color mode. To achieve that, please use initialColorMode: "system"

Tip: In case you need to reset the color mode, you must delete the item in the specified storage (localStorage, cookie manager or custom), so on next page load the value is initialized like the first time user visited the page.

Difference between initialColorMode='system' and useSystemColorMode#

initialColorMode value is used to determine the value on first visit, or after a storage reset.

useSystemColorMode is a boolean that indicates if Chakra UI must subscribes (and updates) based on the operating system's color mode changes. If useSystemColorMode=true and operating system changes from light to dark, due to a manual or automatic switch, the page automatically changes color mode, without user interaction. If useSystemColorMode=false color mode can only be changed via the useColorMode hook.

Adding the ColorModeScript#

The color mode script needs to be added before the content inside the body tag for local storage syncing to work correctly.

When setting the initial color mode, we recommend adding it as a config to your theme and reference that in the ColorModeScript.

To use ColorModeScript on a site with strict Content-Security-Policy, you can use the nonce prop that will be passed to the <script> tag.

For Next.js#

For Next.js, you need to add the ColorModeScript to the _document.js file.

// pages/_document.js
import { ColorModeScript } from '@chakra-ui/react'
import NextDocument, { Html, Head, Main, NextScript } from 'next/document'
import theme from './theme'
export default class Document extends NextDocument {
render() {
return (
<Html lang='en'>
<Head />
<body>
{/* 👇 Here's the script */}
<ColorModeScript initialColorMode={theme.config.initialColorMode} />
<Main />
<NextScript />
</body>
</Html>
)
}
}

For Create React App#

For Create React App, you need to add the ColorModeScript to the index.js file.

// index.js
import { ColorModeScript } from '@chakra-ui/react'
import * as ReactDOM from 'react-dom/client'
import App from './App'
import theme from './theme'
const rootElement = document.getElementById('root')
ReactDOM.createRoot(rootElement).render(
<>
{/* 👇 Here's the script */}
<ColorModeScript initialColorMode={theme.config.initialColorMode} />
<App />
</>,
)

For Gatsby#

Install @chakra-ui/gatsby-plugin in your project. You can read more in the Chakra UI + Gatsby guide.

Changing Color Mode#

To manage color mode in your application, Chakra UI exposes the useColorMode or useColorModeValue hooks.

useColorMode#

useColorMode is a React hook that gives you access to the current color mode, and a function to toggle the color mode.

function Example() {
const { colorMode, toggleColorMode } = useColorMode()
return (
<header>
<Button onClick={toggleColorMode}>
Toggle {colorMode === 'light' ? 'Dark' : 'Light'}
</Button>
</header>
)
}

Calling toggleColorMode anywhere in your app tree toggles the color mode from light or dark and vice versa.

useColorModeValue#

useColorModeValue is a React hook used to change any value or style based on the color mode. It takes 2 arguments: the value in light mode, and the value in dark mode.

// Here's the signature
const value = useColorModeValue(lightModeValue, darkModeValue)

Here's an example that changes the background-color and color using the useColorModeValue hook.

Click the Toggle Mode button to see it in action.

function StyleColorMode() {
const { toggleColorMode } = useColorMode()
const bg = useColorModeValue('red.500', 'red.200')
const color = useColorModeValue('white', 'gray.800')
return (
<>
<Box mb={4} bg={bg} color={color}>
This box's style will change based on the color mode.
</Box>
<Button size='sm' onClick={toggleColorMode}>
Toggle Mode
</Button>
</>
)
}

Forcing a specific mode#

In some occasions, you might want Chakra UI components to look the same in both light and dark modes. To achieve this, wrap the component in a LightMode or DarkMode component. Doing this will override the global colorMode.

Click the "Toggle Mode" button to see it in action.

function Example() {
const { colorMode, toggleColorMode } = useColorMode()
return (
<HStack>
<LightMode>
<Button size='sm' colorScheme='blue'>
Light Mode Always
</Button>
</LightMode>
<DarkMode>
<Button size='sm' colorScheme='blue'>
Dark Mode Always
</Button>
</DarkMode>
<Button size='sm' colorScheme='blue' onClick={toggleColorMode}>
Toggle Mode
</Button>
</HStack>
)
}

Add colorModeManager (Optional, for SSR)#

For server-side rendered sites, e.g. in Next.js, you may want to know the color preference of a user upfront so you can avoid rendering the initial color mode and then changing it during hydration (so-called flashing).

If you don't use SSR or don't care about this, you don't need to pass anything. Chakra UI will use localStorageManager by default.

Here's how to do this in Next.js 9.3 or newer:

  1. Create a reusable wrapper as demonstrated in the examples:
// e.g. src/Chakra.js
// a) import `ChakraProvider` component as well as the storageManagers
import {
ChakraProvider,
cookieStorageManagerSSR,
localStorageManager,
} from '@chakra-ui/react'
export function Chakra({ cookies, children }) {
// b) Pass `colorModeManager` prop
const colorModeManager =
typeof cookies === 'string'
? cookieStorageManagerSSR(cookies)
: localStorageManager
return (
<ChakraProvider colorModeManager={colorModeManager}>
{children}
</ChakraProvider>
)
}
// also export a reusable function getServerSideProps
export function getServerSideProps({ req }) {
return {
props: {
// first time users will not have any cookies and you may not return
// undefined here, hence ?? is necessary
cookies: req.headers.cookie ?? '',
},
}
}
  1. Import your wrapper component setting up Chakra UI:
// setup your wrapper in the _app file (e.g: pages/_app.js)
import { Chakra } from "../src/Chakra";
export default function App({ Component, pageProps }) {
return (
<Chakra cookies={pageProps.cookies}>
<Component {...pageProps} />
</Chakra>
);
}
// e.g pages/index.js
export default function Index() {
return <h1>Example</h1>;
}
// re-export the reusable `getServerSideProps` function
export { getServerSideProps } from "./Chakra";

If you need to know the name of the Chakra cookie for specific reasons, it's chakra-ui-color-mode. Also, if you use colorModeManager, you can avoid adding the <ColorModeScript /> to _document.js.

Important: if you're using Next.js 9.3 or newer, the Next.js team recommends avoiding getInitialProps. The following example is for Next 9.2 or older!

// pages/_app.js
import {
ChakraProvider,
cookieStorageManagerSSR,
localStorageManager,
} from '@chakra-ui/react'
export default function App({ cookies }) {
// 2. Pass `colorModeManager` prop - it finds the relevant cookie on its own
return (
<ChakraProvider
colorModeManager={
typeof cookies === 'string'
? cookieStorageManagerSSR(cookies)
: localStorageManager
}
>
<h1>Example</h1>
</ChakraProvider>
)
}
App.getInitialProps = ({ req }) => {
return {
// first time users will not have any cookies and you may not return
// undefined here, hence ?? is necessary
cookies: req.headers.cookie ?? '',
}
}

Color Mode Flash Issue#

In some cases, when you switch to dark mode and refresh the page, you might experience a quick flash of light mode before it switches correctly.

This is a known issue and we're looking to fix it. If you have some ideas, feel free to share with us on Discord or GitHub.

Edit this page on GitHub

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