This question - Is it possible to turn visible the invisible window's borders of Windows 10? - does not appear to address the same issue. Things appear to have got (even) worse.

I just underwent a dreaded update.

I now notice that the ghastly aesthetics now apparently mean that some applications (e.g. Windows Explorer) now have no frame whatsoever, not even a 1-pixel border, when they have focus.

This (surprise!) frequently makes it difficult to know where the window in question ends and another begins.

Is there anything at all that can be done about this? I have searched quite a bit. I found that you can set the border colour (1-pixel border) to a custom colour supposedly. So I did that. But it only applies to the frame of Windows Explorer when it does not have focus (and when it is stationary).

enter image description here


I was asked for my Windoze "update history". Here it is: enter image description here

  • Please include some screenshots
    – Srinivas V
    Oct 3, 2019 at 10:41
  • 1
    “I just underwent a dreaded update.” - What update was installed?
    – Ramhound
    Oct 3, 2019 at 12:00
  • @Ramhound How does one find that out? Oct 3, 2019 at 15:34
  • Windows Update history.
    – Ramhound
    Oct 3, 2019 at 16:07
  • I found that page... Windoze naturally doesn't let you copy-paste the stuff on the page so I did another screen print... see above Oct 3, 2019 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


I just fixed this myself.

  1. Hit windows key and type "View advanced system settings"
  2. Click the "Settings..." button in the "Performance" box, within the "Advanced" tab.
  3. Under the "Visual Effects" tab, check the "Show shadows under windows" flag.

Mine was checked already, yet I didn't have shadows. I had to uncheck it, Apply, then recheck it.


To change the thickness of the borders requires a registry change:

  • Start regedit
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics
  • Set the values of BorderWidth and PaddedBorderWidth to values that are more negative. Save the old values in order to be able to undo.
  • A reboot might be required to take effect.

The units for these values are in twips. Enter a value of any negative number up to 0. A value of 0 will produce no padding, while a value of -300 will produce a very fat border. PaddedBorderWidth should be larger than BorderWidth. The limits are:

  • BorderWidth - valid values are 0 to -750
  • PaddedBorderWidth - valid values are 0 to -1600

It is always a good idea to create a System Restore point first before trying any registry tweaks, to be able to revert to a good state if something goes very wrong.

  • Thanks for trying but it doesn't work. This only alters the border width when you move a window. I should have clarified that I'm talking about one of these miserable windows just sitting there, with focus. As per the screenshot. Oct 3, 2019 at 15:44
  • What do you mean by "just sitting there"? This should work for all windows and dialogs.
    – harrymc
    Oct 3, 2019 at 15:48
  • Yes, I got that wrong. I set to the highest settings and this made the "header" bit of the windows preposterously huge, even when stationary. But the main point is that this doesn't result in a frame (at least a visible one) around Explorer... when stationary with the focus on it. Oct 3, 2019 at 17:43

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