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Windows 7: Window Color and Appearance - Change



Window Color and Appearance - Change

How to Change the Window Color and Appearance in Windows 7
Published by Brink
02 Nov 2008
Default Window Color and Appearance - Change

How to Change the Window Color and Appearance in Windows 7


information   Information
This will show you how to change the Window Color and Appearance settings for how windows, the Start Menu, and the taskbar are displayed in Windows 7.

warning   Warning
Aero Requirements to be Enabled in Windows 7

NOTE: If Aero is not enabled, then you will not see the Window Color and Appearance screen in step 3A of OPTION TWO below.
  • Aero is not included in Windows 7 Home Basic or Windows 7 Starter editions.
  • 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor
  • 1 GB of system memory
  • A graphics card with support for DirectX 9 graphics with at least 128 MB of memory.
  • The graphics card must support Pixel Shader 2.0 and the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM).
  • Activate Windows 7.
  • You must be have True Color (32 bit) set instead of High Color (16 bit).
  • The Themes and Desktop Window Manager Session Manager Services are set to Start and Automatic.
  • The desktop composition and Animated controls and elements inside windows options enabled in Visual Effects.
  • Refresh or update your WEI score.
  • You must be using a "Aero" theme.
Tip   Tip
All advanced appearance settings for a single user are stored in the three registry keys below.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics





OPTION ONE
To Change "Window Color and Appearance" in ONLY Windows 7 Starter and Home Basic

Note   Note
If you have the Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise edition, then use OPTION TWO below instead.

1. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click on the Display icon.

2. In the left blue pane, click on the Change color scheme link. (see screenshot below)
Window Color and Appearance - Change-starter_basic-1.jpg
3. Click on the Advanced button. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Aero themes are not available in the Windows 7 Starter and Home Basic editions.
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4. Go to step 7B in OPTION TWO below to do steps 7B to 9.

5. When finished, click on OK. (see screenshot below step 3)

6. Close the Display window. (see screenshot below step 1)



OPTION TWO
To Change "Window Color and Appearance" in ONLY Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise

Note   Note
If you have the Windows 7 Starter or Home Basic edition, then use OPTION ONE above instead.

1. Right click on a empty space on the desktop and click on Personalize. (see screenshot below)

2. Click on the Window Color link at the bottom of the window. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: The name that is grayed out under Window Color, is the current color selected.
Window Color and Appearance - Change-personalize.jpg
warning   Warning
  • If you have selected from the Basic and High Contrast Themes , then you will not see the Window Color and Appearance screen below step 3A. Instead, go to step 7.
  • If you have selected from the Aero Themes, then you will see the Window Color and Appearance screen below step 3A. Continue to step 3.


3. Select a Color
A) Click on an available color that you would like the Start Menu, window borders, and taskbar to be. (see screenshot below step 5A)
Window Color and Appearance - Change-color_and_appearance-1.jpg
4. Enable or Disable Transparency
A) Check or uncheck Enable transparency to enable or disable transparency for the Start Menu, window borders, and taskbar. (see screenshot below step 3A)
5. Adjust Color Intensity
A) Slide the Color intensity slider to the left to lighten the color (step 3) or to the right to darken the color (step 3). (see screenshot below step 3A)
WARNING: If you slide the slider to far to the right, the Start menu, windows, and taskbar, may no longer be transparent (if enabled) since the color will be to dark. You would just need to slide it some to the left to lighten the color again.
6. To Adjust the Color Mixer Settings
NOTE: If you do not want to adjust the color mixer settings, then skip this step to keep the default color selected in step 3 and go to step 7 instead.
A) Click on the Show color mixer button. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: This is if you would like to adjust the color's (step 3A) hue, saturation, and brightness to create a custom color.

B) Slide the sliders to adjust the color.
NOTE: If you do not wish to continue to step 7, then click on the Save Changes button to apply the changes and close the window below. You're done.
Window Color and Appearance - Change-color_and_appearance-2.jpg
7. To Change the "Advanced Window Color and Appearance" Settings
WARNING: Colors and sizes selected for items will only be used if you have selected a Windows Classic or High Contrast theme. If any other theme is applied, you will not be able to change colors and sizes for items.
A) Click on the Advanced appearance settings link. (see screenshot above)
NOTE: You will not need to do this if you have a Basic and High Contrast Theme selected. Continue to step 7B instead.

B) To Change a Window Item Setting
  • To Select a Item - Click on the Item drop down menu and select a window item you want to change. (See screenshots below step 7C)
    NOTE: You can also click on the different displayed windows at the top of the "Window Color and Appearance" window to select a Item to.
  • To Change the Item Size - Change the Size number to what you want.
  • To Change the Item Color - Click on the Color 1 and Color 2 drop down menu and select a color.
    NOTE: The color will only change if you have the Windows Classic theme selected.
C) To Change the Font Settings for the Selected Item
  • To Change the Item Font - Click on the Font drop down menu and select a font. (See screenshotd below)
  • To Change the Item Font Size - Click on the Size drop down menu and select a number for the size. The higher the number, the larger the size.
  • To Change the Item Font Color - Click on the Color drop down menu and select a color.
  • To Have the Item Font in Bold - Click the B button to highlight it. If it is not highlighted, then the font will not be in bold.
  • To Have the Item Font in Italic - Click on the I button to highlight it. If it is not highlighted, then the font will not be in italic.
Window Color and Appearance - Change-classic_color_and_appearance-1.jpg

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D) Repeat steps 7B and 7C until you change all the Items you wanted.
8. The Default Advanced Appearance Settings
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9. When finished, click on OK. (see screenshots above or below step 7C)

10. Click on the Save Changes button in the Window Color and Appearance window. (see screenshot below step 6B)
NOTE: You will not have this to do if you have a Basic and High Contrast Theme selected.

11. Close the the Personalization window. (see screenshot below step 2)
That's it,
Shawn





Related Tutorials

Published by
26 Jan 2009   #1
koolam

win 7
 
 
problem

Hi,
I am using windows themes but I dont see steps 3-6 when I try to change windows color.it brings the screen as in step 7 and when I try to change the color of the active and inactive title bar and click apply nothing happens. any input would be greatly appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2009   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Koolam, and welcome to Seven Forums.

I have added the WARNING box at the top of the tutorial for you to see if that may help.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2009   #3
koolam

win 7
 
 

Hi, thanks for the reply. I think its my graphics card which doesnt support aero.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


27 Jan 2009   #4
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

I'm sorry to hear that Koolam. What card or chip do you have?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2009   #5
koolam

win 7
 
 
hi

its an intel 82852/82855 GM/GME graphics controller.

thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2009   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Koolam,

That would be why. It doesn't have enough memory to support Aero.

Intel® 82852/82855 Graphics Controller Family - How Much Video Memory Do I Have? Can it be Changed?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2009   #7
gsparx

Vista 32bit
 
 

So, this was probably pretty stupid, but I changed some of the settings and now I can't remember what the defaults are. Is there any way to reset them? or could you tell me what the default settings are? Thanks

G
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2009   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Gspax,

I have updated the tutorial to include the default settings to help change them back. Let me know if you needed another setting instead.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2009   #9
gsparx

Vista 32bit
 
 

Thanks, that was exactly what I needed

G
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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