I have Window 7 32 Bit wherein I have set the default Windows Classic Theme. Title Bar color of all apps by default is therefore Blue. Same was the case with Google Chrome. However since yesterday it has changed the color of Title Bar as Grey on its own even when the app is in focus. I am not sure how to restore it back.

I tried clearing complete cache, browser history & uninstall chrome and reinstall a fresh copy with latest version 53.0.2785.116 & restart PC.

At this juncture I want to avoid System Restore. The last restore point I have is where I successfully managed to get the Realtek LAN driver working & I don’t want to disturb that for now.

How to fix this now? Are there any hidden registry settings or tweaks whereby Google Chrome can default to standard Windows Classic Theme color for its Title Bar?

Screenshot is added below. Respective windows were in focus when each section of screen was captured.


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  • What happens when you click settings>appearance>Reset to default theme? does that button even exist? Sep 19, 2016 at 16:00
  • 'Reset to Default Theme' button exists but it is disabled, most likely because I have not installed any themes and I believe hence it is expected to use windows theme. I however tried 'Reset Settings' option but that did not help.
    – patkim
    Sep 19, 2016 at 16:36
  • Here is a thought, install a random theme from the web store then reset to default. See what that does. Sep 19, 2016 at 18:34
  • Yes, thanks for this input. Unfortunately when it resets to default, it still takes grey color to title bar on its own rather than Windows default. For now I have however installed Windows Classic Theme in chrome itself.
    – patkim
    Sep 19, 2016 at 18:54

2 Answers 2


Having spent a bit of time googling this issue, the best I can tell is that google for some reason decided to change the background color in its latest update.

I’ve only been able to return it to a blue by installing what is either a ‘theme’ or an ‘extension’ (not sure which), as recommended on this google products forum page:


I’m not finding it to be exactly as before, but it does at least return a good color contrast between tabs and border.


After a few try outs, Internet search and referring to Google Product Forums, I managed to figure out the reason and a solution, but it’s kind of outdated by now!

Google Chrome has several additional experimental settings (flags) that can be accessed by entering URL chrome://flags/ in Chrome’s address bar.

One of the settings is called 'Material Design'. (chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md) Set this to ‘Non-Material’ and the title bar color is restored to default Blue and this looks better with the Windows Classic theme on Windows 7. Material Design flag also makes some subtle changes in the look & feel of Chrome. Unfortunately from version 55 and going forward Material Design shall be the only standard option in Chrome (Unless Google Decides to bring it back)

What I have now done is installed offline v54 (obtained from a third party site) & set Non-Material design and disabled Auto-Update in Chrome.

Refer https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18483087/how-to-disable-google-chrome-auto-update for how to disable auto update in Chrome.

Hope this helps any users that are still interested to see the classic look of Google Chrome & default Blue title bar.

Now I understand that since auto update was enabled by default, one particular update automatically set that flag as ‘Material Design’ (where the issue started) and eventually now in v55 that option itself has been removed permanently.

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