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Color of Background and Accent - Force in Windows 8.1


Brink

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Color of Background and Accent - Force in Windows 8.1
This tutorial will show you how to force a specific background color and accent color for the modern UI screens like Start screen, sign in, PC settings, and Charm bar flyouts for all users in Windows 8.1.
Published by Brink
#1
ByLine
How to Force a Specific Background and Accent Color in Windows 8.1 Modern UI
Synopsis
This tutorial will show you how to force a specific background color and accent color for the modern UI screens like Start screen, sign in, PC settings, and Charm bar flyouts for all users in Windows 8.1.
How to Force a Specific Background and Accent Color in Windows 8.1 Modern UI

information   Information
This tutorial will show you how to force a specific background color and accent color for the modern UI screens like Start screen (Start and Apps view), sign in screen, PC settings, and Charm bar flyouts (menus) for all users that cannot be changed in Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

Note   Note
If a user chooses to have their desktop background to also display as their Start background image instead of one of the default images, then their Start screen will not display the specified Start background color in this tutorial.

Examples of items that use the background color would be:

  • Start screen background unless as per above.
  • App highlight box on Start screen (Start and Apps view).
  • Arrow button background on bottom of Start screen (Start and Apps view).
  • Sign in screen background.
  • Charms flyout background.
  • Charms menu title header background
  • etc....

Examples of items that use the accent color would be:

  • Start button (ex: taskbar, charms bar) when hovered on.
  • Selected menus on the left side in PC settings.
  • Slider colors in PC settings.
  • Menu titles in PC settings.
  • etc....

warning   Warning
The colors you specify will not be applied if the colors do not meet a contrast ratio of 2:1 with white text.


EXAMPLE: Personalize from Start screen
NOTE: When your specify a default background and accent color for all users, it prevents all users from being able to change their background color and accent color.
Personalizize_from_Start.jpg





OPTION ONE
To Force Background Color and Accent Color in Registry Editor

1. From your Start screen, start typing regedit, and press Enter when finished.​
NOTE: You could also press :winkey: + R to open the Run dialog, type regedit, and click/tap on OK.​
2. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.​
3. In Registry Editor, navigate to the location below. (see screenshot below)​
NOTE: If the Personalization key is not there in the left pane, then right click on the Windows key, click on New and Key, type Personalization, and press Enter.​
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization
REG-1.jpg
4. Do step 5 or 6 below for what you would like to do.​
6. To Allow Users to Change their own Background Color and Accent Color
NOTE: This is the default setting.​
A) In the right pane of Personalization, right click on PersonalColors_Accent (if there), click on Delete, and click on Yes to confirm. (see screenshot below step 3)​
B) In the right pane of Personalization, right click on PersonalColors_Background(if there), click on Delete, and click on Yes to confirm. (see screenshot below step 3)​
C) Go to step 8 below.​
7. To Force Specific Default Background Color and Accent Color for All Users
A) Go to the Microsoft sites below to lookup the hex number (#RGB value) of the colors you want to specify for the Start background color (ex: #191970) and Accent color(ex: #4169E1).​

B) In the right pane of Personalization, double click on PersonalColors_Accent to modify it. (see screenshot below step 3)​
NOTE: If the PersonalColors_Accent string value is not there in the right pane, then right click on an empty area in the right pane, click on New and String Value, type PersonalColors_Accent, and press Enter.​
C) Type in the hex number (#RGB value) of the color you want to specify for the Accent color (ex: #4169E1), and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)​
REG-2.jpg
D) In the right pane of Personalization, double click on PersonalColors_Background to modify it. (see screenshot below step 3)​
NOTE: If the PersonalColors_Background string value is not there in the right pane, then right click on an empty area in the right pane, click on New and String Value, type PersonalColors_Background , and press Enter.​
E) Type in the hex number (#RGB value) of the color you want to specify for the Start background color (ex: #191970), and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)​
REG-3.jpg
F) Go to step 8 below.​
8. Close Registry Editor.​
9. Sign out and in, or restart the PC to apply.​





