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In the Windows 7 file explorer, when you select a file, the entire line highlights a light blue color.

Is there any way to change this color, presumably via a registry tweak?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted


If you mean the hot-track effect it's probbly not possible to "manually" tweak it.

I just found this to clarify it:

In regard to Windows 7, I came across this interesting piece of information: When hovering over the icons in the taskbar, the color highlight of the “glass” button is actually different from application to application. How it works is dynamically abstracting the color values of the application icon to find the most dominant RGB value. Besides the obvious eye-candy, this feature delivers some sentimental value by making it easy to identify applications by color.

The only thing you can do is try to change your Theme settings.

Its under Personalization, Window Color and Appearance, Advanced Appearance options under "Selected items"

Two options you should try:

Standard Windows color settings:

enter image description here

Or the Aero theme colors:

enter image description here

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Unless you mean the hot-track effect in which case I think Microsoft made it very hard to "manually" tweak it –  Ivo Flipse Oct 28 '09 at 5:57
I believe the hot-track effect is indeed what I am talking about. It's a rounded blue box with a darker blue border whenever you click an item in file explorer. According to the other posts in the forum post you linked, it is indeed impossible. :( Edit your answer to clarify that and I'll accept it :) –  OverloadUT Oct 28 '09 at 6:01

You are talking about the hot-track effect, and you cannot change it (using Aero). I have no idea why this is the case. I can hardly see it as it is.

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If I remember correctly, going on my experience of modifying XP themes many years ago, it is not a colour value, but a bitmap graphic that you will need to change.

You will need to use Resource Hacker (last beta version for x64) or similar resource like XN Resource Editor and open shellstyle.dll.

The light blue bitmap will be in there somewhere. I'm sure someone on will know precisely where.

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The 3rd-party app Classic Start Menu does give you a slight amount of control over the hot-track effect; you can't select a color, but you can change it to the older, darker green style of hot-tracking found in WinXP by ticking 'Solid Color Selection' under the Skin tab of Classic Start Menu's settings.

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highlighted icons & selected icon color in windows 7 i am here with you today to show you my work if u ever wanted to change the background of icons in windows 7 you will discover that u cant just the classic theme but now u can change it in windows aero with your favorite theme


available Colors for now: . sky . purple . yellow . gray . red . Dark Red .green . orange

u need to use windows classic theme before installation and you need to close windows explorer too to close windows explorer use ctrl+alt+delete


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Unfortunately, your answer has nothing to do with what was asked in the question. It is merely promotional. –  fixer1234 Apr 26 at 0:44

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