Why has Instagram gone black? Dark mode background explained, how to change it - and when was latest update?

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The social platform is currently undergoing some changes

Instagram is undergoing some major revamps to make the platform more immersive and user-friendly.

In the latest update, the app saw a dramatic change to  its background, with many users finding their profiles in dark mode.

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But why has the new update happened and can you change your background back to white?  Here’s what you need to know.

Why has Instagram gone black?

This week, Instagram users have logged in and found their background had suddenly turned black without them changing the settings.

Usually, people can choose whether to turn their background black or as it’s also known, into dark mode.

The sudden change could be due to the latest update, where your phone settings determine the colour of the app’s background, and for some people, this option is available through the app’s settings.

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For those without the ‘theme’ option in Instagram, and are still getting the black background: it depends on what your system perferences are like in your device.

If your iOS or Android device is set on light mode, Instagram’s background will appear white. If your device’s background is in dark mode, Instagram’s background will be black. It changes automatically according to your system preference in your phone’s settings.

To check what mode your phone is on, go to ‘settings’, ‘display & brightness’ and there will be an option for ‘Light’ or ‘Dark’.

By changing the mode on your phone, you can change the background of Instagram.

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Does Instagram have a dark mode feature on the app’s settings? 

For some users, a recent update means they can change their background from light mode to dark mode, or vice versa, through their Instagram account.

To see if you have the update, go on to your profile. In the hamburger menu in the top right-hand corner, click on ‘Settings’.

At the bottom of the menu, some users will see the word ‘Theme’ which will lead to a new menu with the options ‘Light’, ‘Dark’ and ‘System default’.


These users can choose what theme they would like their Instagram background to be, light (white), dark (black) or system default (whatever your device has been set up to do).

Have any other updates been enabled? 

For some users, posts now appear in full screen.

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This change is due to Instagram’s new layout which means posts are now bigger, and display in a 9:16 ratio.

Other changes, which have been slowly introduced since May 2022, also include a new brighter icon with the app’s signature colour gradient.

These new updates were announced in June by Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri.

He said: "We’re moving Instagram to a place where video is a bigger part of the home experience, where content is more immersive – it takes up more of the screen”.

Mosseri said that the changes are a trial and that they are going to "learn as much as we can over these next few weeks’ before introducing the features for everyone.”

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