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Windows 7: change windows [explorer] colors?

03 Mar 2017   #1

windows 7, 64bit
change windows [explorer] colors?

I'm pathologically oversensitive [one of those guys who endlessly tweaks his tv picture, browser settings etc.], so i have a problem with 'windows windows' [i.e. windows explorer windows]. The bright white backgrounds are less visible than, say, white text on gray backgrounds.
Yes, you can change title bar [etc.] colors, but not the text color and main backgrounds. I've read that if you use non-Aero themes you can, but so far i haven't been able to [ever try to follow a tutorial when what you see on-screen differs from what the tutorial claims you'll see?], and, anyway, i prefer Aero's effects.

Yes, i know about how some themes are supposed to be tweakable but i've never been able to make that route work. And i've seen others comment on the general flakiness of that approach, so it's not just my incompetence.

There are also two little utilities [one, AvefoldersBG i think, and i forget the name of other], but neither takes [both lose settings, work erratically].
I'd be very grateful if anybody can help. Thanks for your time.
Marinus [call me sub! ]

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2017   #2

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

Suggest reading the entire thread here:

How to change background color of Folders in Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2017   #3

windows 7, 64bit

Registry tweak didn't work for me. And the utility mentioned, Windows 7 Folder Background Changer, was the second utility i mentioned in my first post [that didn't reliably or consistently work for me].
My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Mar 2017   #4

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

Hopefully you worked out that a reboot is required before the settings will work.

You might want to try Gammit if you just need less brightness in white backgrounds.

Gammit! Download

It's portable so runs without installation. Just make a note of the original setting that is shown when you run the program.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2017   #5

windows 7, 64bit

Actually- the procedure called for log-off/-on, which i had done. But on your advice [that you hoped i'd "worked out"], i rebooted. Still nothing.
And simple screen darkeners i've always known about. [May i recommend Dlighter, the best of its type i've found]. For that kind of 'solution' one could always just wear sunglasses!
I'm grateful for responses from anybody willing to help but i'm not entirely stupid, i have tried the obvious.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2017   #6

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

Not sure why reg tweak will not work for you. Maybe you have some theme/ theme tweak that overrides that setting.

Anyway here are screenshots from a portable utility that I sometimes use:

You can configure colors for pretty much anything shown here:
change windows [explorer] colors?-configuration-xyplorerfree.jpg
Quick example - just messing about with it:
change windows [explorer] colors?-xyplorer-1.jpg
Default look:
change windows [explorer] colors?-xyplorerfree.jpg
There are options to add color filters to filenames based on certain criteria with the option to toggle on/ off.

It can replace explorer:
change windows [explorer] colors?-configuration-2-xyplorerfree.jpg
I prefer to launch it from right click context menu.
change windows [explorer] colors?-context-menu.jpg
If you want to test it I reckon I could upload the version I use (they've given away fully functional free versions in the past and I have one of those) - currently you cannot get a fully functional free version from the manufacturer's website. The T&C's state "may be freely distributed in unmodified form"

Note: If you want a copy to test I will not be around for the next week or replying to any forum posts.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2017   #7

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

I've PM'd you a link.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2017   #8

Both Windows 7 64 & Windows 10 LTSB

I found a way to make Word / Excel / possibly other apps with grey background after meddling with an already created theme - the theme I liked.

I had to go to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes and copied my theme to desktop.
There, I renamed it to something suggestive (ie customized) then right clicked on it, open with - notepad.

Inside, I navigated to the bottom to find the exact registry entries from HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors.

I changed Window from 255 255 255 to 192 192 192, saved, copied it back to the Themes folder, went to desktop - right clicked, selected personalize - themes - theme settings and chose the customized theme.

Background changed immediately, but if you have Word / Excel / etc running, you might need to restart them.

This worked for me, at least for Word / Excel, not for folder backgrounds. I still have to look into that. That still remains my question. Is this possible for folder backgrounds too?

I will meddle some more when I have time and post the solution if I can find one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2017   #9

windows 7, 64bit

If you have a fix, i [and everyone else bothered by windows explorer fixed color scheme] would still love to hear it. But i'm fairly confident in concluding that this particular problem is unfixable. See this thread and 2014 thread for proof. Bill Gates socked it to us again.
To those who responded- thanks for trying.

PS: If XYPlorer can alter windows explorer windows, the method is well-hidden. In my experience, it can't [save for leftmost directory tree pane].
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Mar 2017   #10

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

It can't change windows explorer colors but if using XYPlorer to navigate you should be able to use any colors you like.

I've just changed panes to purple as a test:
change windows [explorer] colors?-purple.jpg
change windows [explorer] colors?-purple-2.jpg
Have you installed any third party themes that might be taking control of color settings?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 change windows [explorer] colors?

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