How to set the taskbar to a lighter color in Windows 10

By default, Windows 10 comes with a dark colored taskbar. When you turn on the color for the Start screen and the taskbar and set it to match the desktop background, it uses only dark shades. Even if you manually pick a lighter shade in preferences, the taskbar will not use the color you chose. Instead, it uses a darker shade of the accent color. Here is how to bypass this limitation and make Windows 10 switch to a lighter color scheme.


Actually, Windows 10 comes with the hidden ability to set a different color for the taskbar and for other elements like window borders and the Start Menu.

To activate this ability, the developer of the 7+ Taskbar Tweaker app created a new tiny app called Windows 10 Color Control. 7+ Taskbar Tweaker by the way is a must-have tool to fix the flaws of the Windows taskbar. We have covered it extensively before. Coming back to the topic of colors, thanks to this new tool to control colors, you can finally adjust the color of the taskbar and window borders separately. You can set the taskbar to a lighter color in Windows 10.
Here is what you should do:

  1. Download Windows 10 color control
  2. Unpack the archive and run Windows 10 color control.exe.
  3. Tick the option "Disable new auto-color accent algorithm ...". Windows 10 Color Control
  4. Pick any desired color for the taskbar. It will be applied to the Start menu and to the taskbar instantly. Windows 10 lighter taskbar

This change is great for those who use the Aero Lite theme for example since it uses black taskbar text labels. Black text on dark background was not readable, but now with this tweak, the taskbar color can be a lighter shade.

That's it. The official home page of the app and more details can be found HERE.

19 thoughts on “How to set the taskbar to a lighter color in Windows 10

  1. Phil

    Big thanks!

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome Phil

      Reply
    2. Anitra ~

      Thank you! My eyes were hurting, and now all is well again :)

      Reply
  2. Al

    i managed to get automatic accent picker to choose lighter colors for both taskbar and windows – i will post the step by step if the result lasts past the system reboot/sign out
    at least i think it’s unique for me cause simple enabling of auto picker resulted in default dark colors

    Reply
    1. Al

      ah no need to do anything special – i just got fooled when after “disabling new auto-color accent algorithm” and changing to custom bright colors, and then in control panel switching on auto-pick colors from the wallpaper sometime chooses some dark colors. But it just depends on a wallpaper – if wallpaper is dark it chooses darker colors and when bright it choosing bright colors.

      Reply
  3. Suzanne

    This worked! Thank you so much.

    Any possibility of adding a feature that will allow me to adjust the transparency?

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      There is no way AFAIK.

      Reply
    2. Al

      Classic Shell allows u to select options for taskbar color and transparency in addition to the tool mention in the OP http://www.classicshell.net/downloads/

      Reply
  4. Al

    win+R and enter the command “control color” allows to change colors old fashioned way even after i used this tool to disable “new auto color algorithm”

    Reply
  5. Al

    to clear things up default windows 10 color palette has reduced “color intensity” – after using Win+R and “control color” to enable full intensity this tool selects brighter colors all the time

    Reply
    1. Al

      Repost addition to this point: how to make Windows 10 Color Control Tool http://rammichael.com/getting-brighter-colors-in-windows-10 to always select intense colors (e.g. always keep active color balance at 100% if you check in Aero Glass Configurator http://i.imgur.com/ZLKr1W4.jpg). When you run a command “control color” and manually select maximum color intensity, and then use Windows 10 Color Control Tool to select other color, color intensity will be lowered. Default Windows algorithm of picking colors from the wallpaper changes color intensity for different wallpaper in the slideshow.
      To make Windows 10 Color Control Tool always select intense colors you should first run “control color”, select maximum intensity, click save and optionally run Aero Glass Configurator to check if Active Color Balance is at 100%, then go into Control Panel’s Personalization section and save the Unsaved Theme, then select any other theme and back to the just saved theme – now Windows 10 Color Control Tool will always select 100% intense colors.

      Reply
  6. throkr

    Hi Sergey,

    Thank you a lot for these 2 excellent tips (I’m just also missing the possibility to adjust the transparency).
    The 7+ Taskbar Tweaker app has just been updated for Windows 10 and offers an (advanced) option to make the taskbar icons bigger (they are really incredibly tiny in Win 10 !). :-)

    Finally a question concerning the TaskbarThumbnailsTuner : is it safe to use on Windows 10 ?
    (sorry to post this question here but it isn’t possible on the software page; once you click “Post Comment”, you got a blank page ….. and that’s it. No comment posted …
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It is safe to use it in Windows 10.
      It does nothing wrong.
      Thank you for the comment report.
      It will investigate what is the cause of the issue.

      Reply
  7. throkr

    Thank you.
    Concerning the comment issue, you’ll see that, on the concerned page, only 2 boxes are present (username & comment); no field for the email address …

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I reproduced it. Will look today, a bit later.
      I removed email intentionally.

      Reply
  8. JOANNE

    Thank you so much for this great tip, Do you know of a way to make the text color Black? My text is white, so I can’t see it with the lighter colors.
    Thanks Again!

    Reply
  9. tesshi

    Hi, this definitely helped and my theme is now white/light grey but does anyone else notice the issue of the icons of certain programs in when you open up the start button? I’m guessing that Windows 10 Colour Control isn’t compatible with the transparent icon backgrounds? I’m sorry if this is a bit hard to understand. I’m having trouble explaining what the problem is myself (just ask more questions for specification if needed)

    Reply
  10. George Hilman

    It doesn’t work on my W10 PC. I selected white for the taskbar. The taskbar flashes to turquoise and then back to grey.

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Yep, this app has stopped working in recent Windows 10 builds.

      Reply

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