Replace those white title bars in Windows 10 with this colors theme

Microsoft's Windows 10 changes many things, and some of those are not super popular. One of those deviations are the white (or neutral) title bars for certain apps. As it turns out, developers can choose the color when designing their app. However, if they do not specify a color, it just defaults to white. This behavior is slightly unexpected as some users expect it to match the accent color.

There is a way to get back those accent-matched title bars, and it is through a simple addition of a custom 'theme'. Themes are still present in Windows 10 although they are pushed to the back a bit, being found in the original settings app.

To spruce up Windows 10, you can just add this accent-matched theme. Here's how to do it:

Install Color Theme for Windows 10

  1. Download the package containing the theme from here
  2. Extract it to your desktop or temporary directory (if you do not have any program that can do it, downloaded 7zip, which is free)
  3. Copy the folder Colored and file colored.theme
  4. Copy them to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes (you may need admin privileges)
  5. Double-click colored.theme and wait for the PC install the theme

Once installed, you can now choose your background image as usual and switch accent colors at will. Whatever your accent color is should be reflected in the title bars of certain apps like File Explorer and others. If you do not like the look or want to go back to the original Windows 10 version just choose any other theme e.g. Synced Theme.

Overall, this is a neat and simple trick, and it should brighten things up a bit if you do not like the white title bars in Windows 10.

