Start Screen Color Tuner for Windows 8.1

Start Screen Color Tuner for Windows 8.1 is the application which i have created to solve the following issue:
Windows 8.1 has changed the color settings for the logon screen, so old tweaks and apps don't work any more. Instead of the color index, it stores now some coded color value. I decided to create the app with attractive and simple UI to change the color of logon screen with one click.

As a bonus, it allows you to play with the Start Screen color and Accent color on the fly from the same window.
Latest version, see the change log below
Start Screen Color Tuner is freeware and portable app which supports Windows 8.1 x64 and Windows 8.1 x86. It does not require to be installed or uninstalled.

Start Screen Color Tuner has multi language interface and can be translated via the simple text file. Just rename Languages\English_template.ini to YourLanguage.ini and translate strings in that file. That's it. Feel free to send me your translations - I will include them with application zip archive.

Current translations are:
  • English - by Winaero
  • Russian - by Winaero
  • Czech - by "moderate"
  • German - by ReConnaisance

Many thanks to all who helps us with translations.

Start Screen Color Tuner in action

Change log

Fixed all issues you reported.
Fixed minor issue when the app fails to set the current user Start Screen colors and shows the "FAIL" message. It was some debugging bits in the code
Initial release

Donate options for satisfied users:


  1. zydrius32
    06 Oct 13

    I tried editing exported registry key by myself and accidentally got white instead of black screen color. It looked so terrible: you couldn't see any button, only user pictures :D (don't remember if text was invisible too). Anyway, thanks for a great program! We’re now only missing the way to change default Lock Screen image (or maybe even add a slideshow to it).

  2. moinmoin
    06 Oct 13

    Hi Sergey,
    there is a problem with Logon screen color.
    When i change it, comes Fail.
    Now i go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
    New Key: Accent
    And its works fine with your tuner.

  3. zydrius32
    06 Oct 13

    Found a way to replace default Lock Screen. There's a folder 'SystemData', in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows, of which you have to take ownership. After that go to a folder with shorter name > ReadyOnly > LockScreen_Z. At least in my case there was a default Lock Screen image. I replaced it using CMD. Just need to be sure to use .JPG with resolution like the original (in my case 1920x1080) and not too big (~500 KB).

  4. Sergey
    06 Oct 13

    moinmoin, this was a bug in my app.
    Many thanks!

  5. moinmoin
    07 Oct 13

    nothing to thanks, sergey.

  6. Mr GRiM
    15 Oct 13

    I tried on Windows 8.1 but couldn't get the Accent color to change, my version is not activated so that is probably the reason but I found a way to change it by adding another default color setting.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


    for some reason though instead of ARGB the color is ABGR "Alpha, Blue, Green, Red so ff0000ff gives the color red.

  7. JP
    03 Nov 13

    If you could only figure out a way to make the background image changeable for the welcome/login screen work (in windows 8.1) within this same program, that would make it really, really awesome. Great job!

  8. speedbit
    25 Nov 13

    Hi! Can you help me on how I can restore the Windows 8.1 defaults?? Cause it's not working from within your app...
    The "Reset Logon Screen Color" seems to do NOTHING =(
    I have Windows 8.1 x64, and I'm running the app "as administrator"
    Thanks in advance.

  9. Sergey
    26 Nov 13

    The "Reset Logon Screen Color" button restores the blue color of the default sign-in color (when you signed out, you see it).
    Use personalization settings to set the desired color of your personal lock/sign-in screen.

  10. KeyserSoze
    22 Dec 13

    I came across your program while searching how to change Windows 8.1 Start Screen, while your program is great if you just want to change the color I really want to change it to an image or picture. Is their any way you could modify Start Screen Color Tuner for Windows 8.1 to accomplish this?

    Any Help Would Be Greatly Appreciated!

  11. Sergey
    23 Dec 13

    Enable the desktop background for the Start screen in personalization options of the Start Screen.
    It is already implemented in 8.1, out-of-box.

  12. KeyserSoze
    23 Dec 13

    I think you are confused on what I want to do, I do not want to change the START screen, I want to change the LOGIN screen the one where you enter your password to login to windows.

