How to apply the Start screen background color as the window color in Windows 8.1

With Windows 8.1, you are able to use the Desktop background image as the Start screen background. This personalization option is available right after the installation once Windows gets activated. However, not every user prefers to use the wallpaper as the Start screen background. Instead, what if you could read the Start screen's color and set it as the color of your window frames of desktop apps and taskbar? If you sync the Metro and Aero colors, it gives you a more harmonious look and feel. I have coded a tool to do just that. To automatically set the color of the Start screen background as the window color, follow these simple steps.


  1. Download Winaero ColorSync. Open the downloaded ZIP file in Explorer. You will see a single executable file named ColorSync.exe. Extract it to any location and open it.
  2. If you have the SmartScreen feature enabled, you'll see the following dialog: Smart ScreenClick "Run anyway" here.
  3. As soon as you run it, your window color will be synchronized with the Start Screen background color. The taskbar will remain transparent unless you are using our Opaque Taskbar tool but its color will also become closer to the Metro color.

As long as Winaero ColorSync is running in the notification area (system tray), it will apply the Start Screen background color to the window frame and taskbar every time you change the Start screen's color:

You can exit Winaero ColorSync by right clicking its icon on the taskbar. Thereafter, auto colorization will be turned back on so if you have set your color to "Auto" in the Desktop Personalization Control Panel, the taskbar color will match your desktop wallpaper's dominant color.

Winaero ColorSync is a very tiny application (441 kb) which is native and portable. It supports Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 RTM, x86 and x64. No separate version for x64 is required, the application works well on both versions and no .NET Framework is required.

Download Winaero ColorSync

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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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