Add a custom color for taskbar to Windows 10 Settings app

Windows 10 allows you to define a custom color, which will be added to Settings -> Personalization -> Colors page of the Settings app. That color can be applied to the taskbar, Start menu and Notification Center. The user can define his own color using a simple Registry tweak.

This article is outdated. It is not applicable to the latest Windows 10 releases. Instead, please refer to the following article:

Add custom colors to the Colors section of the Settings app in Windows 10

The method described above works perfectly in all versions of Windows 10


First, let's see where the custom color is displayed in the Settings app.

  1. Open the Settings app in Windows 10.
  2. Go to Personalization->Colors: Windows 10 personalization colors
  3. If enabled, turn off the switch "Automatically pick an accent color from my background" to get the ability to control colors for the taskbar and other appearance elements: Windows 10 personalization manual colors
  4. Scroll the page to the bottom until you see the last color box: Windows 10 personalization last color box
  5. Note it has a tiny blue border around it. This color can be customized by the user.

Now, let's customize this color to get the ability to apply any desired color. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, it should be done with Registry editing. Before you begin, you must enable the option "Show color on taskbar, Start menu and Action Center" in the Settings -> Personalization -> Colors page and set one of the predefined colors as a current color, or else the trick won't work. You should especially not use the last color box as a current taskbar color.

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\Personalize

    Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.

  3. There you will find a 32-bit DWORD value SpecialColor. In Windows 10 build 10130 it already has a value data.
    Windows 10 specialcolor
    This value is a color in the ABGR format, i.e. Alpha, Blue, Green, Red color channels. You can edit its value to specify your own custom color. For example, you can set a white color by changing the SpecialColor value data to FF FF FF FF: Windows 10 specialcolor white
  4. After you change the SpecialColor value, you need to log out from your Windows session and log in back again. You will see the white color in the "special" box: Windows 10 specialcolor white box
  5. Once you click it, everything will go white: Windows 10 in white

While the white color is not the best example, you can experiment yourself with colors and add some neat color like grey (the value is 00bab4ab): Windows 10 in grey

That's it. It is not clear why Microsoft did not provide the ability to set any desired color for the taskbar and the Start menu in Windows 10 from the Settings GUI. It is quite possible that this parameter exists only for debugging purposes and will be removed from the final version of Windows 10. The way you have to set a custom color is definitely not simple and is a huge step back from the customization options in Windows 7 and even Windows 8.
You might be interested in reading the following article: Windows 10 allows setting different colors for windows and taskbar.

23 thoughts on “Add a custom color for taskbar to Windows 10 Settings app

  1. Mike Laglen

    Hi Sergey,

    Many thanks for the article; I have just upgraded to the new Windows 10 (Full version).

    All I’m looking to do is permanently change the taskbar to standard WHITE, like in Windows 7.

    Your tutorial above works as far as Step 5, but my PC will not remember the setting. It just reverts back to Dark Grey again. I get a plain white box showing up in the color options, after I typed ‘FFFFFFFF’ into the Regedit as described in step 4, but nothing happens.

    Please let me know if you need me to clarify anything/ more details/ OS etc in order to give me some pointers as to what I’m doing wrong.

    Many thanks Sergey!

    ~Mike.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Hello Mike.
      Can you try to add white color with Winaero Tweaker?
      It has the appropriate options now to save you from the Registry editing.
      Please try and tell me if it works for you.

      Reply
      1. Mike Laglen

        Hi again,

        Many thanks for your swift reply! I just installed and tried Winaero Tweaker, but no luck here.

        I used Tweaker to add several plain white colors to the personalization window, but each time I click on any white box, only the windows & window borders turn white.

        The taskbar itself, and start menu, are still uniform dark grey.

        What am I doing wrong? It’s probably really obvious, but thanks for the help! :)

        Reply
        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          Probably you need to enable the option “Show color on Start, taskbar and Action Center”
          https://winaero.com/blog/how-to-change-taskbar-color-in-windows-10/

          Reply
  2. Nathan

    Hi

    I’m having the same trouble. Regedit saves the FFFFFFFF setting, the white color box is available, “Show color on Start, taskbar and Action Center” is selected but actually selecting the white tile reverts it back to dark grey. Something somewhere is overriding the manual change

    Reply
  3. K

    looks like windows is fucking up the color codes. if you try different codes, like F4FAFF for example, you get this off the wall brown color. if you look back at the registry afterwards, you’ll notice that the code’s been messed up. pretty much you have to play around with it until you get the color you fancy, which is a pain in the ass.

    Reply
  4. Aurora

    Why is my windows 10 taskbar so dark, I want to tern it white with the FFFFF value but it goes grey, any colour I customise it to will only be the much darker version how do I make it the original colour?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Here:
      https://winaero.com/blog/how-to-set-the-taskbar-to-a-lighter-color-in-windows-10/

      Reply
  5. Aurora

    Has anyone found the solution? I really can’t be asked to play around and find my desired colour! How on earth did you get that white anyway?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Please look here:
      https://winaero.com/blog/how-to-set-the-taskbar-to-a-lighter-color-in-windows-10/

      Reply
  6. Suzanne

    This is no longer working on Windows 10. It changes the color in the Personalization Settings window, but clicking on it does not turn the taskbar white or grey – it stays the dark grey color. Now if you put in a dark color like 404040 (dark grey) it will get darker. But if you put in FFFFF for white, it stays the dark color. If you close out of the Personalization Settings window and then open it again, the “custom” square defaults to they dark grey.

    Reply
  7. Suzanne

    And yes, I have “show color on taskbar and windows” enabled. :)

    Reply
  8. Suzanne

    I checked this in the registy and it changes the SpecialColor back to the ccb4a (or whatever the default was.)

    Reply
  9. Stephen Phillips

    I want to bring back the colors of Windows 8.1 tiles to Windows 10. I’m talking about:
    Music (Orange)
    Store (Green)
    Calendar (Purple)
    Video (Red)
    and so on…

    Reply
  10. Mark

    Just upgraded to 10, and there is no custom option in the colors, and no CustomColor in the registry… Any ideas as to what is going on?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Probably this feature is removed from the latest build.

      Reply
  11. Eduardo

    Does anyone know where I could find this wallpaper?

    Reply
  12. mei

    I don’t think this works anymore, when i added the grey color, and i log back in i get this light blue color :/

    Reply
  13. Glhy

    This tutorial for the color white doesn’t work on my PC. I give up and will continue with a horrible interface colors.

    Reply
  14. Linus

    It does still work with the current Windows 10 version. But you have to add the following value with regedit:

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Accent]
    “UseNewAutoColorAccentAlgorithm”=dword:00000000

    This will allow you again to set a custom color for your window title bars.

    The only annoying thing is that you sign off screen will have that same color as background however with full saturation and brightness, which might look really irritating. If anybody knows how to customise the sign off screen separately, I would be very interested.

    For the above trick with the UseNewAutoColorAccentAlgorithm, we have to thank this guy:
    http://rammichael.com/getting-brighter-colors-in-windows-10

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      This trick does not work in Windows 10 build 14971.
      The mentioned tweak has no effect anymore. Just checked.

      Reply
  15. Roger

    SpecialColor doesn’t work in 1709, it gets deleted out of the registry on reboot.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.