How To Change Title Bar Color In Windows 10

Microsoft has changed a lot of things in Windows 10. While most of the features and changes are impressive, there is one feature most users are not exactly happy about. Windows 10 allows you make taskbar transparent, change start menu color, and pin specific settings to Start menu, but it doesn’t allow you change the title bar color!

In earlier versions of Windows, we could easily change window title bar color with a few mouse clicks. In Windows 10, the default color of window title bar, as you can see in the picture, is white. The problem is that the default color is not just boring and but it can’t be changed to a different color either. In short, you can’t change title bar color in Windows 10 with default settings.

change title bar color Windows 10

Although there are options under Color and Appearance or Settings app to change the default color, it changes only the border color and not the title bar color in Windows 10.

Change title bar color in Windows 10

If you feel that there should have been an option to change title bar color in Windows 10, you can now change the default color of title bar by completing a small workaround. Out friend at WinAero has come up with a cool workaround to change the title bar color in Windows 10 to a color of your choice.

Change Windows 10 title bar color

The good thing is that you can change the title bar color without the help of any third-party software. You just need to edit a file.

Follow the given below instructions to change title bar color in Windows 10.

Step 1: Open up File Explorer (Windows Explorer) and navigate to the following location.

C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

Where, “C” is the drive where Windows 10 is installed.

Change title bar color in Windows 10 step1

Step 2: Here you’ll see a folder named “aero”. Right-click on “aero” folder, click Copy, right-click again (not on the folder this time), and then click paste. The idea is to create a copy of the “aero” folder in the same location. Of course, you can use Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V.

Change title bar color in Windows 10 step2

When you see Folder Access Denied dialog, click the Continue button. And then when you see File Access Denied dialog, click Skip button. This will copy the “aero” folder and will skip MSS files.

Change title bar color in Windows 10 step3

Change title bar color in Windows 10 step4

Step 3: Now, rename the newly created aero-copy folder to Windows. When you see the UAC prompt, click Yes button confirm the rename.

Change title bar color in Windows 10 step5

Step 4: Open up the newly created Windows folder. Rename aero.mstyles to windows.msstyles. Click Yes if you get the UAC prompt.

Change title bar color in Windows 10 step6

Change title bar color in Windows 10 step7

Step 5: Now, open up en-US folder located under the newly created Windows folder. Here, rename the file titled aero.msstyles.mui to windows.msstyles.mui.

Change title bar color in Windows 10 step8

Step 6: Go back to the following folder:

C:\Windows\Resources\Themes

Copy aero.theme file to your desktop and then rename it to windows.theme. While

Change title bar color in Windows 10 step9

Step 7: Open windows.theme file with Notepad and look for the following line under Visual Styles section:

Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\Aero\Aero.msstyles

Rename Aero.msstyles to windows.msstyles.

change title bar color in Windows 10 step10

Save the file.

That’s it!

Step 8: Finally, double-click on the edited windows.theme to see colored title bar.

From here onwards, you can change title bar color to your liking. The title bar uses the accent color and can be changed by opening Color and appearance.

The workaround although seems a bit time consuming, it’s actually not. You can make it happen under five minutes. Good luck!

Do let us know if you’re unable to change the title bar color even after following the above mentioned directions.

To revert to the original color:

Step 1: Open up C:\Windows\Resources\Themes folder.

Step 2: Double-click on aero.theme file. That’s it!

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Comments

  1. Micromegas says

    Works for me on some windows, such as Win Explorer and Paint and even Skype. But many other windows remain unchanged and don’t get a differently title colored bar when active:
    * Personalization window still has gray title bar
    * Settings window still white
    * Outlook, Word, still blue
    * Excel still green
    * Mozilla Firefox still gray, but gets a wafer thin colored edge (but only when not maximized)
    Without those changing, the usability issue still remains, because one can’t rely on seeing where one’s keystrokes go. Any idea how to make this change universal?

  2. admin says

    @ George
    You don’t need to follow these directions if you have Windows 10 wit November Update. The OS now supports enabling titlebar color out of the box.

  3. George Perkins says

    If you follow the instructions and then delete the “windows.theme” file from the desktop the title bar color selection remains in force until/unless you open Personalize again and select some other combination of settings. Then it is lost. So at that point you have to restore the “windows.theme” from the Recycle Bin and double-click it again to restore the title bar coloration. So I don’t consider this a viable “fix” for Windows 10. It is a kludge work-around yes, and thank you for it at least now I can read my desktop again. The white background, white title bars and flat GUI is definitely a step backward. Windows has had a 3D sculpted look since Windows 3.0. Maybe that doesn’t resolve very well on a 4″ telephone screen, but on a 22″ monitor with 20 or 30 windows open, having better differentiation (by color, outline, or 3D sculpted borders) is an absolute necessity! I hope Microsoft fixes this! At least give people the choice to set a personalize setting of their liking!

  4. Roger Froud says

    This works, but there’s no explanation as to why, and what to do with the orphaned file now sitting on my desktop. Can I delete it, or will it revert back to the old style if I do?

  5. ebrown2112 says

    The new Windows folders shows a “qps-ploc” subfolder, but there’s no such folder in either the new Windows folder or the original aero folder.

  6. Monimonika says

    Thomas’s theme file worked like a charm! I can now look at open windows and video player without the big white borders blinding me.

  7. Daniel Gray says

    Does not work. Tried to find the file to open it in notepad and the closest I got was VSCache and that file had nothing in it for me to open with notepad. All the other steps did exactly as you said they would.

