I just upgraded my PC to Win10 but cannot find the dialog "Window Color and Appearance". In Win7, it should be at: Control Panel => Appearance and Personalization => Personalization => Window Color and Appearance, and it looks like:

Window Color and Appearance

How can I access it in Win10?


5 Answers 5


Although the Window Color and Appearance dialog is no longer available, you can still edit the underlying registry settings in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors

Recently, I have found this setting is not working but have found that
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors is working.

Window Color and Appearance Registry

For example, change your background color from white to grey by changing the Window property from 255 255 255 to 160 160 160

The three numbers in each entry are the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) codes for the color required. Each number can be any value from 0 to 255 to allow you to choose any of over 16 million colors. For example, white is 255 255 255, red is 255 0 0, blue is 0 0 255. Please note that there is a single space between each number.

You can get help with the colors using an online color picker such as www.colorpicker.com, selecting the color you want and making a note of the RGB codes and then entering them into the registry setting.

I found a computer restart was required though a log off/on again may suffice for the changes to take effect.

  • 2
    Is there anywhere an explanation of what each setting does? Jul 17, 2017 at 11:41
  • 3
    There's another Reg location that also contain the same items. Any idea what is the difference? HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors
    – not2qubit
    Jan 25, 2020 at 15:32
  • Recently, I have found that HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors is NOT working but that HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors is working. Oct 8, 2020 at 7:19

Classic Color Panel gives you a GUI to control many of the values in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors.

But, as the author notes, for Windows 10 "Unfortunately, the settings of Classic Color Panel do not always have an impact on the actually displayed image elements."

In my experience, it makes almost no difference to the total mess of Windows 10 color control.

  • I tested. It works for me. Thanks. Jun 14, 2022 at 6:33

Take a look: Color and Appearance shortcut - Create in Windows 10

Windows 10 includes a new black system theme across the Start menu, Taskbar, and Action Center. There is now support for AutoColor which pulls the primary color from your desktop background.

By default, you can choose a color for your Start menu accents, Start button, taskbar, buttons, text, Settings accents, sign-in screen accents, and Action Center accents in the Settings app now.

The old Color and Appearance Control Panel will also let you change the color intensity and includes a color mixer to let you have a wider choice of colors to select from than you can in Settings.

This tutorial will show you how to download or create a Color and Appearance shortcut that opens to the old Control Panel method to change colors for your account in Windows 10.

enter image description here

  1. Click/tap on the Download button below to download the .zip file.

  2. Save the .zip file to your desktop.

  3. Unblock the .zip file.

  4. Open the .zip file, and extract (drag and drop) the shortcut to your desktop.

  5. If you like, you can Pin to Taskbar, Pin to Start, add to All apps, add to Quick Launch, assign a keyboard shortcut to, or move this shortcut to where you like for easy use.

  6. When finished, you can delete the downloaded .zip file if you like.

  • 10
    Shortcut points to: %windir%\System32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,Advanced,@Advanced
    – c97
    Aug 3, 2015 at 14:01
  • Yes, it's correct. You can ether download or create the shortcut by yourself using this link. Aug 3, 2015 at 14:05
  • 2
    It seems the shortcut you provided can only access the window you listed, but cannot access the dialog I listed in my question.
    – C. Wang
    Aug 3, 2015 at 14:06
  • 3
    So there is no way to customize the window color in Win10, just like the picture I listed, where I would like to change the background color of all the window from white to light yellow, right?
    – C. Wang
    Aug 3, 2015 at 14:13
  • 2
    – IceCold
    Oct 4, 2018 at 6:58

I found another answer which seems to work better, mainly because the above script does not work properly on my computer. Colour saturation and intensity actually change a turqoise colour to a navy blue when slider is at minimum position, rather than making the colour less intense or less saturated.

Here is what I found on another thread: Just create a batch file (.BAT) using notepad, which has the following command-line command in it

control /name Microsoft.Personalization /page pageWallpaper

So I took the above command and created a file called "Desktop Customer Colors.bat" and placed it (or a shortcut that points to it) on my Windows 10 desktop. This opens the following window:

Change background color:

On this screen select "change background colour"

Here is the color palette:

Here is the colour palette

  • 3
    this feature no longer goes to the legacy control panel in the Creators Update. Jul 28, 2017 at 12:37
  • 1
    DOES NOT WORK anymore :(
    – IceCold
    Oct 4, 2018 at 6:56

In case you just want to change application background color ONLY (e.g. Microsoft Word) and leave other settings untouched, please see another Super User question: How to change default window background color in Windows 10? and read the answer by Vinayak to create a .theme file to make that change.

  • 5
    You should quote the relevant information so a reader like myself doesn't have to go to another link.
    – Ramhound
    Jun 8, 2016 at 17:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .