Change Highlighted Text Color in Windows 10

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How to Change Highlighted Text Color in Windows 10

In Windows 10, you can change the highlighted text color from white to any color you want. The color can be changed for all Desktop apps you have installed at once. The procedure is very simple. Let's see how it can be done.

The ability to customize the highlighted text color was available in previous Windows versions when the Classic theme was used. However, Windows 8 and Windows 10 do not include the Classic theme any more and all its options are removed. The feature to customize colors was designed for the Classic theme, so the user interface for this feature is missing in recent Windows versions.

While the user interface is missing, you can still change the color using a Registry tweak. The new color will be applied to various windows including system apps and dialogs like the Run box, Wordpad (the selected document text), Notepad, File Explorer, Local Group Policy Editor,  and more.

Default colors:

A custom highlighted text color:

Here is how to change it.

To Change Highlighted Text Color in Windows 10,

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  3. See the string value HilightText. The HilightText value is responsible for the default highlighted text color of the open document,
  4. To find a suitable value, open Microsoft Paint and click on the Edit color button.
  5. In the color dialog, select the desired color using the provided controls. Now, note the values in Red:Green:, and Blue: boxes.Use these digits to modify the value data of HilightText. Write them as follows:


    See the screenshot below.

  6. To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you need to sign out and sign in to your user account.

The result will be something like this:

Note: If you change the accent color, the customizations you made will be preserved. However, if you apply a theme, e.g. install a themepack or apply another built-in theme, Windows 10 will reset the highlighted text color back to its default values. You will have to repeat the procedure.

Also, a lot of modern apps and all UWP apps like Photos, Settings, etc, ignore this color preference.

The same trick can be used to customize other classic appearance options. Check out the following articles.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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