Source: Microsoft News; via: Windows Blog Italia

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Wow. Thanks! :)
  • What for ? Are you as totally stupid and inarticulate as they are? Wow! My arse!
  • Thank you very much Daniel!!
  • It honestly annoys me more that it doesn't allow me to use a Black accent colour as before. But good to know about this work around.
  • Yah. Me too. Loved the black color. I had it in newer builds because I upgraded from older ones. But I changed it and now I can't get it back. I am pretty sure you can change it in the registry though. I might that post rtm. For now, I will live with the dark grey.
  • Black/Dark gray accent with white font on title bars is all I want. Always missed it back in 8, wonder why they never allowed to change the title bars font colors. Black font on dark accent looks horrible.
  • Why isn't this included in the system?
  • This, needs to happen.
  • Fantastic. Thanks.
  • I personally was not really annoyed by the white title bars nor was I missing the ability to change their colors. However, nice that it is not completely gone and maybe it will come back officially someday.
  • I missed the rotating colors a LA Windows 8 and the earliest builds of Windows 10. And all things being equal, I think I'd still prefer them over the plain white. However, I came to peace with the plain white ones long ago because of just how crisp, and clean, and fresh they made everything look. And with start menus, taskbars, and notification windows that not only change color a la 8, but are also translucent [sorta] like 7, plus certain key texts and touches in certain apps also changing color, its not as if we're starving for color and beauty with these plain white title bars. Still, I'm very happy to see that the colors will be options again (even if backdoor), and I intend to try this out. Who knows, maybe in time I'll decide I actually like the plain white BETTER, and switch back. But I'm darn glad for the chance to find that out on my own. :-) Cheers!
  • YAAAAYY!!! This was about the only thing I had wished they'd change back! Too bad you still have to go backdoor. But I'll gladly take it! Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Hi JaySeeDoubleYou ,   If you still have the file to change the windows colors could you please send it to me ? The link on the web page to the file is broken.   Thanks , Anthony
  • Ppl will always say a lot of things about Microsoft. I think Microsoft is doing better and is becoming a very great company. IMHO windows 10 is way better than windows xp, vista, 7, 8, 8.1 etc. We just need give it time, maybe with update 1 ppl will feel better.
  • Cyan titlebars fit the hero wallpaper and the dark blue theme so perfectly.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong but cannot you open compressed files in File Explorer like you have been able to do since Windows 7?
  • It is because it is a .rar compressed file instead of a zip file
  • Not this particular file. It requires a separate program as File Explorer won't recognise it on its own.
  • File Explorer only opens .zip files natively. Other compressed file formats such as .rar and .7z aren't supported natively and must be done by other third party apps.
  • This should not need installation. And I seriously hope they're going to blur the title bar and bring Win Aero back. I mean how hard can it be? They should already have the code from Win 7, so just tweak that and give users what they want. :)
  • Yes please. I actually installed aero and configured a strong blur on w8.1 yesterday. It looks beautiful.
  • Look, this is just me talking, but my thoughts on the matter of "Aero" is this: ------IF----- they can work in a translucent title bar without wrecking the new crisp, clean, tight freshness of what we currently have in 10...I say, bring it! All things being equal, I like transparencies. -----BUT----- if adding back the translucent title bars would clutter up that look, and wreck the new aesthetic that I like so much, then they're sooooo not worth it, and may they begone...forever. Aero was awesome in 2007 when Vista launched. But in my eyes, it is now a tired, and outdated aesthetic, just as we eventually got tired of the Windows XP look that we initially thrilled over. So has the sun set on Aero, in my it stood in Vista and 7. Again, if they can work it in without muddying the waters, well and good. But preserving the new, ultra-sharp, ultra-crisp, ultra-clean, ultra-fresh aesthetic is the highest cosmetic priority for me. And since I just don't see how working the glass back in would work under that rubric, I'm all too content to let it go. Besides, don't forget that the start menu, notification menu, and the taskbar can all be translucent now. Not only the translucency a la 7, but the color changing with the background a la 8...the best of both worlds... ...that's good enough for me! :-)
  • This^
    But at least MS should give aero as an option, just like that taskbar color option from wallpaper. If it looks cluttered, hardly anyone would enable it, but I think aero would still be awesome on the title bars...
  • Well, sure. I mean, I can't think of any "disabled-by-default-but-enable-ready" option that I would be opposed to necessarily. I only would not want to mess with the new awesomeness for the rest of us. :-) The only potential pitfalls that could impact us universally would be to overcomplexify the personalization menu, and/or all the extra code in the OS to accommodate those that we'd never use. Aftermarket add-on features would solve that, but they're also so buggy. So there's no perfect solution, I guess. But yeah, painting broad brush, of course I'm in favor of the options to make everybody happy.
  •         - I personally don't find the "new crisp, clean, tight freshness of what we currently have in 10" impressive at all and would prefer how windows 7 looked. My biggest problem i have with actually all the windows is not having a Dark theme. And i dont mean high contrast black. i hate it. it wouldn't let us have aero title or task bars in that mode, and it changed out icons and looked ******.But  I hate white backgrounds. and everytime i click on something in my room at night. A huge bright white flash of light  like a damn nuclear bomb goes off, nearly blinds me for a moment. and about fall out of my is up with that? So now i wear sunglasses, lol. thats really messed up.I will say they got it right in Edge. That is the dark theme i want. other dark themes in browsers turn all your pictures into negatives as well. How hard is it to give us a dark theme with colored borders of OUR CHOICE OF COLORS, all the windows personalisations all in one window including screensavers, and for god sake create some new freaking screensavers as well and allow live wallpapers.I would love to see a windows wallpapers classic edition with every wallpaper previously installed from windows 3,3.3, 95, 98, Xp,Vista, and 7. Windows 8 and 10 didnt have anything new. But, I am not one bit impressed with the looks of windows 10. I think Vista looked better.  But if they would get the kinks out, give us the personalisations were asking for, Windows 10 would really kick ass. So theres my 2 cents worth. hope it makes a damn. Have a Great Day MC ~ Feb 10, mmxvi  00:17 hh
  • i meant to post on main page and not in a reply to u sorry
  • Wish I could make it transparent
  • Unable to install it. Some problem occurred during 97th percentage
  • Coooool! Im trying to pull July 29th date!
  • Now we need one for aero!!!
  • Transparent title bar
  • Still no blur/transparent title bar ?
  • If I make the title bar black, would the text be white?
