With the default settings, Windows 10 uses black color for the Start menu, taskbar, and action center. While the default black color looks beautiful and goes well with the default wallpaper, after using Windows 10 for a while, you might want to change your taskbar color to your desired color.
Microsoft has included several settings to customize the taskbar and Start menu in Windows 10. You can make the Start menu and taskbar transparent, add or remove the search box from the taskbar, and configure the taskbar to use the color of the desktop background or set your own custom color.
So in Windows 10, if you’re bored with the default black color of the taskbar, you can set a color of your choice or configure the taskbar to use a color to match the wallpaper.
The only catch, however, is that you can’t set different colors for the taskbar, action center, and Start menu in Windows 10, and moreover, the color of the taskbar and Start menu will be the accent color and vice versa. For the uninitiated, the accent color is nothing but a color used in the Settings app, some tiles on Start, and some other areas of Windows 10. The accent color is also the window border color.
To change the taskbar color in Windows 10, follow the instructions mentioned in one of the two given below methods.
Method 1 of 2
Change the taskbar color via Settings
Step 1: Right-click on desktop and then click Personalize option to Personalization section of the Settings app.
Step 2: Click Colors. Scroll down to see the Show accent color on the following surfaces section. Here, check the box next to Start, taskbar, and action center to show color on the taskbar, Start menu, and action center.
If you don’t want to use the current (accent) color, you can select a color (or create your own color by clicking on the Custom color option just below it) from the Colors section (on the same page).
If the Start, taskbar, and action center option is greyed out, please refer to our fix to Start, taskbar, and action center greyed out in Windows 10 Settings guide.
As you can see, the same page offers an option to show color on the title bars and window borders as well.
Method 2 of 2
Change the taskbar color to match the desktop background
Step 1: Open the Personalization section of the Settings app. To do so, right-click on the desktop and then click Personalize.
Step 2: Navigate to the Colors page. Select the following options:
# Automatically pick an accent color from my background
# Show accent color on Start, taskbar, and action center.
That’s it! From here onwards, whenever you change the desktop background and the color of the taskbar and Start menu will also be changed automatically.
Note: As of now, there is no software around to set different colors for the Start menu and taskbar in Windows 10. We will update this article if and when a developer comes with software to set separate colors for the taskbar and Start menu in Windows 10.
Let us know if you are unable to change your default taskbar color in Windows 10.
I can’t change taskbar color either following update.
Can’t change PIN code either
Harry S. Anchan says
There is only one elegant solution – and the only one that worked! Use “Classic Shell”. The native tweaks in Windows are totally useless for doing this! The reason I first decided to use to was to rid myself of that disgusting Windows 10 look, but I was delighted to find that, as a pleasant surprise, it also allowed me to customize SO much more! One of the best software out there!
The only “fix” I found was using the program “Classic Shell”
I really would like to tell you how windows completely FUCKING!!!! sucks. Thank you all for this FUCKED UP system.
When I try to select the “Start, taskbar, and action center” , it does not function. The check mark doesn’t activate in the box. Now what?
Mrs Evelyn P Adams says
These options did not work. My start, task bar and action centre button is greyed out and I cannot select it. This is most annoying as this has only happened today after an update yesterday. I am sick to death of microsoft and windows updates messing everything up – LEAVE IT ALONE!!!! I have lost all my sub-folders from my email account and no matter what have been unable to retrieve them – it is a total nightmare.,
Tureka Yimatu says
Though I do not use Linux, it is way too better than windows 0…and your blog is also very useful, I always miss such blogs,,thank you Epic browser and DuckDuckGo for honest search results.
This is a massive fail on Microsoft’s part.
It’s the simplest thing in the world to assign colours to things, but MS doesn’t even seem to be able to do that correctly.
I don’t want my taskbar to be the same colour as my start menu. I also don’t want it sharing colours with anything else. I don’t want to change the taskbar colour and then discover that other colours have also been changed.
