Why is my word document black? How to fix

Why is my word document black? How to fix

Why is my word document black?

We have recently seen users complain about their Microsoft Office documents showing black background. While having a dark theme and background can be pleasant to many computer users, we cannot say the same for those that prefer light themes. What is more, even when you are a lover of dark themes, you want to have control over your system and be able to decide when dark themes should take over. However, Microsoft Word can automatically assign a dark theme to itself without the user’s involvement. If that is happening on your PC, you surely want to know why the Word Document has a black theme and background. And this post will help you understand why that happens and how to fix the issue.

Foremost, Microsoft document automatic dark theme is not caused by bugs. In fact, the program has nothing to do with it. Of all the things that can cause this document to be running on a dark mode without your approval, bugs are not part of them.

Why do Microsoft Word document run on a black background?

There are several things that can cause the Microsoft program to automatically appear on dark background. They are listed below.

One of the leading reasons your Microsoft document may be running on a black background happens due to the computer running on Dark Mode. What is more, this mode is not activated by itself. It is usually done by the user. However, sometimes, users activate the Dark Mode without their awareness. Hence, if you are seeing your Microsoft Word document appearing in the back background and theme, chances are, you have enabled it by accident, or someone who used your computer in the past made this happen.

Additionally, another reasonable cause is you may have recently chosen to use a high-contrast theme. Such themes have the ability to cause a change in the look of Microsoft Word documents that might not be pleasing to the eyes, or better still not pleasing to your eyes. Nonetheless, it is worthy of note that the computer hardware graphics acceleration can be the reason for the dark background with white text affecting a document.

How To Fix The Microsoft Document Dark Mode Issues

Below are the different ways you can solve the Word Document and other Microsoft Suite apps appearing on black background issue.

Disable Dark Mode in Microsoft Word

The first method to get rid of the black background on your Microsoft program involves disabling the Dark Mode feature that comes with the program. Turning off this feature requires you to go through the steps listed below.

  • Launch the Microsoft Office application. E.G Microsoft Word.
  • Go to the File tab on the top menu and click it to open the menu.
  • Now select Account.
  • Click on the Office Theme drop-down arrow.
  • Select Black to turn On the Dark Mode.

In a more descriptive sense, here is how to get started with disabling the Dark Mode on Microsoft Office. Foremost, make sure that Microsoft Word is up and running on the system. To do this, click on the shortcut on the Taskbar, Start Menu, or double-click on it if the shortcut is located on the Desktop.

Once the app is up, the next step is to navigate to the Account page. You can do this by clicking on File, then bringing the mouse cursor down to Account, and selecting it. Once you are at the Account area, locate the section that reads Office Theme, and click on the dropdown box to reveal the hidden menu items. From here, you can change the theme from Black to White. Additionally, even if your background is black due to System Settings, you can still change the theme color.

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Once you have made the changes, Microsoft Word should now return to having a white background with black text, which is the default mode. However, if after following the above steps, the Dark Mode persists, then something else is responsible for it. Read on to try the next solid.

Switch out of high-contrast themes

As earlier mentioned, using a high contrast theme on your Windows operating system is capable of causing the Microsoft programs such as Word and Excell to have a black background and theme. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem. And this is explained in this section of the post.

What is needed to be done when this is the cause of the problem, is to change the theme back to a regular one. Foremost, you need to find your way to the Settings page. You can get that done by pressing Windows + I keys. This will bring up the Settings page in all of its glory.

On the Settings page, click on Accessibility which is located on the left pane. This will reveal a bunch of options at the right. Now, scroll down to locate Contrast Themes and select it from the list of options. Then,  click on the box to reveal a dropdown menu in order to turn off the current Contrast Theme. From the dropdown menu, select None, and follow that up by hitting Apply. You will see a screen with a “Please Wait” screen. You just need to wait for a couple of seconds as instructed by the screen and things should return to normal moments later.

Turn off Hardware Graphics Acceleration

Microsoft Office is a very popular program that is found on most PC as it is very productive software that finds its usage across several fields. There are a few technologies responsible for this famous program and sometimes due to them, an average computer has to suffer. If you are facing an issue that makes your Microsoft applications appear on black background, then the technology named Hardware Graphics Acceleration may be the culprit behind this. It may surprise you to hear that almost in all cases, disabling the hardware acceleration for graphics does the trick and solves black background issues, thereby bringing the background and theme back to normal.

Here, you will be shown how to disable hardware acceleration of graphics using the UI and this popular app called Registry Editor.

How to turn off or disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration in Office using UI

  • Launch any Microsoft Office app; e.g. Word.
  • As the app starts up, create a blank document, and click File.
  • On the different fields that appear under the File, click on Options.
  • On the next screen, select Advanced in the left pane. Then in the right pane, scroll down and locate “Disable hardware graphics acceleration” under the Display section, check this option, and click OK.

That is it. You can now close the Microsoft program and reboot the system. As the system restarts, the black background issue should be gone. You can now start enjoying your Microsoft programs in normal colors.

How to turn off or disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration in Office using Registry Editor

  • Bring up the Windows Run command using Windows Key + R shortcut combination.
  • In the input dialog box, type regedit and hit the Enter key. This will open the Registry Editor.
  • In the left pane, navigate to the address shown below:


  • Now, start the process by creating a subkey to Common by right-clicking over it and selecting New -> Key. Name this subkey as Graphics.
  • Next, in the right pane of the Graphics subkey, create a new DWORD by right click on a blank space and selecting New -> DWORD Value. Name the newly created DWORD as DisableHardwareAcceleration and double click on it
  • In the box that appears, change the Value data to 1 from 0, and then click OK.
  • Now close the Registry Editor and restart the system to make changes effective.

Following all of the methods given above would definitely have solved the issue of a black background on your Microsoft Office program. Now that the problem gone, you may have a reason to return the program back to the dark mode. To do that, you just have to follow the steps discussed below.

How to enable Dark mode for a single PC

  • Launch the Microsoft program and click on the File tab.
  • Then go to Options.
  • Scroll down to the Office Theme.
  • Finally, change the theme to White.

Departing Thoughts

While it may not be what you want at all times, from what we can tell, Dark Mode could decrease eye strain especially if you are one of those users that stay glued to the computer screen for a long period. Having said that, we have not come across any conclusive evidence to say the benefits are factual. What we do know for certain though, is that Dark Mode extends the battery life of your device. Regardless, it is our belief that after reading this post, you should know why this dark mode activated without your consent. As well, you should now know how to fix this issue whenever you run into it. We hope that this post was not a waste of time for you. You can try the methods introduced in this post to solve the issue and let us know your experience trying them out. Be sure to check our other posts and let us know what you feel about them.

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