How to Change the Color of Window Title Bars in Windows 10

How to Change the Color of Window Title Bars in Windows 10

In Windows 10 the title bar of all the desktop apps is just plain white. Unlike in the previous versions of Windows, you cannot change the title bar color that easily with just a few clicks in the personalization panel. Even though the decision to remove the ability to change the title bar color is part of the design choice, it is absolutely a deviation from the previous Windows options.

If you think the white-colored title bar is too light for your eyes, or if you just want to change the title bar color to your favorite color, then you can do that by following the below guide. The procedure detailed below is not necessarily difficult but is certainly messy. So follow through and you can easily change the color of Windows 10 title bars.

Note: this procedure only applies to desktop apps and not to modern apps. This is due to the fact that the developers of modern apps can choose their own colors.

To change the color of Window title bars, we are going to be using Windows Aero Style files. To start, open the File Explorer and navigate to the folder “C:\Windows\Resources\Themes.”

change-title-bar-color-open-themes-folder

Once you are in the Themes folder, copy the folder “aero” and paste it in the same folder. This action will create a new copy of the “aero” folder. You will receive a couple of warning messages; just click on the “Continue” button followed by the “Skip” button on the second warning window to complete the copying process.

change-title-bar-color-click-continue

This is what it looks like once the file has been copied (duplicated).

change-title-bar-color-copy-created

Once the folder has been copied, rename the folder to “color.”

change-title-bar-color-rename-to-color

After renaming the folder, open the folder, locate the “aero.msstyles” file and rename it to “color.msstyles.”

change-title-bar-color-rename-msstyles

In the same folder, open the “en-US” folder and locate and rename the file “aero.msstyles.mui” to “color.msstyles.mui.”

change-title-bar-color-rename-msstyles-mui

Once you are done with the above changes, head back to the “Themes” folder and copy the “aero.theme” file to your Desktop.

change-title-bar-color-copy-aero-theme-file

As soon as you’ve copied the file, rename it to “color.theme.”

change-title-bar-color-rename-to-color-theme-file

We need to edit this file to change the path for “VisualStyles.” To do that, right-click on the file, select “Open With,” select “Notepad” from the list of options and click on the “Ok” button.

change-title-bar-color-open-with-notepad

The above action will open the file with Notepad. Here, scroll down and find the line “Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\Aero\aero.msstyles” under “[VisualStyles],” and modify it to “Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\color\color.msstyles.” Now, save the file and close it.

change-title-bar-color-change-path

After completing the editing part, cut (Ctrl + X) the file and paste (Ctrl +V) it in the Themes folder. After pasting the file in, simply double-click on it to make the changes take effect.

change-title-bar-color-execute-color-theme-file

If you’ve done everything as described in the article, Windows will change the title bar color as shown in the above image.

The title bar color will be the same as the Windows 10 Accent Color, but you can easily change it in the “Colors” panel in the “Personalization” settings. If you let Windows pick the Accent Color automatically, then the title bar color will be changed according to your desktop wallpaper.

change-title-bar-color-change-accent-color

As mentioned earlier, the change is only applicable to the desktop apps and not to the modern apps. If you want to undo the changes, simply double-click on the “aero.theme” file in the Themes folder.

Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to change the window title bar color in Windows 10.

10 comments

  1. Worked Ok but I found I lost the Windows 10 slideshow, it defaulted to the Windows theme and changing back to Windows 10 theme lost the color title bar. This can be fixed by copying the [slideshow] and all the paths to images underneath it from theme1.theme and paste it into the end of the color.theme file will get you the color of your choice and the Windows 10 theme.

  2. I have newly loaded Windows 10 and hate the white on white. Your process worked until this step.
    “The above action will open the file with Notepad. Here, scroll down and find the line “Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\Aero\aero.msstyles” under “[VisualStyles],” and modify it to “Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\color\color.msstyles.” Now, save the file and close it.”
    I get an error message in Notepad: “Access Denied”. I have administrator privileges. Why is this happening.

    • Before editing, you first need to duplicate the file on to your desktop. Otherwise, you cannot edit the file, this is because you are not the “owner” of the file.

  3. That what i was looking for since i have installed Windows 10.

    I send you a lot of thanks for this tutorial.

  4. It worked like a charm – thanks for this. The only problem is like Claude said, after doing all the steps and clicking on the color file it defaults to the windows theme and when I clicked back on my theme the title bar went back to awful beige (mine’s not actually white) color. Also it doesn’t fix the problem in Word or Excel, where I’m practically going blind from eye strain trying to see the menus over the beige color. I tried Claude’s suggestion but that didn’t work for me at all.

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