Background: I love Chrome, and I love using it for reading the news. However I prefer a lower contrast reading background. When you highlight all the text on a web page, the background goes blue, and the text goes white. This is okay if I need to know it's highlighted but not pleasant for reading. However, if you click in the address bar while the text is highlighted, you get this great black on grey effect which is perfect for me. However, when in that mode, you can't use the keypad to navigate the page, you can only scroll.

So here's my question: How can I change the default highlight in Chrome color from blue to grey?

I posted this on the Chrome dev site years ago but nobody ever answered it, and I gave up (even deleted the link... bit of malaise I guess). I have just discovered superuser, and I bet someone here is up to the task.


There's also this Chrome extension called Highlight Color which does exactly that

And actually looks pretty neat from what I can see from the screenshots.

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  • This would solve the issue but wow, it requires access to all data about visited websites... a bit too much IMHO – ccalboni Nov 27 '17 at 10:25
  • Set background color to #f18458 and (foreground) color to #ffffff then you can get the same selected effect in Firefox Ubuntu. – Rick May 30 '19 at 4:10

If you're on a mac, you can change the system highlight color, which will change the color of the highlighting in chrome.

System Preferences > General > Highlight Color

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  • This doesn't seem to work anymore. – Erebus May 22 '19 at 13:34

There is now a new and more easy to use chrome extension that does this. Its called Custom Highlight and you can install it here.

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    This is exactly what I've been waiting for! Took me 4 years to find it (I had given up). Thanks! – Wiser2001 Jul 13 '19 at 17:30
  • This does not change live search / quick find color (when pressing ctrl + F), which stays yellow – gaborous Jun 18 at 21:56
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    @gaborous, I will look into if this is possible. If you want you can create an issue for this on the Custom Highlight GitHub page. – Andreto Jun 20 at 6:13
  • @Andreto I did not know the extension was opensource, that's awesome! Kudos for the great work! OK I'll open an issue, and thank you very much for looking into this :-) – gaborous Jun 23 at 9:15

I doubt it can be done with a vanilla version of the latest releases of Chrome per this response to a similar question about user stylesheets. You could use a plugin like Stylish. You could then look for a good premade stylesheet or you could make your own.

(The article above says that this isn't supported in Chrome. Ignore that, it works now.)

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If you want to change ALL colors to improve readability, and not necessary be able to choose what exact color to change to, then I've found that FreshEyes (source code here) is the only truly universal color changer, as it changes not only the text and highlighting color of selected text, but also of highlighted results by quick find / live search (when pressing ctrl + F to find a text on the web page).

When you activate this extension, make sure to disable other color changers as these may overwrite and revert the changes that FreshEyes does (so at first I thought it didn't work, until I disabled the other extensions I was testing).

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