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Windows 7: How to change background color of Folders in Windows 7

05 Jul 2014   #31
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

It might be a good idea to
  • backup your registry
    ,
  • export HKCU\Control Panel\Colors
    and
  • export HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors

I'm not sure if I understand; ... but the one I really want wont change and that is the computer window.

Your images show Libraries (white background) and the registry editor (blue background - was blue the color you set?)

Do you mean the Desktop background? All other windows sit on the desktop.

I think Callender has a better handle on the color registry keys.

Here's a good color code reference, it uses periods to delineate R.G.B.

In this exercise, the registry keys use spaces to delineate R G B


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Jul 2014   #32
damando25

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 

I meant the "Libraries" sorry about that one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2014   #33
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

Ok, Libraries it is then, thanks.

Libraries are a different beast, they're not really folders. There is an xml file that defines them. I'll look to see if there is a way to define color in the xml, or a way to get color changes to be applied to Libraries.

Now we're getting to the core issue.


I found another registry key that defines color
HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics
and modified rqColor.bat to query that key as well

you can run the query by hand
reg query "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics" /s
or download and run the new rqColor.bat
download
The download might be appended with a numeric - rqColor (1).bat - to avoid that, rename or delete the existing rqColor.bat file before downloading the new one.

the WindowsMetrics key might affect Libraries, I don't know. Post the results of the query (either a screen shot of the "by hand query" or a new HKCUcolor.txt file produced by the new rqColor.bat.


There's also another way to change colors through Windows Control Panel > Display > Change Colors
You have to start with a Basic or High Contrast > Windows Classic theme.

This method is preferred over registry editing for two reasons
1) You don't run the risk of corrupting the registry
2) You can preview the colors selected (albeit a small color box)

It will take some additional customization to set the desktop background image, sounds, screen saver, etc. - but that's why it's called customization

See: Window Color and Appearance - Change
Scroll down to OPTION TWO, step 7 describes color changes

The tutorial explicitly states that this will only work if you select the Windows Classic theme as the base.

Post any progress or questions. Thanks.


Attached Files
File Type: bat rqColor.bat (239 Bytes, 8 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Jul 2014   #34
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Themes

Hi Slatybart and Damando25. Looks like you've been working hard!

Damando25 - you backed up your original settings as shown in this post?

Well hopefully you did. Anyway after some messing about on my machine it seems that those color settings will only take effect for the Libraries window if you choose to use the Windows 7 Basic or Classic Themes.

You can save your current theme and test this for yourself.

Here I've applied the Landscapes theme:

The left pane color choice is over-ridden by the Landscape theme regardless of the registry settings.

How to change background color of Folders in Windows 7-background-.jpg

The same goes for the Libraries pane. I've used a color picker to show actual color applied by use of the Landscapes theme.

How to change background color of Folders in Windows 7-background-b.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2014   #35
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Well done...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post
Ok, Libraries it is then, thanks.

Libraries are a different beast, they're not really folders. There is an xml file that defines them. I'll look to see if there is a way to define color in the xml, or a way to get color changes to be applied to Libraries.

Now we're getting to the core issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2014   #36
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Callender View Post
The left pane color choice is over-ridden by the Landscape theme regardless of the registry settings.

The same goes for the Libraries pane. I've used a color picker to show actual color applied by use of the Landscapes theme.
Nice work Callender and thanks for providing real world testing.

Then you're saying that the customized colors do not affect the left pane, or the landscape theme overrides. I think I'm confused by Landscape.

You could have chosen a brighter color in your color picker example - fuchsia (#ff0080 | 255 0 128) perhaps -
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2014   #37
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Libraries Color

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Slartybart View Post

Then you're saying that the customized colors do not affect the left pane, or the landscape theme overrides. I think I'm confused by Landscape.

You could have chosen a brighter color in your color picker example - fuchsia (#ff0080 | 255 0 128) perhaps -
Well as far as I can work out if I use Basic or Classic themes then colors for both the left pane and the Libraries pane along with Explorer window are defined by the settings applied in

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors

However choosing another theme results in those color settings being ignored for left pane and libraries.

Explorer window seems to follow the color set in the registry regardless of the theme. I only tested Landscape!

When using Landscape the Libraries pane color remained set to 252 252 252 - even though it wasn't the choice defined by me in the registry. I checked at the time and 252 252 252 didn't appear anywhere in

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2014   #38
damando25

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 

This is really buggy to me but I am glad it is finally working the way I need it. I had changed it when "Callender" said to do so before but it did not change and I was logging off all the time and nothing happened Now I accidentally rebooted and everything changed to the color I picked. I am So happy but also believe it should have changed just by logging off too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2014   #39
damando25

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 

Here is proof. Thanks again to both of you for being so patient with me.


Attached Thumbnails
How to change background color of Folders in Windows 7-done-custome-colors.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2014   #40
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Great

Glad to hear that it's sorted. Slatybart did most of the work so credit to him!

Logging off/ on works for me but that wasn't tested using different themes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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