How to change visual theme on BlackBerry OS 10.2

How to change visual theme on BlackBerry OS 10.2
By DJ Reyes on 24 Oct 2013 06:58 pm EDT

The subject of dark them and light theme became big discussion when the BlackBerry Q10 came out with a dark theme. The Q10 got a dark theme due to it's AMOLED screen. Black pixels meant it would use no power. The BBM app was a dark theme and so was the Calendar and Contacts apps. Certain apps could also be coded to have the dark theme on the Q10. Many Z10 owners were then wanting the option for a dark theme. As a lover of the Q10 device, I enjoyed the dark theme a lot and I was very annoyed when Q10 owners lost the dark theme when the 10.1 Maintenance Release came out. I said my piece and a lot agreed with some welcoming the light theme.

Fast forward to now and the ability to choose between the light and dark theme is upon us. The update to OS 10.2 will bring this option and for those of you who would like to switch it up to the dark theme, here's how to do it. By default, the light theme is selected. 

Also note that the ability to change visual theme is only found in OS and above. Unfortunately, the BlackBerry Z30 devices came with a lower OS 10.2 version so the option to change themes is not available. Hopefully, the Z30 will get an update soon.

How to change visual theme for SMS

  • Go to the Hub by swiping up from the bottom bezel and to the right or by using the BlackBerry Hub icon
  • Tap the overflow menu (three dots on the bottom right)
  • Tap Settings, then Text Messages
  • Find the Visual Theme dropdown menu and tap to select your theme

You will only see the theme in text conversations, not in the Hub.

Change Visual Theme for SMS

How to change visual theme for the Calendar app

  • Open up the Calendar by tapping Calendar icon from the Homescreen
  • Swipe down from the top bezel to bring up more options
  • Tap Settings, then General
  • Tap the Visual Theme dropdown menu and choose your preference
  • Close app and re-open to see the changes

Change Visual Theme for Calendar

How to change the visual theme for the Contacts app

  • Open up the Contacts app by tapping the Contacts icon from the Homescreen
  • Swipe down from the top bezel to bring up more options
  • Tap Settings
  • Under Default Theme tap the dropdown menu and select your preferred theme
  • Close the contacts app and re-open to see the changes

Change Visual Theme for Contacts

How to change the visual theme for BBM

  • Open up BBM by tapping the BBM icon from the Homescreen
  • Swipe down from the top bezel to bring up more options
  • Tap Settings
  • Scroll down to the bottom and find the Visual Theme dropdown menu
  • Select your theme
  • Close app and re-open to see the changes

Change Visual Theme for BBM

There you have it. If you're a Q10 owner and have missed the dark theme. Get it back now. Z10 owners, you can now give it a try.

Please note: If you are running the BBM Channels beta on your BlackBerry 10 device, you will NOT have the option to change to a dark theme on BBM. Check out all our BlackBerry 10 tips, tricks and how-tos for more.

Reader comments

How to change visual theme on BlackBerry OS 10.2


If your Z30 is running 1521, there won't be an option. I should have mentioned it is only found in OS and above

Yeah I went nuts trying to figure this out on my Z30. I'm running Hope to see it on the next update

Posted via CB10

Yeah me too. I spent hours trying to figure it out. I started to think I was losing my mind, good to see I'm not. Come on Z30 upgrade!

Posted via CB10 using my new Zed30 check out my channel @ C00121C1B

For some reason my texts won't switch over to dark theme. On my official Telus version something... Tried the old reset hub and everything. Weird.
Contacts, calender and bbm work. The 10.2 beta dark theme for texts caused a bunch of bugs,, maybe they blocked it out for now

How did you fix it? I can only get three of the four apps to switch to dark mode - calendar, bbm, and contacts. I cannot get text messages to switch to dark theme. It has been selected and I have rebooted my phone - any idea? How did you fix it??

You don't have to reboot. Just swipe diagonally from the top right hand corner in the hub to reset it and it will work.

Posted via CB10

Hmmm... I try doing this and nothing happens :(. I might do the gesture incorrectly. Is there a tutorial somewhere for this gesture?

Posted via CB10

Could you let me know how to get the dark theme on BBM With channel or if not possible how to delete BBM Channel? I tried deleting it, but no luck. Thanks. I hope to hear from you.

Posted via CB10

Well I guess that's it, I'm going to have to buy a Z30 lol. I was on the fence about it, but now I have no choice, CB is one of the main apps I use and it kills the battery fast with all its white background.


The question is, How can we get the Bar file of BBM for this version ? Because many people wants to go back from BBM Channels beta to the official BBM of 10.2!
Unfortunately, its very easy to go back from beta version to the official one on legacy devices but its not on BB10!

