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This article is outdated.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:
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.
- Open the Settings app in Windows 10.
- Go to Personalization->Colors:
- 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:
- Scroll the page to the bottom until you see the last color box:
- 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.
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the following Registry key:
Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.
- There you will find a 32-bit DWORD value SpecialColor. In Windows 10 build 10130 it already has a value data.
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:
- 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:
- Once you click it, everything will go white:
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.