  8. karlyn says

    RE: workaround for changing color of title bar. Basically, very helpful & appreciated. BUT, for us novices some confusion. I did not have any folders labeled aero.msstyles; just 2 folders labeled aero, but cotents was different. but it seemed to work when i relabeled the one aero fldr to the windows.msstyles.
    In Step 7 you must open Notepad and then open the new file from the Notepad app. then the path can be found.
    Also in Step 7 very impt to change aero to windows as well as the .msstules part of the path.
    In Step 8 when you see the colored bar of a folder, go back to the Cntrl Panel/Personalization to select your choice of color and maybe a picture. i too found you can’t choose another theme…switch up your own pix i guess!

    i want to emphasize to MS that i had looked forward to great helpful changes, but this lack of using color in title bars is a nightmare. i work for ex in Excel with a ton of windows open; in Win 10 my screen is a mass of white and i can’t find anything! WHY was this kind of a change made??? The workaround has brought back my sanity. But it’s sad that to even work a few minutes i was forced into the procedure. And am left very unflexible.
    I

  9. chris says

    it works!!!! of course i got to go to settings in Personalize and choose the color or theme…thanks from Perù!!!

  10. fifht says

    Turns out the text for windows in the taskbar became black and unreadable. Others have pointed that out as well. Could any one please provide a solution to this?

  11. Liz says

    I get stuck at Step 4. There is no aero.mstyles . Only aero.mstyles.mui under the en-GB folder.

    Any suggestions?????????????

  12. jon says

    Any way to change the font color inside the title bar, too? I can hardly read it now because the default is black. Maybe there’s a variable that we need to change?

  13. Chris Sherman says

    I followed all the steps to a T but it didn’t change the colors. The top bar in all my windows and titles are still white. What can I try now?

  14. Thomas says

    If you guys want an even easier way to do that, download TitleColor.theme from my link: hxxps://app.box.com/titlebarcolorwin10

    Once you download it, double click it and it’ll make your title bar grey…then go into Personalize > Colors and choose an accent color to change it to whatever color you’d like. It’s that simple.

    Enjoy!

  15. kat says

    Worked perfectly. For anyone confused about being stuck on personalization and themes, just close it, then click on your desktop for “personalize”. From there to can select colors to apply, etc. Confused me too for a couple of minutes.

  16. Sue says

    Followed instructions, nicely done. I picked up on the renaming of the directory as well as the file name while editing the [VisualStyles]. While the title bars did become colored and was able to change colors, had to revert due to only partial coloring of tiles in the start menu.

  17. Michael says

    It works great but why does it work? You are literally just copying the file and renaming it and not changing any values. So weird

  18. K.o.R says

    Looks good. Shame about the grey rectangle that appears over the title bar text of inactive windows.

  19. Monte S says

    I had to change the path in Windows.theme to “Path=%ResourceDir%\Themes\Windows\Windows.msstyles”.

    Also had to copy Windows Windows.theme from Desktop back to %ResourceDir%\Themes.

    Instruction could use some clarification. But, thank you very much!

  20. JR says

    Worked like a charm! Question though, until there’s an update in which it’ll allow us to customize it freely, do we have to keep the the theme file on the desktop? Can it be deleted or moved? I’m assuming no but just thought I’d ask.

  21. Adam H. says

    This is great! Is there a way to make them slightly transparent like Windows 7 as well though?

  22. SteveinPA says

    It works, however when I use one of my saved themes the title bar goes back to white. It appears I can’t have it both ways.

  23. Evan says

    Worked on my first try, thank you!! My straining eyes thank you!! Wasn’t that difficult at all and I’m not that tech savvy.

  24. Alex says

    I tried this so many times that I know the steps by heart – but for some reason it doesn’t do a thing for me. I am following everything to the letter; any thoughts anyone?

  25. MonsieurToast says

    Worked like a charm, though the text doesn’t compensate, so now I have black text on a black background. Any way to fix that?

  26. cobbweb10 says

    Tried to follow instructions twice.

    Both times, I found no files labeled: aero.mstyles or aero.theme.

    All I found were aero + aero.msstyles.mui.

    Very frustrated and disappointed.

  27. Mary S says

    This did not work for me, unfortunately. After step 7, when I double-clicked on the desktop windows.theme icon, what I got was the Appearances and Personalization page. So now what?

  28. Summit says

    My eyes thank you for this, spent hours trying to fix this. How to we get this article to the top of a Google search?

  29. Hamma says

    It’s also important to note that it appears it needs to be in lowercase. When I had the path with uppercase letters it did not work.

  30. Greg M says

    Thanks works perfect. How stupid can Microsoft be for not allowing us to customize the colour of the header anymore.
    Just as a final note I copied the file from the desk top back into the windows Themes folder and can now select it just like any other theme.

  31. Jon C says

    Nice instructions – but just a couple of little things to take notice of: step 5 refers to a folder called en-US. If you’re not using US regional settings then the folder name will be different – for example I’m in the UK and the folder is called en-GB. And step 4 – its click continue and not yes ;o)

  32. Th0rsch says

    Hi,

    it worked for me, but in Step 7 it’s missing that you also have to rename the folder to “Windows”. It’s a bit confusing by naming the “new” theme “Windows”, because I applied the newly created theme and then saw no modification (even though it worked, was a bit hasty ^^). After that I clicked on the “Windows” theme again but this time it was the windows standard design which was also called “Windows” where the colored bars don’t work at all. I think that will be avoided by using an other name.

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