In Windows XP, we could easily change the background color of Windows Explorer by creating and editing desktop.ini file. We could even set a picture as a folder background using the same technique.
There have been tools to change the color of Windows Explorer background in Windows 7 and set an image as folder background in Windows 7 but these tools are not compatible with the new File Explorer introduced with Windows 8.
For some reason, these folder background changing tools do not work in Windows 10 and Windows 8/8.1. Ever since the release of Windows 10, users have been asking us to come up with a way to set a picture as folder background or at least change the folder background color and we decided to come up with this guide.
If you are on Windows 10, it’s not possible to set a picture as File Explorer or folder background. There is no software out there to change folder background color or picture in Windows 10, at least for now. Therefore, there is no point in trying out the old Windows 7 compatible folder background changing tools on Windows 10.
Is it possible to change folder background color in Windows 10?
Yes, there is a way to change the color of File Explorer in Windows 10. You can use a third-party tool called QTTabBar (yes, that’s the name of the program!) to change the default color of File Explorer.
If you cannot stare at the white background of Windows 10 File Explorer or folders, you can use the QTTabBar to change the default background color. Using QTTabBar to change File Explorer background color is not very straight forward, though. So, please follow our directions carefully.
Changing folder or File Explorer background color in Windows 10
Follow the given below directions to change the default color File Explorer in Windows 10.
Step 1: The first step is to download and install QTTabBar on your Windows 10 PC. Visit this page to download QTTabBar. Run the setup file, and follow on-screen instructions to install the same.
Step 2: Once installed, sign out and sign in or reboot your PC once.
Step 3: Open File Explorer. Click View tab, click Options, and enable QTTabBar and QT Command Bar. You should now see QT File Explorer toolbar when you open up a folder or File Explorer. Don’t worry, you can turn off the toolbar after changing the background color.
Step 4: Click the settings icon in the QT toolbar in the File Explorer. This will open QTTabBar Options.
Step 5: In the left-pane, click Appearance.
Step 6: Switch to Folder View tab. Check Base background color. Select a background color for the active and inactive window. Click Apply button.
Step 7: Move to Navigation pane tab. Check Back color. Choose a background color for the left navigation pane, choose a text color (if you want) and then click Apply button again.
Step 8: Click Compatible Folder View in the left-pane. Under the General tab, check Compatible list view style, check “Selected column background color in details”, click Choose a color and then click Apply button.
Step 9: Open up File Explorer to see the new background color. Note that if you have chosen a new background color for active window only, you need to click on a file to see the new background color. So, it’s a wise idea to have same background color active and inactive window (described in Step 6)
Finally, if you want to get rid of that QT toolbar in File Explorer, click View tab, click Options, and then deselect QT Command Bar.