20 Best VS Code Themes in 2023

Shahar Peled - VP Operations and Business Development
July 5, 2023
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20 Best VS Code Themes in 2023

Visual Studio Code was released in 2015, and after all these years, it is still one of the most loved and widely used code editors. It caught the eye of the developer community due to the free-of-cost proposition at a time when Microsoft already had Visual Studio, a rather pricey IDE.

With nearly 14 million monthly VS Code users and newer features such as remote development, collaboration, and developer personas being added, there is no stopping this editor. But one critical specialty of VS Code gaining some loyal followers is the ability to personalize the editor’s appearance with themes to match their persona. 

There are thousands of themes available, making navigating the VS Code marketplace very much like an IKEA trip - you never know what you’ll get in the end, and you’ll spend a lot more time browsing than initially planned. To make the decision easier, we’ve gathered the 20 most popular VS Code themes in 2023 and will tell you all about them in this article. 

Unpacking VS Code

Today software development demands a fast-paced process without compromising on security. VS Code allows developers to ensure faster coding with capabilities that let you check syntax, complete or refactor code and debug

VS Code is defined as a ‘lightweight and powerful source code editor’ that can be used by any developer to improve their productivity. It has strong community support, with professionals putting significant effort into enhancing the platform. Plus, it has built-in support for Javascript, TypeScript, and Node.js and an extensive plugin ecosystem that enables developers to use the tool for languages like C++, C#, Java, Python, PHP, and Go.

Some advantages of VS Code include the following:

  • Command Line - Control your editor environment through its powerful command line interface, including customizing how you open files and install extensions.
  • Open-Source - VS Code is a free, open-source tool with solid community support.
  • Performance - Despite being built on an Electron framework notorious for slow performance, VS Code is surprisingly fast.
  • Extensions - VS Code marketplace boasts thousands of extensions for an extended team development space.
  • Intelli-Sense - Leverage its intelligent automation capability to edit code faster through code completion, parameter info, and member lists.
  • Productivity Modes - To ensure you stay productive, VS Code offers multiple modes, including Zen mode and Split view.

What are VS Code themes?

VS Code allows developers to choose from various options to personalize their editor view regarding color and styling through VS Code themes. VS Code theme is a pre-designed color styling that you can apply to your editor interface to modify its appearance, including a text editor, sidebar, and status bar, among other elements. 

The idea behind having a specific color scheme is to help coders write code for longer without distractions, thus speeding up software delivery. The benefits of having a personalized VS Code theme include increased productivity due to reduced eye strain, improved readability with a pleasing color scheme, and faster coding with non-intrusive colors (which are up to each developer’s preference). 

Top 20 best VS Code themes for 2023

Dark VS Code themes

Dark themes are designed with darker shades of colors for your editor tool background. These are expected to make coding for longer hours easy on the eyes. Some of the popular dark themes are listed below.  

1. Night Owl

Night Owl is a dark theme with a dark blue background and bright and contrasting colors. As the name suggests, this theme is ideal for night owls who work late nights or developers who code in low-light environments. Night Owl also has a complementary Light Owl, a light theme with bright white background and soft colors.

Main feature: Dark, light, and italic versions with distinct color styling.

2. One Dark Pro

Image Source: One Dark Pro - Visual Studio Marketplace

One of the most widely used styles, One Dark Pro is Atom’s dark theme with black background accented with appealing color schemes. It is usually picked by developers who love to have marathon coding sessions. It has multiple versions available, like italic, retro, and gnome.

Main feature: It allows you to create and merge PRs and code reviews.

3. Monokai Pro

Designed as an undistracted and customizable theme, Monokai Pro features a dark grayish background with selective colors and pixel-perfect file icons. Although the UI theme has orange and yellow highlights by default, you can customize the colors to suit your specs.

Main features: Carefully picked colors to help you focus on writing code and a uniquely designed icon set.

4. One Monokai

One Monokai is a spin-off of Monokai Pro similar to One Dark theme. Its primary distinction is its muted, desaturated color scheme with a soft background. It is intended to be a minimalist style to help developers focus on code and not get caught up with the bright colors.

Main feature: Soft and desaturated colors for better focus.

5. Dracula Official

One of the first things that come to mind when we think dark is vampires. And so, there has to be a Dracula-based theme. Dracula Official comes with a dark purple background and contrasting yellow and bright green. Developers seem to love vampires, as this is one of the most downloaded themes available, with over 5 million installs. 

Main feature: It can be used for other code editors as well. 

6. SynthWave ‘84

SynthWave’84 is an ode to the bygone era of the 80s by the modern software development age. With a purple background, the theme boasts neon colors of pink, orange, blue, and teal. SynthWave’84 is designed like an artwork for a music album like Timecop 1983 and FM-84.

Main feature: Bright, neon colors to make coding fun and peppy.