    Again Any Help Would Be Greatly Appreciated!

  13. Sergey
    24 Dec 13

    Got it.
    No, it is not possible to set login screen background from image in Win8.x
    Microsoft has removed this ability.

  14. Sergai
    28 Jan 14

    Under win 8.1 Pro x64, after trying with this utility, the color of the home screen takes over the screen session. So you can not put a different color to the screen session that host.

    Merci quand même et bonjour de France

  15. Gewgaw
    04 Feb 14

    Does anybody now how to set solid black as the default color? I just get something like "grey" when I enter "ff000000" as the registry value. If I enter 00000000 I'll get nothing.
    Any ideas?

    Thank You

  16. Senshi
    11 Feb 14

    Is it possible to change the text color also?

  17. Oath
    05 Apr 14

    Still looking for a way to do black. Had some problems with the program first, but after I set it to default colour I was then able to switch to the darkest grey (top colour in the list).

    Thank you!

  18. frankzandres
    21 May 14

    Great utility! I wonder, can you put into the app or maybe making other app that randomizes the login/accent screen color on every reboot? IT WOULD BE GREAT!
    Thanks in advance.

  19. Rathish
    10 Jun 14

    I want to change the sign in screen color from red to blue. I already tried
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ accent.
    But in my system there is no accent option. please help me. Am using windows 8.1 64bit

  20. painter
    19 Nov 14

    are you sure Oath?

  21. zaimc
    08 Dec 14

    just wanna say THANK YOU!!! the computer store installed windows 8 with crappy black and blue.. i like it black and grey. and this fixed me right up

  22. Otisfan
    04 Apr 15

    Thank you! I tried instructions for regedit, changed all settings and color never changed. Your fix worked instantly!

  23. McAlbert
    07 May 15

    Thank You. Such an easy app, to do such an important change to the system, not included by MS, of course.
    You saved my day, my computer and a lot of time.
    Great work!

  24. mahadi117
    05 Aug 15

    I tried it from other sources didn't work but with your software it worked. It is good when you can change the logon screen color to your preferred color. Many many thanks.

  25. dpcarrico
    01 Sep 16

    This is a clean install version of Windows 8.1 with *NO* Microsoft Windows 8.1 Updates installed.

    I am trying to use "Start Screen Color Tuner for Windows 8.1" version ( StartScreenColorTuner_[]_986 ) on Windows 8.1, but I keep getting the error:

    "This application was designed and tested only with Windows 8.1 ". It well then quit.

    Any ideas ???

  26. Sergey
    06 Sep 16

    Can I see winver?

  27. d-man
    18 Oct 16

    I'm having the same problem as dpcarrico. Where do I find the winver?

  28. tomdickharri
    13 Nov 16

    Windows 8.1 Pro / Version 6.3 Build 9600
    X64 version gives "This application was designed and tested only with Windows 8.1"
    OK I thought.... I'll try the 32 bit version, however...
    X86 version states "Please use the application from the x64 folder"
    I wish!

  29. Neptune
    27 Nov 16

    ? ????????? ?? Windows 8.1 ?? ????????, ????????, ??? ??????? ???????? ?? 8.1
    ??????? ??????????? ??? ??? ????????????? ??? ????? ?????????? ??????? systeminfo , ???? ??????? ????? ????? ???? - ???????? ?????? ?? ????????? ???????? ? ?????????? ???????? ????????? ????????? systeminfo /FO CSV /NH

  30. Neptune
    27 Nov 16

    ???? ???? ???????????? ??????? ver, ?? ??? ??? ?????????? ? 8.1, ???? ????.

  31. InsertUsernameHere
    10 Jan 17

    The program doesn't even want to work. When I open it, it says "This application was designed and tested only with Windows 8.1" and the OK button closes the message, then nothing else happens. I am indeed running Windows 8.1 if you were asking.

  32. Noname
    09 Jul 17

    Same problem here "This application was designed and tested only with Windows 8.1"!!

  33. norvel
    26 Oct 17

    doesnt work at 8.1 embedded and/or industry enterprise

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