Windows Phone black accent
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How to enable the black accent color on Windows Phone

When choosing accent colors for your Windows Phone, you’re not going to see the color black. There’s still a way to get that color, though, and Windows Phone veterans probably know this trick already. Are you new to Windows Phone and want to know how? Head past the break and follow the steps in our video.

Your Windows Phone comes with at least 20 colors that you can use as your accent color, from primary standards like Red, Blue, and Yellow to more interesting shades like lime green, cyan, and magenta. To select your color, go to settings > theme, then tap the ‘accent color’ box.

The accent color you choose shows up in various places on Windows Phone, like the Live Tiles on the home screen, the App list, the App switcher, the keyboard, the People Hub, and even some third-party apps from the Windows Phone Store.

The black accent color is hidden somewhere else. Go to settings > ease of access, and then turn on the ‘high contrast’ option. When you go back to the home screen, you’ll notice you now have the black accent color! We think this also looks great with the white background. Go to settings > theme, and then select white for the background.

High Contrast Mode

Obviously, this is meant for people with visual impairments, but some of you may like how it looks. There are a couple of things you should be aware of though when activating high-contrast mode. First of all, say goodbye to your lock screen background. It will now only display black or white, depending on the background color you have selected. The second thing we’ve noticed is that emails remove some of the hyperlinks within the text. If those two things are important to you, stay away from high-contrast mode.

Are you going to try the black accent color/white background combination on your Windows Phone? Let us know in the comments!

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Reader comments

How to enable the black accent color on Windows Phone

139 Comments

Nope. It will on AMOLED only.

No color saves battery on lcd type technology. It does on AMOLED, because AMOLED allows you to turn off individual pictures, such that black is actual pixels that have been turned off. 

Actually white background SHOULD be more energy efficient on IPS because color pixel (including black) requires energy to maintain it opaque, when there is no energy the pixel is transparent and the backlight make it appear white. The energy gain from this will be less noticable compared to black background on AMOLED (which has no solid backlight, but rather each pixel emits light). On your question if BLACK tiles are more efficient - it is not, because black requires all 3 subpixels to maintain full power to become opaque, while each other R,G,B combinations are less power consuming. Also you might not notice any significant change because it is only certain parts of the OS that obey these settings which are small part of what is displayed on the screen during usage, most of there are full colored images displayed on the screen (games, apps and etc.). So if you change your background to white and accent color to some solid red, green or blue it should be the most efficient but this will be noticable if you only use the basic OS features or just look at a static screen.

Also changing the state of the pixel from white to black rquires even more energy thus when the screen displays motion all the "saving" are actually lost. So at the end tricking the IPS with white backround will not give you any practical drop of battery usage. If you want to do so you'd better stop background apps (especially messaging) they have the most impact on battery. After removing all the messaging apps my battery usage dropped 4-5 times (from more than 4% per hour to as low as 0.7% per hour).

I can say from experince that you are correct. 

 

Eventhough it says on my 1520 "your device is optimized for black" (which does not makes sense since it's an IPS). 

 

I've noticed that a white background on my 1520 saves considerably more battery power than balck. 

Tried it months ago..An didn't like it cause it makes most of the apps look weird(some look exeptional awesome)..And black lockscreen..+White background uses more battery(which it actually shouldn't)..

Hey... I have been using this since the day i bought a windows phone. ;) still, always had that problem regarding the hyperlink in the email... Never understood it was because of this! Thanks for your help. :)

I personally have no problems with the lock screen pic but more with the lack of links in the emails! Why would that help anyone if removed?

It depends. Just check with your model name, if it has got AMOLED screen display or IPS display. If its AMOLED, just like in Lumia 820, black coloured theme will save battery. But if its an IPS screen, just like mine... (Lumia 720) it wont have any impact. In fact, i, and many others have found out that the white colour theme is more efficient in battery saving.

I've done it a few times before but I don't like the way it highlights text on the Live Tiles, as you can see on the lead picture (Twitter tile). If only Microsoft included black as a theme. It would literally take 5 minutes of someone's time to code that into the OS. I mean, it's basically already there, it just need a few tweaks. :D

Hey an additional note:

I love this view, hate that it takes away from the lockscreen, however other huge caveat? In email, it does take away the links as stated, but it may also romove any images and formatting in general. 

I didn't realize this fully and was compaining about local email support in WP for a while before I disabled ease of access and realized email doesn't suck (at least as much as I was thinking), I did for not realizing.

Haha, luckily I was not one to take to threads and forums to go on about that specific issue, so no need for revisits. 

I did include higher level complaints that I still stand by ;)

Dude, your case and my case are totally the same. I was gonna give my cellphone to nokia care for that link problem. Just read this article and realized that it was the contrast theme.

I wish there was a darker version of the slate scheme. So it looked subtle on a black background. Also option to invert the icons would be great for light schemes like the yellow

I like how this looks but it annoys me that it replaces the accent colour completely. There are uses for an extra colour in the UI sometimes.

Of course with 8.1 you could simply use a black image to skin the tiles, and still retain your accent colour and lock screen.
(btw guys, 'lockscreen' is not a word)

I thought everyone already knew about high contrast?? I've never used it but showed it to my mother on my 810 ages ago. It's great for people with visual impairment.

Was excited for this when wp8 came out, but a lot of things become inconsistent and ugly. Couldn't keep it around.

It cool till you realize nothing display as it would in normal mode. And get boring after a while

...it was great for a while...now I feel that my eyes hurts when I looking on display...the contrast is to high for me..

Don't like it. It was one of the first things that I've discovered when I got my 625 and played on it. I'd rather prefer a black (or dark) background with a lighter accent color like lime, amber or cyan.

I've been using the ease of access theme for months now. currently, I have the Dark background. I hope MS makes WP themes more like Windows 8 where you have more choice in background and accent colors--I doubt they will though.

I tried it, i liked it, but not as a permanent feature, due to not being able to customize lock screen. But yes it does look really classy. Maybe a workaround in the future regarding the lockscreen.

By black u remind me of Lumia black update!!!....wenz it gonna hit India ? Ny 625 users who got dat update in India .... Plz respond

Hey this is awesome! I'm using it as black on black instead of the white background. If not having some lock screen pic is all I trade I'm for it. I noticed email links are still underlined so heck, I'm a happy camper. Always had a thing for minimalism. I just wish it would make Office appear black with white text (not literally, just on the phone.) At any rate, from a very recent switcher, thankee.

I don't use it only because I'm not willing to sacrifice functionality. I would, however, like to the able to choose my accent colour through a pallet or colour wheel that would allow me to opt for "black" so that I don't need to rely on Deutsche Telekom's software for the dark grey tiles for the OS tiles and Skinnery Themes to turn into black everything else.

  I did not know about this. Thanks. It looks even better with the black background. Everything looks crisp and well defined.

Thanks for this I always wondered how my colleague got his phone looking this way and always use to think since he not into his phone that much he must have done something wrong

Did this MONTHS ago.....Already sick of the colors in WP 8. Cant wait for 8.1 so at least I can do SOMETHING else with the tiles....

Been aware of it , but felt guilty using it due to its purpose intended  for the visually impaired( Swear to God.)..

Its like parking in a handicapped parking space ( Crazy but true)

I'm very fortunate to not have to use it.HOWEVER, I will give it a go .

Now that I know Santa is really my parents. And WPC has givien the OK ( Smile)

It's not really like that - because in your analogy, you're not taking a space intended for handicapped people, you just use whatever's made for them without them being impacted at all.

Looks cool but after a day or so of running it, its more annoying. They need to just add the color, or give users the option to customize colors

Apart from loss of functionality does a tone feel like it hurts their eyes after a while? Reading articles and stuff does kinda burn my eyes in high contrast.mode

When I discover this"high contrast" mode I was using it all day and another guy with a Lumia asked me how did I chose the black color because he doesn't have it and I was trolling him saying that it's on the accent color list...

Pretty much tired with the colors.At the beginning they seeemed good but now we need some more colors or maybe some different styles which i am hoping for WP8.1

Just hope they make a Black theme coz its cool to look at but some mail attachments like images that come with mail dont show up

I changed my theme to white before turning high contrast on, but ended up changing it to dark just to see what it looked like. I like the black on black way better :).

Yeah i've used this several times before on my 820, goes really well with the White Shell for 'Stormtrooper' mode.

One of my favourite aspects of it is that it turns the god awful green Xbox tile, which normally ignores colour changes, to Black, and also the same for the Skype tile.

The Lockscreen problem is a bit of an issue though sadly. Still, it's not hard to think of a way around that for 8.1.

 

 

This is very nice, althoug it doesnt look that good if you have lots of icons with custom colors. But still, very nice option!!

Looks totally awful if you use the black theme; the tiles get a white border.

It reallty requires developers to support it better, especially with regard to the display of tiles. I am guilty of this myself, but it is easy to react to SystemParameters.HighContrast and do something sensible. Time for an update... :-)

It is crying out to just be made a black theme color, and for that matter a white theme color (and not change anything else like lock screen or general UI elements) and leave high contrast setting doing what it does. I have a feeling that 8.1 won't provide this, but we'll soon know.

 

Is this a bad joke? I am not laughing. I want Windows Phone to succeed but the black theme is just ugly! Why does WP allow only twenty stupid tile colors when the display supports like millions is beyond my understanding. I like many things about Windows Phone and that is why I own ONE but the ugliness of the UI is really over the top now...

Some guy on Youtube showed that you can create iOS graphics in MS Word yet microsoft people keep coming out with vomitty UI. Come on people, make Windows Phone pretty and you can surpass the iphone!!! Wake UP already, it is 2014

Sorry for bumping this topic, i jsut wanna know is there any theme color that takes less energy? As suggested on previous comments that white takes less engery coz it only needs RGB, so if tiles are red, green, or blue solid colors, are they more energy saving?

Guys if u r into wp8.1 jus simply set a total black image as ur start screen image enough u vl get black tiles on start screen no need of givi'n up on neithr lock screen images nor hyper links. . .