  • In Windows 7 there were ways to fix font-color for many aspects of the UI. The secret was that Classic theme was available, but for some reason Microsoft removed the classic theme in Windows 8 and 8.1. If classic theme comes back you can have all your font set to white (not just on title bars, but on background windows, 3D windows like Message boxes, menus, etc). I used the classic theme in Windows 7 so all my windows are dark gray with white text and background is a very dark gray so all the UI it looks like Adobe Photoshop CS5. This is good for developers or designers that pass many hours behind a computer monitor since darker backgrounds with ligher fonts are better for your eyes.
  • Yeah, hoping MS would add a 'dark mode' theme.
  • This looks like a f*cking hack. Microsoft should just support things like this with no compromise with regular customers.   We can do this change but the plumber, the waitress or whatever are not tech savvy as us. (It's just an example, could be just my mom who can't even recognizes the differences between reply or new mail).
  • Looks much better. Thanks for the tip.
  • I don't expect the title bars to have the accent color (maybe it's because I never used Windows 8?) but I do hope they're dark for the dark theme.
  • This needs to be fixed ASAP, before. Rtm
  • I cant download it. The link aint working :(
  • Remind me again after 07-29 :p
  • Not bad
  • Need a Mobile Build asap.
  • Microsoft should bring title colour like windows 8
  • been using this a couple of days now and im liking it real. i dont understand why ms didnt implemet this.
  • I loved it...
  • Hoping final version of W10 will have white, dark or accent title bar options like that WP counter part of light/dark.
  • This is nice, thanks. I hope someone finds a hack to also bring the transparent title bars (Aero) that Windows 7 has. And not important for a large majority of users, but some of us still want classic theme so we can change the window color and font color to use a dark theme just like Adobe Photoshop CS5 but on all our Windows.
  • The world of Insiders are happy now!
  • This is silly. I think its better what Microsoft is going for... Every developer customizing bar as they want and make it nice to look.
    I would want the app to look nice and consistent with their UI. It's just fitting the title bar with the color of the UI and just that may make the app feel more modern. Like shat you see on some windows 10 apps. Office 2013 already have this. Everything the same color with a small graphic on it, one pixel border color to know if its active or not. But imagine the same interface with another color, red or blue for example.
    Apps should look consistent and nice and modern and title bar should be part of the app, it should fit on it and blend it like it it was the app and not an external color that might or not look good.
    Developers should do it and I hope they really work on UI like title are and make win32 apps look nice.
    But anyway people will use this. But I wish office 2013 UI which Microsoft seems going for but better, will be used on windows desktop programs and make windows look modern more and more
  • You're the quintisential example of the target audience of Microsoft's crappy, dumbed down interface that offers fewer and fewer options with each release.  And you're a shining example of the success of our "modern" education system with your stellar spelling and brilliant grammer.  If enough people like you flood the market, who knows?  We may have amber, monochrome screens with 2-color displays again, like we did in the mid 1980s.
  • Nice. But I'm far more interested in that Aero thingy in your themes folder... does that apply to window borders as well?
  • I want the black theme hack back that worked on the system apps.  
  • Thanks Daniel. Perhaps you didn't create this originally and thus can't control it, but it would be nicer if the theme file referenced in the article was a regular zip file rather than a rar, so that it could be unpacked in Windows without having to first download potentially questionable third party utilities... Edit: Okay, so apparently this only works for desktop apps... which is probably why Microsoft cut this out.  Without being able to apply a title bar color univerally across both WinRT and Win32 applications, the user experience lacks consistency. If you use many Store apps, this is really more of a novelty than a useful "fix".
  • Thanks
  • I can't change the background image or color. What am I missing here? Thanks
  • I want BLUR and TRANSPARENCY to the titlebars, not less!
  • MS should include this. I dont understand why get rid of it in the first place.
  • UPDATE: I successfully installed the theme, and as advertised, it does in fact add accent appropriate colors to most title bars... HOWEVER, unlike the picture shown in the article, not only did it put big, unsightly black borders around the minimize, maximize, and close icons, but in an even greater sin, it returned a Windows 8 style border to all the windows. This border was made even more awkward on the apps, which title bars did not change color, resulting in the colored border only going up the sides. All in all, it looks super cobbled, and awkward, and ugly. And I couldn't find a way to get to a Win 7 (and earlier) style advanced appearance options window where I might be able to get rid of those borders. So I IMMEDIATELY went back to the default. However, the picture in the article seems to show it looking right with no Windows 8 style window borders, or ugly black lines bordering the buttons... QUESTION: Did I do something wrong? Is there a way to make these adjustments to turn this into a nice theme? Or was that picture in the article just a stock photo from an earlier build before they took the colors out, and this is just the way the theme works? If the former, help help help help help. If the latter...than geesh, totally not worth it! :-( Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Guys, and what about the background color of the text of the Inactive Windows? Am I the only one who can see it like this?
  • Guys, and what about the background color of the text of the Inactive Windows? Am I the only one who can see it like this?
  • Yes, it is like this. You're not alone.
  • Yea I noticed it too. One can hardley find the perfect things together!
  • I thought the display driver's or monitor's contrast went haywire when all my title bars were white!  MS better make changing the color official soon.
  • The choice seems to be not saved. After restarting WIn10 another theme is used. When I re-check this one, it's there (nice). But after a restart, it's back to the old setting. Am I missing something?  
  • When I click on the link you give, it takes me to a website called Mega where they want to sign you up for cloud storage. This isn't where I should be going, is it?
  • You don't have to sign up for it.  Just click the option to download in browser.
  • Hi there. Thanks for a great article!
    Before i read your article i already put together a little Windows 10 app for changing the title bar color.
    Maybe it’s a little obsolete because of this article, but it is still a handy tool if you're lazy like me ;-)  Read more, and download here: Cheers, Martin
  • I changed my accent color to blue and enable color on task bar and action centre. I got blue accent and a cool black title color. It was looking amazing on vlc and file explorer. later i tried other colors also and i don't like them then switched back to my favorite blue accent. This time only blue color appears on both title bar and task bar. Is there any way to make tile color and tile color to two different colors. Some how it happened on my pc.
  • Does this mean that the title bar of the current window is coloured differently from ones in the background? I already tried something that seems similar to this, but it colours the foreground and background windows' title bars the same, which is a pain.
  • The file's removed have any better link  
  • The link is off
  • i made .exe for my friend... just install it
  • The file in item 1. linked to // is no longer there.  Will the author replace the file. We can't follow the instructions without it. Thx