If I remember right, I did a device wipe and only restored settings but nothing else (to get back my password keeper stuff and saved wifi networks settings) and then there was no bbm channels.

But I'll wait for an update before I remove channels again. But I can't wait for dark bbm!

Please hurry beta team

Posted from CB10 via Zed10.

I don't like using the dark theme on Bbm and text it's pretty annoying to me I just have it on for contacts and calendar

Posted via CB10

Ah, that is why I can't find it on my Z10 even though I have OS Thanks for the information.

Posted via Me on my Z

Not this update. A future update to 10.2.1... the update branch we're getting is only 10.2.0

Posted via CB10

I have a leaked 10.2 for z10 and cannot find the visual themes anywhere! Please help

Posted via CB10

As long as you're running and higher you should be able to change theme. Leak or official.

Posted via CB10

For the text settings, when you say "close the app " do you mean change the menu back to the main hub?

Posted via CB10

Yeah. I was hoping the same thing. It's by far the most viewed screen. Emails didn't get a dark theme either. Why didn't they just create a dark them from Display settings and cut the hassle in half?

Posted via Z10 STL100-3 using CB10. Fido, Toronto.

I agree with you for the hub, but not across the board. For example I prefer my calendar in light theme and I'm glad I have the option.

Maybe in the display there should be an on/off switch for all apps individuality and hub. Cause I would hate a blanket setting

Posted from CB10 via Zed10.

But is that how it is supposed to be? i would think that the dark theme would apply to the list of SMS messages, and also when you open up specific ones. Seems odd that it would remain light on the list and only apply the dark theme when you open it.

I can't get it done for my contacts I've been trying for ages, i have the leak Z10STL100-3/ i open contacts, select settings n then dark theme, close it and still light! I've closed it from settings screen and from exiting settings and closing contacts, ne1 else having issues?

Posted via CB10

So how do I remove bbm channels beta? It's the cause of the dark theme disappearance and the toast notifications

Posted via Z10 STL100-3 using CB10. Fido, Toronto.

Doesn't work for contacts as of The option is there but it does not save it.

Posted via CB10

There isn't an option to save. You just have to close the Contacts app and reopen to see the changes

Posted via CB10

All mine are set to dark in Z10 but no change. I've rebooted and closed down the apps. This is happening for Hub, calendar and contacts.

Posted via CB10

If you have trouble getting contacts or calendar to remember the setting up on re-opening them, try first closing them by holding your thumb on the x until the app closes (do not release your thumb prematurely!)

Posted via CB10

Aww, im using bbm wih beta zone....

I want dark theme in my bbm badly ,please make it for us asap.. ty!

Posted via CB10

I like the dark theme for bbm and texts, makes reading easier. Not a fan for calendar and contacts though...

From the mind of a MaNiAc

If you have channels you won't have the option. If you're not running channels, make sure to scroll down to the bottom of BBM settings

Posted via CB10

But it's sad. I mean. We are helping out BlackBerry by risking and trying out channels for them. And then we always get to suffer one set back or the other. Not cool at all, and how can there not be an easy way to go back to the normal bbm. I put a friend on channels nw she wants to go back and she can't. Making me look evil. I haven't told anyone else about channels since then.

From Zuri my Z10.

Same here with me. I looked really bad with not being able to roll back bbm to the version without channels when it took all but a min or two to install the channels beta version on a friend's Z10. When I told her we need to connect to a computer and do a back up and reinstall the OS you should have seen the expression.

Posted via CB10

I switched to dark theme on txt but don't stick...always on the light theme!!

Fired from my Z10

Dark theme here, light theme there. These are the inconsistencies that fanboys and reviewers alike pick apart. This feature should be a simple toggle in the Settings>Display menu, not in individual apps. #really #commonsense

Posted via CB10

Yes, the Display menu should have a toggle that turns on (or off) the dark theme universally. Having some apps as light and some as dark is silly and smacks of poor judgement on the part of BlackBerry.

Just picked up the Z30. Can't wait for the option to switch between light and dark themes. Anyone else notice that the Crackberry mobile app content doesn't quite fit the screen on the z30?

Posted via CB10

if the settings aren't in the HUB then you gotta open the app and get to the settings for that app by swiping top down!
I've changed my BBM and Contacts apps to use the dark theme but not the SMS app because it looks shiz. The Contacts app with the dark theme is the BEST.

I could not find on my Z10-2, please I need some help, I get on settings and can´t find it I don´t have the option.

Please read because if you have channels you can not do the dark theme for BBM....hope for a update/change....soon!!

