Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
It’s time to give your Windows 10 system a new lick of paint. We’re going to show you how to change the colors used throughout every aspect of your computer, from menu bars and borders, to buttons and drop shadows.
In the past, we’ve shown you how to change the color of command prompt and you can expect even more unique and niche tips here. You can do away with all the default colors and make your own theme entirely.
If you have your own color changing tip to share, be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
1. Accent Colors
One of the simplest and quickest ways to add some spark to Windows 10 is by selecting an accent color. To do this, press Windows key + I to open Settings and navigate to Personalization > Colors.
Here you can set a specific color to use, either by selecting a Windows color, a Custom color, or ticking to Automatically pick an accent color from my background.
This will then change the color of things like menu items, window borders, and taskbar highlights. You can also add your chosen color to additional areas by ticking Start, taskbar and action center and Title bars.
2. Color Synchronizer
We’re on our way to making Windows more colorful, but you’ve probably noticed that the accent color hasn’t changed everywhere you might expect it to. This is because the feature only makes specific changes on Universal Windows Platform applications (basically modern apps) whereas traditional desktop programs will use a default color.
The program Accent Color Synchronizer can change this. Download it from the official website and launch the program. Switch to Advanced mode. Now you can tick which elements you want to change and click the colors to change it to something else. By default, it’ll grab from whatever you’ve set in the Windows Settings area.
You then have three options. Select Sync now to apply these changes across your system as a one off, Sync automatically for the changes to take effect every time you change your accent color, and Restore defaults to revert any changes made by the program.
3. Classic Color Panel
Let’s keep going with the color. There’s more to customize and a program called Classic Color Panel can help. This is a lightweight utility that lets you change the colors of a vast amount of Windows elements, like button text, shadows, menu bars, borders, and much more. To get started, head to the official website, download the tool, and launch it.
On your first launch, you’ll get the option to create a backup of your current default colors. You should definitely do this because it’ll allow you to rollback if you don’t like anything you change, which you can restore by clicking Default once in the program.
To get going, click >>> to expand the window and see all the available options:
To make a change, simply click a color panel, choose a color, then click OK. You can hover over some text to see an information tooltip if you’re not certain what element it is. You might need to log out and back in again for some of the changes to take effect.
4. Colorful Encrypted or Compressed File Names
By now your system should be looking super colorful, but there’s another small tweak to apply. This will turn the file names of your encrypted files green and your compressed files blue.
First, open File Explorer with Windows key + E and navigate to the folder you wish to apply the changes to. Click the View tab in the ribbon and click Options. On the new window click the View tab, scroll down the list, and tick Show encrypted or compressed NTFS files in color.
You can click Apply to Folders to apply your changes to all folders of the same type. Alternatively, to keep it to just the folder that you’re editing, click OK.
5. Dark Mode
If you’ve had enough of the light color and want to flick the switch, it sounds like the Dark Mode is for you.
For the majority of modern Windows apps, using dark mode will turn the background from white to black. It’ll also flip the font color from black to white, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to read anything!
To enable this, press Windows key + I to open Settings. Navigate to Personalization > Colors and beneath Choose your default app mode select Dark. The change will be applied instantly.
If this isn’t good enough for you and you want to run even further from the light, see our tips on how to make Windows 10 even darker.
If you were tired of the default Windows colors then hopefully our guide has given your system a refreshing coat of paint. Thirsty for more color? Consider setting an animated desktop wallpaper for extra spice.
If you’re satisfied with your colors and want to make the system more your own, check our guide on how to change the look and feel of Windows 10, with tips on adjusting sounds, icons, the Start menu, and much more.
Do you know of any other methods to add color to Windows 10? What color scheme are you rocking?
Image Credits: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock