How to change default system font on Windows 10

Windows 10 change system font
Windows 10 change system font (Image credit: Windows Central)

On Windows 10, you can change the default system font, but you now have to make changes to the Registry to complete this task.

In older versions like Windows 7, the Control Panel included personalization settings to change the system font for many visual elements on the desktop, such as File Explorer, icons, title bars, menus, message boxes, and more. However, for some reason, Windows 10 removed these settings, and you are now stuck with the default system font.

However, it is possible to change the "Segoe UI" default font on Windows 10, if that is something you want to do. Now, it just takes a few more steps using the Registry.

In this Windows 10 guide, we will walk you through the steps to change the default system font for most desktop elements.

How to change default font on Windows 10

To change the system font on Windows 10, use these steps:

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that editing the Registry is risky and can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you don't do it correctly. It's recommended to make a full backup of your PC before proceeding. Alternatively, you can create a system restore point, which will also help you revert the changes.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Notepad and click the top result to open the text editor.
  3. Copy and paste the following Registry code onto the file:Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts]"Segoe UI (TrueType)"="""Segoe UI Bold (TrueType)"="""Segoe UI Bold Italic (TrueType)"="""Segoe UI Italic (TrueType)"="""Segoe UI Light (TrueType)"="""Segoe UI Semibold (TrueType)"="""Segoe UI Symbol (TrueType)"=""[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes]"Segoe UI"="NEW-FONT-NAME"
  4. Open Settings.
  5. Click on Personalization.
  6. Click on Fonts.
  7. Select the font family you want to use.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Note the official name of the font family – for example, Courier New.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. In the Notepad text with the Registry code, replace "NEW-FONT-NAME" with the name of the font you want to use in the entire system – for example, Courier New.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the File menu.
  2. Select the Save as option.
  3. Use the "Save as type" drop-down menu and select the All Files option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Confirm a descriptive name for the file, such as "my-system-font," and use the ".reg" as the extension – for example, my-system-font.reg.
  2. Click the Save button.
  3. Right-click the newly created ".reg" file and select the Merge option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Yes button.
  2. Click the OK button.
  3. Restart the computer.

Once you complete the steps, the new font should be available throughout the desktop visual elements, including File Explorer, message box, taskbar, and apps that use the system default font settings.

Although you can select from a lot of different fonts, it is recommended to choose a style that is easy to understand since fonts like Webdings or Wingdings use symbols, and they can cause issues to the installation.

How to restore default system font on Windows 10

If you change your mind, you can always restore the previous settings using the Registry or using a restore point.

Undo settings with Registry

To restore the default font settings on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Notepad and click the top result to open the text editor.
  3. Copy and paste the following Registry code onto the file:Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts]"Segoe UI (TrueType)"="segoeui.ttf""Segoe UI Black (TrueType)"="seguibl.ttf""Segoe UI Black Italic (TrueType)"="seguibli.ttf""Segoe UI Bold (TrueType)"="segoeuib.ttf""Segoe UI Bold Italic (TrueType)"="segoeuiz.ttf""Segoe UI Emoji (TrueType)"="seguiemj.ttf""Segoe UI Historic (TrueType)"="seguihis.ttf""Segoe UI Italic (TrueType)"="segoeuii.ttf""Segoe UI Light (TrueType)"="segoeuil.ttf""Segoe UI Light Italic (TrueType)"="seguili.ttf""Segoe UI Semibold (TrueType)"="seguisb.ttf""Segoe UI Semibold Italic (TrueType)"="seguisbi.ttf""Segoe UI Semilight (TrueType)"="segoeuisl.ttf""Segoe UI Semilight Italic (TrueType)"="seguisli.ttf""Segoe UI Symbol (TrueType)"="seguisym.ttf""Segoe MDL2 Assets (TrueType)"="segmdl2.ttf""Segoe Print (TrueType)"="segoepr.ttf""Segoe Print Bold (TrueType)"="segoeprb.ttf""Segoe Script (TrueType)"="segoesc.ttf""Segoe Script Bold (TrueType)"="segoescb.ttf"[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes]"Segoe UI"=-
  4. Click the File menu.
  5. Select the Save as option.
  6. Use the "Save as type" drop-down menu and select the All Files option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Confirm a descriptive name for the file, such as "restore-default-font," and use the ".reg" as the extension – for example, restore-default-font.reg.
  2. Click the Save button.
  3. Right-click the newly created ".reg" file and select the Merge option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Yes button.
  2. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the Windows 10 default font should rollback to the previous configuration.

Undo settings with Restore point

Alternatively, you could also use a previous restore point created before modifying the font settings to undo the changes. However, use this option as a last resort, since depending on when you are restoring the system, the feature may also undo other system changes you may have configured after the restore point was created.

To undo system changes, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Create a restore point and select the top result to open the app.
  3. Click the System Protection tab.
  4. Click the System Restore button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select the restore point you created before applying the settings.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, the system will need to be restarted to finish the process.

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

58 Comments
  • Great and usefull
  • Greatt !!!
  • I wish this were possible on Windows 10 mobile.
  • In your dreams
  • Soon, real soon
  • It should be, shall I try it?
  • Theres an app for that, naturally, haha. You can only change it globally though (just how mobile is). The app is called DHT fontchange. If i remember correctly it needs to be sideloaded. Its not as straitforward as downloading the app ,sideloading it, and picking your font though. But if you can follow directions, its pretty simple and straitforward. Just bing DHT fontchange xap and look for the win10m thread on xda forums. There are ways to do it manually with a reg editor, but thats much more involved. Beforehand, note the risk that always comes with changing things that are not meant to be modified.
  • DHT font style is outdated. Use font style or perfect style
  • Also,  just a note regarding this articles tutorial. Very useful info, and its good to know how things work. I just wanted to point out to anyone who may not want to do it manually, winaero tweaker allows you to change all of the system fonts independently or globally very easily. Amongst many other things. 
  • I'll give it a try man
  • It it possible, very easy now because now there are apps for it.
    All you need is interop unlock (can be enabled with few clicks unless it's a x50) then you can install perfect or font style apps and change between 20 fonts or add you own
  • This should be an option in the settings personalization. Average users shouldn't have to access the registry to hack this personalization feature in 2016 and windows 10. Microsoft should read this article and put this on the personalization feature update agenda. Other personalization requests: 1. How do I get dark mode for "desktop apps" and bridge apps (like control panel, explorer etc.?)? 2.How can pin other filetypes and folders as live tiles in the startmenu, other than the few explorer folders and office? 3. How can I change the transparency and  color of the (individual) live tiles?        
  • Average users don't care about changing fonts, lol.
  • Good points mentioned.
  • Drop it in the feedback hub. If enough people agree with you, it just might happen. 
  • Dark mode, like high-contrast mode, is something individual app developers need to design into their apps. It's not something the OS can actually do for an app beyond telling it "The user has requested [dark|HC|whatever} mode -- do what you think is best to support it.". Some bare defaults exist for some things, but those defaults do the wrong thing in a number of cases. For example, icons and other UI elements need to be swapped out for versions appropriate for the mode.
  • Never thought I would see a time where the word "hack" is used in reference to making changes in your registry. I guess messing with settings in control panel will be the next thing to be considered hacking.