Posted via CB10

Hey guys can someone if they had this problem help me please , I tried to change my to the break theme but only BBM works, anyone know why this is not changing?

Posted via CB10

Just a guess but this way you have individual control over each app. Would be cool if in future update they had as a separate item under the settings where they listed all the apps you could switch and have a device wide setting in that list.

I do have to say from 10.0 to 10.2 since February is pretty amazing. BlackBerry staff have been working their ass off to get us from point A to point B in a short period of time.

Posted via CB10

What if it changes from dark to light theme on its own?? I've had dark theme for a couple of weeks and today it switched back and won't go back to dark. Closing out and restart did nothing.

Via my Z10 -4 on Verizon

For contacts and calendar apps, send the app to the Active Frame state and then close by holding the "X" until the app closes. For the text messages it's only when you are in a conversation that the dark theme is displayed. I have BBM beta running and as such it is not currently an option for me so no tips on that front.

Posted via CB10

Thank goodness. I actually opened the crackberry app just to search for how to do this, and it was the first headline. Good timing :)

Posted via CB10

I managed to change the visual theme from light to dark for BBM, the calendar app, the text messages app, and the contacts app on my Z10. The dark theme looks amazing and I like it better than the light theme.

Thanks DJ changed my z10 to dark theme it is great to have the option. Your instructions were perfect so easy to change.
There's one problem with my Telus update I lost the email signature sent from my BlackBerry 10.
I'm definitely disappointed because I loved advertising my email came from my BlackBerry smartphone. How can I get this back up and sending again?

Posted via CB10

Here's our how to on changing your email signature on BlackBerry 10

I can't seem to get my dark theme on to my BBM :-( I manage to get it on other apps though

DJ, thank you, I thought I had all of the dark themes selected, but you showed the Text app, which I had missed.

Interestingly, I find the dark themes much easier to read.

Thanks again.

Posted via CB10

I want my BlackBerry hub and settings to have dark theme. I hope they can include it on the next update. Do z10 users benefit from dark themes in terms of power consumption even without having an amoled screen?

Dark contacts finally works for me.. now if we could get a Dark Crackberry Theme...
Be doubly nice if there was HUB integration like fb and twitter and the like for the CB app.

Can you change the HUB BBM to dark? My BBM app is dark now, but remains light in the hub...

Posted via CB10

Wasn't there an announcement for bb 10.2 about the settings menu being dark, too? Well, mine is still light. Does anyone have a dark menu now?

Posted via DoomBerry

Z10 on UK's EE Network. OS

Dark theme works on Text, BBM and Calender screens but not on contacts, even after I've closed and reopened it. May try a reboot. If that doesn't work then there's an issue with the contacts' dark theme setting.

Posted via CB10

Just tried a reboot. Dark theme now works on Text, BBM, Calendar AND Contacts! All these apps now look great! Well done BlackBerry. Now all we need is Contact Groups and the business tool I bought, (my Z10), will be complete...

Posted via CB10

Hi, Is their any way to change the theme in the Phone or Remember Apps, Stuck on Dark on my Z30, i really hate it. Thanks

After the upgrade I've notice the Dark Theme is only temporary. Maybe a bug in 10.2. After changing Light Theme to Dark for Contacts, it will eventually flip back to Light Theme? I then change back to Dark Theme and same happens again? I've given up now! Hopefully the next update will correct this?

Posted using my Q10

Living the dark theme. Had to reboot phone to get it to work on Calendar, no hardship.
Text, Calendar and Contacts look fab. Cannot do BBM as have the Beta....debating getting rid of that..:)

Posted via CB10 from my Z10

Great article DJ! You did mention that the Z30 wasn't capable of this until a further update, not sure why so many people are having problems trying to figure that out.

Posted via CB10

I can't get text messages to be on the dark theme. It is selected but it doesn't work. I have rebooted the phone. Any suggestions?

Sometimes the dark theme changes unwanted to light again, pretty annoying. Also, I hope they would expand the dark theme including the hub and more for those who want it. I personally don't want only parts in dark, rest in white, it hurts my eyes :p
By the way, the new copy paste options are good but the paste icon doesn't react right away.

CB10 - Q10

Would like to see the option for the black theme for BBM. I'm using the beta BBM zone channels however.

Posted via CB10

When are we gonna get this option for the CrackBerry App? I should be able to use black CB10 on my Z10

Posted via CB10

Best ever, I was annoyed when they made my calendar white on my q10..happy I have the option

Posted via CB10

i demand the dark theme system wide!
Blackberry looks so much cool with it .
I've a Z10 and wanted to use the dark theme since the first day.