OPTION TWO
To Force Background Color and Accent Color in Group Policy

NOTE: This option for using group policy is only available in the Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Enterprise editions.
1. From your Start screen, start typing gpedit.msc, and press Enter when finished.​
NOTE: You could also press :winkey: + R to open the Run dialog, type gpedit.msc, and click/tap on OK.​
2. If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.​
3. In the left pane, click/tap on to expand Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Control Panel, and open Personalization. (see screenshot below)​
GPEDIT-1.jpg
4. In the right pane of Personalization, double click/tap on Force a specific background and accent color. (see screenshot above)​
5. Do step 6 or 7 below for what you would like to do.​
6. To Allow Users to Change their own Background Color and Accent Color
A) Select (dot) Disabled or Not Configured, click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below step 7C)​
NOTE: Not Configured is the default setting.​
7. To Force Specific Default Background Color and Accent Color for All Users
A) Select (dot) Enabled. (see screenshot below step 7C)​
B) Go to the Microsoft sites below to lookup the hex number (#RGB value) of the colors you want to specify for the Start background color and Accent color.​

C) Under Options, type in the hex number (#RGB value) of the color you want to specify for the Start background color (ex: #191970) and Accent color (ex: #4169E1), click/tap on OK, and go to step 8 below. (see screenshot below)​
GPEDIT-2.jpg

8. You can now close the Local Group Policy Editor window if you like.​


That's it,
Shawn


 
Last edited by a moderator:

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guigeek

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#2
hello

thank you very much for this tutorial, that worked for me :party:

but, i have noticed after i have forced a specific background and accent color in the registry, namely some blue colors,

the color of the page with the settings logo (see picture) stayed in the default purple color

maybe this color page need to be set with a key in the windows registry for itself ?

Sans-titre-1.gif

thank again
 

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vrosa

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#3
Excellent guide ! Again !

:)
 

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Brink

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#4
@vrosa,
Thank you Vladimir. Glad you like it. :)


@guigeek, and welcome to Eight Forums. :)

Unfortunately, that can't be helped. That's the color of the PC settings app tile instead, so it's not related to what colors you set for the modern UI. You'll notice this is the same for the Store app with it's green app tile.

Tile.jpg
 

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guigeek

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#5
ok thank Brink ^^

the purple color misled me :B
 

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Brink

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#6
No worries. I thought the same at first. :)
 

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#7
I have found this website Color Hex Color Codes that allows you to convert any colour you want into the hex format to work with this tutorial, so you are not limited with the colours that Microsoft provides. Simple enter "rgb(r,g,b)" (replace "r", "g" and "b" with the values of red, green a blue in your colour) into the search box of the website to generate the hex value for that colour.

I found this particularly useful for matching my existing start menu colours which I could not find on the Microsoft site.
 

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GracieAllen

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#8
Yeah, I've even looked at the high contrast ones... In there I can at least turn down the window background so it's not so dreadful, but I appear to have TWO choices for the whole desktop - screaming blinding white, or blacker than the pit of hell black........

I hit the one with the white desktop and thought I'd had a stroke!

After a bunch of searching, I came across a comment that they'd REMOVED the capability to tune the colors of the windows and all the other UI stuff in 8.1..... If this is true, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Has Microsoft decided we're all morons that spend all our time tweeting and taking selfies or what?

OK, is there a good 3rd party, customizable aero-style (or better) tool for adjusting the theme?
 

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Brink

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#9

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jimbo45

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#10
Hi there

This doesn't seem to work in Enterprise 8.1 X-64 - I can't get rid of the hideous blue screen - it seems the only way to adjust is at install time. The tutorial doesn't seem to work -- I can't see anywhere where I can change the colours.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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Brink

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#11

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#12
Further Directions

I was wondering how one would go about actually changing the color of the background. I am trying step 6: To Allow Users to Change their own Background Color and Accent Color, and I am wondering what I do after I delete the two sections. Is there somewhere that I need to go after to type in my chosen Hexidecimal value? Or is it still in the start menu under personalization? I am wanting to know before I change anything, so I have an idea of the end product.

Also, is there anyway to undo this later on if I decide I want to go back to those preset values?
 

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Brink

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#13

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    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
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    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
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    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
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    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
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    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Brink

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#15
If you just wanted to change your Start screen color, then you can skip this tutorial, and do OPTION ONE in the tutorial link I posted above instead. :)
 

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#16
I know I'm being kinda dense, but I just don't see how I am able to use Option one of the link you posted to allow me to change the background to a specific color, such as #9D2235
 

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Brink

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#17

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    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
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    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
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    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone
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#18
No. I want to be able to input a Hexadecimal, or an RGB, value and have the start screen reflect that color. How do I do that? I know how to change the colors according to the preset options, that much is simple. Do you understand what I'm trying to do?
 

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Brink

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#19
In that case, you could use either step 7 in Option 1 or 2 on the first page here to do so. It will set the color for all users.
 

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    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone