The default background color for windows is white.

notepad, showing the white background

To prevent eyestrain, I would like to change the color to, for example, black or blue.

Is it possible to change the default background color for windows?

I am using Windows 7 x64 Home Premium.

migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 5 '11 at 17:54

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Start > Control Panel > Appearance > Display > Change Color Scheme > Advanced..., select Window from the dropdown, change Color 1.

  • 1
    i changed the color of background in window as you said but the rest (for example this background) is still white – deadfish Mar 5 '11 at 17:55
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    @Michał Mokrzycki: The background color of windows is determined by the application. Specifically for web browsers like IE, Firefox and Chrome, the background color is determined by the HTML and the CSS and possibly the Javascript of the web pages that you load into it. Applications may or may not honor the current color scheme. – In silico Mar 5 '11 at 17:58
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    Yes, while there's a default, web browsers (for example) do their own thing which is usually specified by what the remote site wants you to see as its background. You could use local CSS to override that, but then you need to figure out what tricks other programs require, if they will allow you to do it at all. – geekosaur Mar 5 '11 at 18:00

Go to your Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization.

Then click on the link that says "Window Color" (second icon from the left on the bottom of the window.

Under the dropdown labeled "Item:", select Window, then Change the Color. This should get you what you want.

I do it every time I get a new computer because the white hurts my eyes, and all I do is stare at excel spreadsheets for work.


You may want to turn the brightness or contrast down on your monitor to make it easier on your eyes. Many LCD monitors ship with excessively bright default settings because they look good in a store display. If you're running on a laptop, turning the brightness down may improve battery life slightly.


If you enable High Contrast while on Windows, most browsers automatically adapt sites to black background with white letters, if you're using the browser Google Chrome, you could use the high-contrast extension to make it able to change the sites background without messing up the other things the Windows high contrast gives:

The extension also works when a sites defines its own css styles with a white background.

  1. Right-click anywhere in the desktop window.

  2. Select Personalization-> Window color (bottom 2nd one).

  3. Click Advanced appearance settings ->

  4. In the dialog box click on item and select window.

  5. Select your color and apply.

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