Windows 11 high contrastSource: Windows Central

Although the default color scheme across the Windows 11 desktop is suited for most people, as part of the accessibility experience, the system also includes four high-contrast color themes specifically designed for people with low vision (but anyone can use them).

When you enable the feature, elements like text, links, buttons, and background will use a specific set of high-contrast colors that makes it easier to see and read content on Windows 11 and across the internet. You can even create and apply a custom theme with custom colors suited to your needs.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to enable and configure high-contrast mode on your laptop or desktop computer.

How to enable high-contrast mode on Windows 11

To switch to one of the contrast Windows 11 themes, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accessibility.
  3. Click the Contrast themes page on the right side.

    Windows 11 Contrast ThemesSource: Windows Central

  4. Under the "Contrast themes" setting, select one of the available themes:

    • Aquatic.
    • Desert.
    • Dusk.
    • Night sky.

    High Contrast ThemesSource: Windows Central

  5. Click the Apply button.
  6. (Optional) Use the Left Alt key + Left Shift key + Print screen keyboard shortcut to enable or disable the contrast theme.

Once you complete the steps, the Windows experience will switch to the high-contrast mode. When applying a high-contrast theme, it's normal to see a "Please wait" screen for a few seconds while the system applies the changes.

How to create custom high-contrast mode on Windows 11

To create a custom high-contrast theme, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Accessibility.
  3. Click the Contrast themes page on the right side.

    Windows 11 Contrast ThemesSource: Windows Central

  4. Under the "Contrast themes" setting, select one of the available themes — for example, Desert.
  5. Click the Edit button.

    Contrast theme editSource: Windows Central

  6. Use the Background setting to set the background for the elements that show text on Windows 11.

    Contrast Theme CustomizationSource: Windows Central

  7. Use the Text setting to set the text color for Windows 11 and web pages.
  8. Use the Hyperlink setting to set the text color of links available on Windows 11 or web pages.
  9. Use the Inactive text setting to change the text color for inactive text across the experience.
  10. Use the Selected text setting to choose the text color for text selection.
  11. Use the Button text to set the color for buttons and text inside the buttons.
  12. Click the Save as button.

    Create custom high contrast themeSource: Windows Central

  13. Confirm a name for the new custom theme.
  14. Click the Save and apply button.

As you make the changes, you will see a preview in the setting. After you complete the steps, the theme will apply immediately with all the custom settings.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources: