I can't find how to change the color of Windows 7 menu bar while using Aero theme. I only want to change the Menu Bar's color.

Default look, color of the menu bar of Windows 7 on Windows Explorer and other applications

The default Basic and High Contrast Themes themes of Windows 7 can change the color.

Applied "Basic and High Contrast Themes > High Contrast Black" of Windows 7 on Windows Explorer and other applications

Those kind of themes are customized using Personalization > Window Color and Appearance, but the Menu color property when changed doesn't take effect while using Aero theme.

Window Color and Appearance no effect for menu bar color

As seen in the image, I've tested some customization seen in the preview pane of the Window Color and Appearance

  • Change the components color to green
  • Change the text color to white
  • Change the Menu Bar's text color to gray
  • FAILED: Change the Menu Bar color to purple

It seems that it doesn't even work in the preview. The Window Color and Appearance is created for customization of Windows 7 Basic Theme or Ease of Access theme. It may not be intended for Aero, but even Aero users will still have the same Menu Bar color at every application.

There are applications like Adobe Inc. products that have custom Menu Bar for their GUI. But the default look/color of the Menu Bar for Windows Explorer and other apps are just using the look/color from the theme.

So how could I change the color of Menu Bar while using Aero theme?

  • Could you verify that the requirements in this article found inside the red Warning box are in effect for your computer.
    – harrymc
    Jun 28 '15 at 9:20
  • @harrymc Yes, I have the requirements, also I am using Windows Ultimate SP1
    – Aesthetic
    Jun 28 '15 at 13:13
  • I get it, but as you can see I'm referring to the white-gray gradient, I mean it has been possible to be changed when using a High Contrast theme, how would it be possible in Aero?
    – Aesthetic
    Jun 28 '15 at 13:58
  • I wanted to modify my comment, but you're too quick. Actually Menu color does work, but only for older-style applications and not in the way you think. Here is what happens when changing it to red : screenshot. It is the color of the separator line. AFAIK what you want is only possible in Windows Classic, not with Aero.
    – harrymc
    Jun 28 '15 at 14:01

The answer by @DavidPostill for changing "Menu" in "Personalization > Window Color and Appearance", does not apply if you are running the Aero theme. It needs the theme to be set to "Windows Classic". Not even "Windows Basic" will work.

If you want to change the menubar, you will need to hack Windows software using a resource editor or even a debugger. The only Windows software I know that might take part in the display is Shellstyle.dll, and it is not at all sure that it is the one that draws the menu bar.

An example of how such hacks are done can be found in the article :
How to Auto-Hide or Disable Command Bar in Windows Vista and 7 Explorer.

However, you are on your own for discovering where the menubar colors are set.

But even if you do, your changes might render your computer unusable, since essential Windows components are digitally signed by Microsoft and are therefore unmodifiable. Even if you managed to hack Shellstyle.dll, the changes might be undone by the next Windows Update, so you may need to repeat them time and again.

Your real choices are really two : Use the "Windows Classic" theme, or accept the limitations of the Aero theme.
Anything else is playing Russian Roulette with the health of your computer. image

  • The comment section on DavidPostill already have mentioned of editing the resource code, the thing is are you sure it's the Shellstyle.dll or the .msstyle file? I already have tried editing both and still am searching for such resource for the Menu Bar.. I already have mentioned in question that I need Aero.. also I dont update my Windows 7 unless necessary. If the answer here is you are on your own for discovering then, well just saying with respect sir, this answer is not useful. I hope you might be able to expand the answer to elaborate steps or process to acheive such needed task. Thanks
    – Aesthetic
    Jul 3 '15 at 8:19
  • 2
    I believe my answer is useful, as it correctly outlines your options and the likely places to look (and why you shouldn't). The .msstyle file is relatively well-known but the menubar settings have not been found. You will note that in Windows-styling products such as Windows Style Builder, menubar styling is conspicuously absent, for a good reason. The menubar color seems hard-coded into the Aero software, without any registry or .msstyle settings. I do list what needs to be done, but do not recommend spending time on it, as no one has yet found where.
    – harrymc
    Jul 3 '15 at 8:54
  • 1
    Shellstyle.dll is the only Windows dll that is known to contain Aero styling code, so is the only place where there is a chance of finding that color setting.
    – harrymc
    Jul 3 '15 at 8:55

You are almost there with Personalization > Window Color and Appearance.

In the resulting dialog you can:

  • Click on the menu bar in the example display which will change the Item to Menu

enter image description here

  • Choose Menu in the Item dropdown

enter image description here

  • Now you can change the Menu color using Colour dropdown.

enter image description here

  • Press OK
  • 1
    that wouldn't work for aero as OP requested Jun 25 '15 at 14:27
  • @smc The question does not mention Aero
    – DavidPostill
    Jun 25 '15 at 14:29
  • I'm using images to demonstrate the sample, but yes I need to have change the menu bar color while using aero theme. My images link can be seen at the edit button since I don't have enough reputation to show my images on the post.
    – Aesthetic
    Jun 25 '15 at 14:32
  • @DavidPostill : OP must have edited it since I read it. Or I am just not paying attention. But you are right Jun 25 '15 at 14:32
  • Sorry for lack of words to pinpoint out that I need Aero, but you get it @smc, I need Aero while having it change. I updated the question.
    – Aesthetic
    Jun 25 '15 at 14:35

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