All this stuff used to work properly in ever single version of Windows up until W8 and W10. Why Microsoft is so inept that they cannot even get this simple thing right, I have no idea.
I am a tech, and I install Windows 10 about 20 times per week for our clients. I cannot even be sure what the defaults will be because every second or third time I install Windows the colours are different.
I honestly don’t mean to rant, but it just happened again, and I thought I would have look on the net and see if MS fixed the problem, which of course they have not.
So, lost functionality since Windows 98 includes changing colours correctly, not being able to open windows in different windows unless you change the defaults (at least you can), and worst of all, the system not remembering the size and location of Windows after you close them.
There is a nice little app you can get called “shell folder fix” that will correct this last problem.
Robert Sadler says
As of October 12, 2019, here’s what to do:
• Settings > Personalization > Colors >
• Set “Choose your color” to Custom
• Set “Choose your default Windows mode” to Dark
(you may also want to set “Choose your default app mode” to Light
Joshua Kishineff says
I can’t change taskbar color either following update.
Can’t change PIN code either
Dave L says
The Start, Taskbar and action centre option is greyed out and cannot be selected, either with a colour selected or not. Windows was fully up to date as of 2058 this evening, 13 Sept 2019.
Ian Fitzsimons says
After updating to the latest Windows 10 release,
I too was unable to change the taskbar colour.
It was a light tan color.
On the “Colors” setting page,
I discovered that if you set the “Choose default Windows mode” to dark instead of light,
then the “choose taskbar colour” option became available and not greyed out.
Now my taskbar is back to the color it used to be :)
Robert Wadman says
Says updated September 1, 2019 by Administrator but it is all wrong now. Running latest version (1903) Build 18362.295 you can choose a color (Windows color) of “light” (basically gray) and dark (just short of black) which is applied to the start menu, taskbar and apps. Or select custom and set light/dark for star menu + taskbar together and applications separately. Either way you can’t apply an actual color to these, the box to select that is grayed out. At least you can still select an accent color to highlight the active window. So as they keep adding more and more trash an gunk that we did not ask for they also remember to take away a feel toys that we all liked (too much) with each update.
Ben Nash says
Useless. Not the same options in latest Windows 10. There is a “Show accent color on the following surfaces” but the taskbar option is greyed out. No explanation of why it’s greyed out.
Another wrong, outdated, useless Windows 10 article.
Not your fault, since Windows 10 is a beta release to be tested by paying customers.
Alexander Vale says
Useless, can’t change the colour of the start or task bar, can’t even select the option, greyed out.
Michael Boland says
In the “Choose your color” drop down box select “Custom”. Then you have better control
I can not get my taskbar to change colors it just changed by itself . I need another color icons doesn’t show up good at all I have done what it says but doesn’t change.where it says show color on start taskbar action center won’t let me do any thing with it .taskbar is white what do I do thanks
Ebony Wroten says
followed all the steps given to change the color still not working
Useless for me I’m afraid. The option to show colour on start, taskbar and action centre was greyed out. I’ve got Classic Shell, but that only has one colour option that I could see and the black icons don’t show up on it. Back to the drawing board. Loved the comment above asking when Windows was going to sort this out. I laughed myself silly! The idea of Microsoft bothering to fix anything! Lol. They could start will the stupid tiny font that’s making me squint and giving me sore eyes.
William Gates (The slow thinking one) says
I failed to note Arda’s comment about the Classic Shell type involvement in taskbar color and had completely forgotten that Classic Shell had settings for this. Within a couple of minutes, the problem was solved. Thank you, Arda !
William Gates (the poor one) says
Right click did not yield a listing for personalizing. Neither did the control panel. I did accidentally get a screen (out of about 8 tries from different promises to allow setting of color for taskbar) that used the word >personalized” but did not deliver. I set a background color to get rid of the slide show, with the intent of using a photo later. That worked quickly and well….but the task bar? No way.
