How to Get Night Mode (White Text & Black Background) on Kobo eReaders

How to Get Night Mode (White Text & Black Background) on Kobo eReaders e-Reading Hardware Kobo Tips and Tricks

Kobo gives readers a nearly infinite number of different ways to tweak their reading experience so it's perfect. We can change the margins to either leave a pleasant amount of whitespace or to save as much screen real estate as possible, we can adjust line heights to the optimum setting for our reading comfort, and we can even install the font of our choosing.

Just about the only option Kobo does not give readers is a night reading mode. This is the name given to when you display white text on a black background so that when you read in the dark, it feels like there's less light shining in your face (this could be readers tricking themselves, but that is how it feels).

Fortunately, there is a way to enable night mode on Kobo ereaders, including the Aura H2O and the Aura One, but there is a catch: You have to change a system setting for your ereader to make it switch to white text on a black screen. There's no easy way to toggle it on and off, which means you have to be willing to use night mode all the time.

If you want to do that, you'll need a USB cable, your Kobo ereader, and a PC.

How to Invert the Background and Font Color on Kobo eReaders

  1. The first thing you need to do is connect your ereader to your PC with the USB cable, and then open the file manager on your computer.
  2. Find the ".kobo" folder, open it, and then open the "kobo" folder found inside it.
  3. Select the "Kobo eReader.conf" file, right-click it, and choose the option to edit the file. (Notepad on Windows is a good option, although I usually use an app called Textpad).
  4. After you have the file open, you will need to scroll down and add a couple lines of text to the end of the file. Make sure it is written exactly like this on two lines:
  5. Once you have added the lines of text, save the file, eject your Kobo ereader, and reboot the ereader (hold down the power button until it turns off, and then press it again to restart it).

After your ereader boots, you should be able to see that the night mode setting has taken effect. If you don't see it, reboot the ereader, and then repeat the above steps.

About Nate Hoffelder (9907 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

5 Comments on How to Get Night Mode (White Text & Black Background) on Kobo eReaders

  1. I thought Wal Mart was supposed to start selling these things. What’s the point in announcing it and not doing it for months?

  2. The thing is… night mode is almost pointless on an e-ink reader, which has an opaque screen to begin with. I suppose a black background might (might) absorb more of the front-light then a white one, but the difference won’t be that much.

    Night mode is much more useful in a LCD screen where the liquid crystals will actually block the backlight, instead of just (hopefully) absorbing more of it.

  3. DMK, if you haven’t tried it, you simply don’t know what you’re talking about. I use night mode on my various E Ink Kobo devices frequently (there’s a more comprehensive solution available on the Mobileread forum, that allows easy toggling between day mode and night mode), and, indeed Kindle has now followed suit and offers a night mode on their top-end E Ink models. The difference in eye-strain when reading at night is huge, and in night mode I can read without disturbing my wife in bed next to me, whereas in day mode the sidelight (there’s no such thing as “backlight” on an E Ink device) provides too much illumination in a darkened room even at very low brightness settings because of the white background.

  4. Is there a way to reverse this?

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