Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Window Color and Appearance Shortcut - Create

Window Color and Appearance Shortcut - Create

How to Create a "Window Color and Appearance" Shortcut
Published by Brink
31 Jan 2010
Published by

How to Create a "Window Color and Appearance" Shortcut

information   Information
This will show you how to create or download a Window Color and Appearance shortcut that opens directly to Advanced appearance settings.

EXAMPLE: Advanced Window Color and Appearance
Name:  Window_Color_and_Appearance.jpg
Views: 6342
Size:  124.8 KB

To Download the "Window Color and Appearance" Shortcut
1. Click on the Download button below to download the file below.
2. Click on Save, and save the .zip file to the desktop.

3. Open the .zip file and extract the Window Color and Appearance shortcut to the desktop.

4. Right click on the Window Color and Appearance shortcut, and click on Properties, General tab, and on the Unblock button. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: If you do not have a Unblock button under the General tab, then the shortcut is already unblocked and you can continue on to step 5.
Name:  Unblock.jpg
Views: 6289
Size:  136.0 KB
5. You can now Pin to Taskbar or Pin to Start Menu this shortcut, assign a keyboard shortcut to it, or move it where you like for easy use.

6. When done, you can delete the downloaded .zip file on the desktop if you like, or save it to use again.

To Manually Create the "Window Color and Appearance" Shortcut
1. Right click on a empty area on desktop, and click on New and Shortcut.

2. Copy and paste either command below into the location area, and click on the Next button. (See screenshot below)
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,5
%windir%\System32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,Advanced,@Advanced
Name:  Step1.jpg
Views: 6313
Size:  93.6 KB
3. Type Window Color and Appearance for the name, and click on the Finish button. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: You can name this anything you would like though.
Name:  Step2.jpg
Views: 6251
Size:  71.5 KB
4. Right click on the new Window Color and Appearance shortcut on the Desktop and click on Properties.

5. Click on the Shortcut tab, then click on the Change Icon button. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Step3.jpg
Views: 6201
Size:  107.8 KB
6. In the line under "Look for icons in this file", copy and paste the location below and press Enter. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Step4.jpg
Views: 6184
Size:  47.2 KB
7. Select the icon highlighted in blue above and click on OK. (See screenshot above)
NOTE: You can use any icon that you would like instead though.

8. Click on OK. (See screenshot below)
Name:  Step5.jpg
Views: 6207
Size:  105.8 KB
9. You can now Pin to Taskbar or Pin to Start Menu this shortcut, assign a keyboard shortcut to it, or move it where you like for easy use.
That's it,

23 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7 64 bit

Wow, your link's string is rather complex. How can anybody remember that.

 rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,5
I did some research for this and found that it is much easier and thought I would share it with you.

There is an easier version of this command:
 c:\windows\system32\desk.cpl ,5
Or in Windows | Run, you can just type in

 desk.cpl ,5
I am not sure how you figured out that big, long, ugly rundll.exe line. While it works, it is not going to be something you will remember very easily.

So I decided to share with the next guy who hits this link the shorter version. :-)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2010   #2

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Rhyous,

Thank you for an alternative option. The only downside to using either of those commands instead of the one in the tutorial is that you do not have a "Pin to taskbar" option in the context menu, and you have to press and hold "Shift" and right click to see the "Pin to Start Menu" option. Another downside is that you cannot drag and drop it on the taskbar as it's own separate pinned icon since it will only be pinned inside the Control Panel icon's jump list instead.

If that is not a need or concern for the user, then it's a great alternative.

Thank you again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 64 bit

That is a good to know. I never really thought about pinning it.

I am more of a fan of launching things from Start | Run or making my own Toolbars than I am a fan of using the pinning feature.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Apr 2010   #4

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

That's true. Pinning is good only for those items that you always use instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2010   #5

Windows 7/ Ubuntu

Thank you so much! I am constantly needing this desktop shortcut because I am picky about my fonts, and going into the personlization settings constantly is a PITA; especially when you have 100's of pictures set in your wallpaper folder. Why couldn't Windows leave the Desktop settings alone?

BTW, when you first create the shortcut you may not be able to pull up the properties with a right click. I believe this is more Windows security crap. I am always in Admin mode and have no UAC. What I had to do was use "Unlocker" v.1.88 (google it) on it first. (Higher versions don't work for unlocking security.) Install Unlocker, right click the Appearance shortcut and "Unlock" it. Keep "no action" selected and press OK. It simply removes the restriction temporarily. Keep Unlocker around because it's very handy.

I also changed my "Open In" setting to C:\ in stead of C:\Windows\system32 just in case, because Windows really hates it when you mess with system32.

I like the tip about Run>>desk cpl ,5. After the first run, I can just type "d" into the run dialogue and pull the settings right up too!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2010   #6

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

You're most welcome Melaney.

It would be best though to have the "Open In" set as the default C:\Windows\system32 since that is the location of the dll files referenced in the location.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

Shawn, although this posting is rather old I do have a quick question. I would like to execute this through the context menu. What data should I input for the command? Thank you very much for your help. I'm sure your a busy busy man, answering all our questions =P Thank You again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2012   #8

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello Brandon,

Here you go. Fresh out of the oven.

Advanced Window Color and Appearance - Add to Desktop Context Menu
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2013   #9

Windows 7 Professional 32bit SP1

I'm new to this forum.

Over the years I've used all versions of Windows made 3.1/95/98SE/ME/2000/XP/Vista. I'm relatively new to Win7 even though I've used it at work for a couple of years but everything is locked by admin so you can change virtually nothing.

Thanks for the tip on changing Advanced Window Color and Appearance but can get the same option if you Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Personalization\Window Color and Appearance and click Advanced Appearance Settings... and it shows the same options as the downloaded shortcut.

There are alot of annoying features of Win7 which I hate. I will search this forum for solutions and if nothing if found I'm afraid I will be putting my Vista Home Premium 32bit back even though there are annoying features on there but all the thing I use on Windows still work on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Window Color and Appearance Shortcut - Create

Tutorial Tools

Similar help and support threads
Windows 7 Tutorial Category
Window Color and Appearance - Change
How to Change the Window Color and Appearance in Windows 7 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. Aero Requirements to be Enabled in Windows 7 NOTE: If Aero is not enabled,...
Window Color and Appearance - Title Bar Color Can't Be Changed
In Appearance and Personalization > Personalization > Window Color and Appearance, I am unable to change the color of the Active Title Bar and of the Inactive Title Bar. Whatever colors I choose, both the Active and Inactive Title Bars look like this....
Window Color and Appearance Menu
Hey everyone. I need a little bit of help. I'm confused about what all the stuff in the "Window Color and Appearance" menu means. Can someone give me a list or explain to me what each of the menu items mean and what each one customizes? Thanks a lot in advance. :p
Please Help: Window color and appearance resize
Hi I have a problem regarding window color and appearance... i want to change the font on my window color and appearance suddenly the resolution of that box is bigger not like before is smaller.. like before i can see how to change font on the menu, web browser and etc. does it possible to...
Window color (sic) and appearance.
I've recently gone from XP to Win. 7. Had a fair (or unfair) few problems with stuff that doesn't want to work on Win 7. My latest grouse is that I can't 'personalize' my PC as I could with XP. I'm told that the thing only works with Windows Basic 7 or Ease of Access themes. I've set the 'Basic'...
Themes and Styles
Window color and appearance Uploaded with can anybody tell me why my windows color and appearance looks like that? Everytime i try to change my theme, i stick with the same ol windows taskbar color. And only the background changes.
Themes and Styles

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 00:07.

Twitter Facebook Google+

Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App