Judy C. Zorn says
I don’t like these dark bright colors. I would prefer and it would be easier to read if it was like it was awhile back with the lighter pastel shades. This pink is too hot pink. I would prefer a baby pink. But I don’t see that color on these selections here. When you are blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other (LOL) the colors, fonts and such really make a difference. And, especially for people like me who have had eye surgery for cataracts. Please get the softer lighter pastel shades back.
If another program is using your taskbar(Classic Shell etc.) it may not work.
David Rodriguez says
My taskbar is white. The Lettering is the color Yellow. It is yellow when I need to read “How to Do” How does one change to a darker color which is quite more readily readable?
My Windows 10 Laptop Background Screen is black and theme is Locked don’t know how to fit it, Please help me to fix and unlock theme color.
Thank you very much, information was helpful.
Sammy Flanders says
About resetting colors – If I remove ‘HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM’, does Win10 remake the key from the HKLM hive?
Thank you so much ……..
Don Payne says
@Henk: Thanks, Classic Shell is great!
Ron Palmer says
Does anyone in Microsoft use Windows 10?
The only choices for the taskbar are either black text on a black background or black text on a dark colored background — the first is completely useless, the second is almost as useless.
When can we expect Microsoft to fix this stupid mistake?
I’m switching back to Windows 7.
Lars-Erik Østerud says
I have helped two friends upgrading from Windows 7. And both ended up with black text in the taskbar. And black icons for resize and close on windows. And I have no idea how to get it white. Seems like it keeps some color settings from the old OS. On my fresh install I got white text and icons. I have tried applying all color settings from my registry. But it doesn’t help :-( Anyone know where the text color is stored in the registry?
Justin Case says
Black lettering on a black background is absolutely insane. Or Windows 10, but then I am being redundant, I guess. Fortunately, I backed up my Win 7 partition – I guess I go back. This is absolutely annoying. To chagne the interface, everything we see, to be totally different, while leaving the basic system with all its faults the same, is insane. It’s Windows 10, but then I’m being reduntant.
Thank you! The first one worked :D
Does anybody know what the equivalent registry key is for “Automatically pick a color from my background”?
John Augustin says
It appears that the black on the taskbar never goes away because the color selected is much, much darker when I look at the taskbar. The borders seem to match the selected color fine but the taskbar is so much darker. Am I doiing something wrong?
I just installed Classic Shell 4.2.4 and now I can set any color for the task bar and a lot more.
Unfortunately the “right click items” are still in black.
Mark the check-box “Show all settings” in Classic Shell to get access to the Windows 10 Settings.
It is quite easy to switch Classic Shell on and off. Right click on the start button, select exit and it is off. In the Win 10 menu select All apps, then Classic Shell / Classic Start Menu Settings and it is on again.
John Benson says
How do you change the color for right click items from the taskbar from black.
Upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Really miss aero glass. I am unable to change the color of my taskbar, it is always black. I find the whole default theme to be very dark and hard on the eyes. Another disappointment is the theme functions or lack of. In 7 one could customize a theme, change colors, select only certain images. 10 has none of the features.
Will be glad when Windows Blinds is 10 compatible.
I have to say this new Windows 10 look is a disaster. I mean, it was so neat in Windows 7. And so it was in Windows 8. But this is one is a total failure. The fact, that you cannot customize this look and you are limited to a certain amount of colors that any way you can’t brighten up… I mean, the taskbar is always dark. I hate it. But nothing can be done to make it pretty light metallish, for example. Or glassy. Not, it’s dark and it has these primitive looking icons in white. What a mess. I’m hoping an app will pop up soon enough to be able to modify it.
Its a easy way.
thank you so much for your help
Sure, it’s easy to change the tasbar color in Win10, but how do you change the taskbar font color?
Dean Zurk says
In Windows 10 I, and no one else, can change the color or our task bar in Word, Excel and all other programs. It’s white, and according to Window’s people that’s the way it is! For some reason that’s a change they made in Window’s 10. Duh. And is there a way I can go back to my Window’s 8.1 without problems???
Philippe DR says
Very helpful ! Thanks !