7. Atom One Dark

Atom’s One Dark is its default theme with a cleaner and minimalistic user interface. It features a visually pleasing color scheme for text and syntax highlighting, and it comes in two variations: italic and bold.

Main feature: Different options to configure the theme to your preference.

Light VS Code themes

Light themes come with bright backgrounds and highlighted text to make the environment more lively. These themes are suitable for developers who work in brightly lit places.

8. Atom One Light

Atom One Light is one of the popular light themes designed for its code editor. It comes with a bright white background and non-glaring or soft colors for text. It is a clean theme style that lets developers focus on coding.

Main feature: Clean, non-distracting, and minimal UI for better productivity.

9. Quiet Light

As the name suggests, Quiet Light is a very soft light theme with white background. It was initially designed for the Espresso text editor on Mac. For VS Code, it was created by the original designer.

Main feature: Soft and peaceful design for unwavering focus.

10. Bluloco Light

If you thought how different one light theme can be from another, here comes Bluloco Light, which stands out with a light grey background. However, its color scheme for text is artfully designed using a complete range of color palettes. The designer used syntax scopes to splash colors appealingly. It also comes with an icon set for folders and files.

Main features: Color consistency, readability, and a unique icon set.

11. PowerShell

PowerShell is a theme replicating the ISE (Integrated Scripting Environment) module to develop and edit PowerShell scripts. While VS Code replaced it, you can still set the old and nostalgic design for your editor to write not just PowerShell code but any language.

Main feature: It is designed to replicate the PowerShell ISE theme.

12. Brackets Light Pro

Brackets Light Pro has a light grey background featuring a beautiful color scheme for text and syntax highlighting. It gives your code editor a clean, minimalistic, and quiet look.

Main feature: Clean and muted UI for an undisturbing coding environment.

13. Snazzy Light

A vibrant, loud, and unabashed setting comes in a world of soft and minimal themes - Snazzy Light. With a light bluish background, it flaunts bright colors for text. It looks modern, making it perfect for starting a new project.

Main feature: Modern appearance with ample space between text for easy readability.

14. Hop Light

Hop Light is the lightest of the light themes with user-friendly colors. It ensures developers can code without worrying about straining their eyes. Although it has contrasting colors, they’re not too bright.

Main feature: Easy readability with light colors.

Theme Packages

If you like to switch between light and dark themes, you can pick one from theme packages, which include both options. You can switch between them as per your convenience and need.

15. GitHub theme

Designed by GitHub, this theme is built to replicate GitHub’s UI. It comes in seven customizable versions - light and dark default, light and dark high contrast, light and dark colorblind, and dark dimmed. It is suitable for developers who like to stick to the classic design of GitHub.

Main feature: Mimics GitHub’s look and feel.

16. C/C++ themes

The C/C++ UI themes come in light and dark modes. While they are both accented with bright and lively colors, the light version has a pure white background, while the dark setting will feature black. According to the designers, the UI theme was created to match the standard VS Code theme.

Main feature: Standard, developer-friendly user interface.

17. Winter is Coming

Given the phenomenon that the ‘Game of Thrones’ was, there had to be a VS Code theme based on it. Winter is Coming comes in a chilly and dark blue or snow-white background with contrasting colors for text and syntaxes. Its variants include dark default, dark with italics, and light.

Main feature: Inspired by the Game of Thrones show, mimicking its dark theme.

18. Sublime Material

Explicitly designed for sublime text, Sublime Material comes in two variants of dark grey and light grey backgrounds. It also has a color palette for its text.

Main feature: Styled after the default VS Code theme.

19. Tokyo Night

Tokyo Night UI theme is as exciting as it sounds. Fashioned after the bright neon lights of the Japanese city, the theme comes in two variants: Tokyo Night Storm (dark blue background) and Tokyo Night Light (light grey background). 

Main feature: It resembles the hustle-bustle of Tokyo streets.

20. Firefox theme

Firefox UI theme is based on the developer tools of Mozilla Firefox. The theme comes in two versions, one with a dark grey and the other with a dim white background. The text is highlighted in bright colors.

Main feature: Fashioned after Mozilla Firefox.

Security first, VS Code themes second

VS Code themes have added a new dimension to the developer experience by allowing developers to personalize their digital workspace and become more focused and motivated. As much as it is exciting to use VS Code themes, they are unsurprisingly a security threat. 

Attackers are finding a way to breach weak security defenses through VS Code extensions. On the 4th of May, 2023, three malicious extensions were reported to Microsoft. Downloading these can enable attackers to compromise your system, steal credentials, and even build a remote shell on your machine. 

Although scary, news like this is a reminder that security must always come first. If you want to secure your entire pipeline without burdening your team, Jit’s DevSecOps orchestration platform can help. Give us a try for free. 

Instantly achieve continuous product security, from day 0