Why is My Word Document Black? Reasons & Solutions

When your Word document has a black background, the text will become white, which is the opposite of the primary and default white theme with black text that many people are accustomed to.

If you’re also wondering why the light theme changed to black, it could be for a couple of reasons: either the dark mode (black theme) is enabled in Word, or you’re using a high-contrast theme on Windows.

The straightforward solution is to disable the dark mode in MS Word. The process is easy for all platforms (Windows, Mac, and mobile), which I will explain step by step. Secondly, you need to change the high-contrast themes on Windows. Simply select the white theme, and you will be good to go.

1. Change the Office Theme to White

If you enable the black theme by yourself, then it’s clear that your documents will appear black. However, if you’ve opened MS Word after some time and found your documents in dark mode, it could be because Word was updated and selected the black theme automatically.

Anyway, changing the black theme to white requires no hard-and-fast logic and can be done by anyone. I’ll mention the steps for each platform below.

On Windows

  1. Open MS Word and select Account at the bottom left.

Note: If you’ve opened a document, then look for Account in the File tab.

  1. Click on the drop-down arrow below the Office Theme section.
  2. Select the White theme and the settings will be saved automatically.

On Mac

  1. Open MS Word and click on Word located in the top-left corner.
  2. Go to Preferences > General.
  3. Enable the Turn off dark mode option in the Personalize section.

On Mobile

  1. Open Word and click on your profile image in the top-left corner.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. In the Display Preferences section, select the Light theme.

  1. Restart the Word app to apply the changes. 

You can also select System Default if you use a white theme on your smartphone.

2. Change High Contrast Windows Themes

High-contrast Windows themes are an alternative to dark mode. Not many people enable them, but if you have, it will be the reason for your doc files turning black.

You can disable these themes in 3 simple steps as follows:

  1. Type Themes in the Windows search and click on the Themes and related settings option.
  2. Scroll down and click on High contrast settings under Related settings.

  1. Now turn off the Turn on high contrast option.

3. Disable Dark Mode on your Device

Enabling dark mode on Windows, Mac, and mobile will give a black theme to every app that supports it. And this obviously includes MS Word. So, if you’re wondering why my Word document is black, the reason can very well be this.

Now follow the steps below to disable dark mode on these platforms.

On Windows

  1. Go to Settings > Personalization > Colors.
  2. Click on the drop-down arrow under Choose your color and select Light.


On Mac

  1. Click on the Apple icon located in the top-left corner.
  2. Go to System Preferences > General.
  3. Select the Light theme in the Appearance section.

On Mobile

  1. Go to Settings > Display.
  2. Select the Light theme to apply the changes.

(Found on multiple sites and checked it myself)

4. Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration in MS Office

Hardware graphics acceleration is one of the primary reasons why MS Word freezes or doesn’t run properly sometimes. Similarly, it can be the culprit behind your .docx file going black.

Enabling this option works fine for high-end computers, but it is not recommended for average systems. So, here’s how to disable hardware graphics acceleration:

  1. Open Word and click on Options on the bottom-left.
  2. Go to Advanced and tick the box that says Disable hardware graphics acceleration.

  1. Click OK to save the settings.
  2. Restart your computer and start using Word now.

Abdullah Iqbal

Abdullah is a Google IT certified Help Desk Technician with extensive experience in providing technical support to system users. He has a proven track record of effectively resolving IT issues, and is adept at working with tools like Jira and ZenDesk to efficiently manage support tickets. Abdullah is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and constantly seeks to improve his skills and knowledge through professional development opportunities.