How to Use Night/Dark Mode on Google Nest Hub Smart Display


The Nest Hub, Hub Max, and similar Nest devices have great smart displays where you can search for information, watch shows or cooking videos, video chat with family, or play interactive games. However, these screens can sometimes be a little too bright, especially if you’re trying to enjoy a quiet evening or sleep in the same room.

The solution is a dark mode you can turn on to help reduce bright white screens, as well as several important brightness settings you can tweak to whatever you want. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Update your Nest Hub and the Google Home app

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This step is always important when making changes to a smart screen. Your Nest Hub should update automatically as long as it’s properly connected to your Wi-Fi network. You should also visit your mobile device’s app store and ensure that the Google Home app is fully updated. You are now ready!

Step 2: Go to your Nest device settings

Google Home icon on home screen.
Simon Sage / Digital Trends

Open your Google Home app. On the home screen, you should see a list of your currently connected devices. Select your Nest Hub device from this list by tapping its icon.

On the Nest device screen, look in the top right for the Settings button, which looks like a gear icon. Select the Settings icon.

Step 3: Choose Night/Dark mode for your Nest Hub

Google Home app.

In the Settings menu, select To display.

This action will take you to another menu with a variety of choices to directly change how the display works. Start by going to Theme section. Change the Theme for Dark.

Note that there is also a Auto mode, which uses the Nest Hub’s sensors to detect ambient light and adjust the screen brightness accordingly. If you’re not already using Auto mode, it might be worth a try: it might fix your brightness problem while ensuring the Nest device is still usable. But if you want the screen to be as dark as possible or you don’t like light colors, then the Dark option is the best choice.

Step 3: Choose the brightness working mode

Nest Hub display settings.

Enabling Night/Dark mode is just the first step. There are several other settings to choose from that control how screen brightness works and can make a big difference depending on your purpose. Here’s what to watch out for:

Low light activation: This mode is especially useful for sleeping or similar situations. Choose if you want this mode to turn on when the room light is on. Weak (like when the evening goes down), or when it’s Dark (like when you turn off the lights to fall asleep).

In low light: This option specifies exactly what low light mode can do. You can either choose to Turn off the screenwhich is fine if you don’t want any light at all, or Show Clockwhich is the best option if you’re using the Nest Hub as an alarm clock.

Minimum brightness: Select screen brightness. This setting is not the permanent brightness level of the screen, but how dark it can get, so it’s best to set it to Dark Where Weak.

Screen Sleep: Use this option to turn off the screen after five minutes of no detected activity. This is a potential alternative to turning off the screen completely in low light conditions.

Color matching: This mode attempts to adjust the screen colors to match the environment. You may experience this when using Night/Dark mode, but you probably don’t need it in this particular scenario.

Work directly from your Nest Hub screen

Nest Hub Max, using the touchscreen.
John Velasco/Digital Trends

If you don’t have convenient access to your Google Home app under the correct account, you can choose to change the settings on the smart display itself.

To do this, go to your Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max and swipe up on the screen. Select the Settings gear icon at bottom right. To choose To display. The first option should be Themewhere you will select Dark. This will immediately activate dark/night mode without the need to use Google Home.

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