How to automatically set the window border color as the Start Screen background color

There are two completely different environments in Windows 8.x, each disjoint from the other: the Start Screen and Modern apps is one, and the Classic Desktop is the other. They look completely different, but there an optimization you can do to make them feel more coherent. While Windows 8.1 introduces an option to use the Desktop background for the Start Screen, Windows 8 RTM has nothing to offer you to make the Start Screen look closer to your Desktop. Today we will learn how to make Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 use your window border color as the background color of the Start Screen.


Yesterday I released an updated version of my tool, Winaero ColorSync, which exclusively provides you with a unique feature: color synchronization between the Desktop and Modern UI.

ColorSync 2.0

With Winaero ColorSync, you will be able to:

  • Apply the Start Screen background color to the window borders on the Desktop. For example, if you set the background color of the Start Screen to green, you will get green window borders automatically!
  • The reverse of the above, that is, apply the window border color to the background color of the Start Screen. This is a very special and exciting feature when you have auto-colorization enabled. Every time your wallpaper changes, your window border color will be changed too, and with ColorSync running, the background color of the Start Screen will also be changed to the same color as the window border color!

Winaero ColorSync is a very tiny application (441 kb) which is native and portable.

Options and Features

  • Run at startup - will run the application every time Windows starts.
  • Hide tray icon - will hide the tray icon of the application. The application will remember this setting and will not show the tray icon when you restart it. To make it shown again, run Winaero ColorSync twice.
  • Start Screen -> Aero color sync - applies the Start Screen background color to window borders.
  • Aero -> Start Screen color sync- applies the window border color to the Start Screen background.

Note: The Start Screen background color is strictly limited to a hardcoded list of colors. This means, for example, that if you set your window color to white, you will not be able to get a white Start screen background because Microsoft restricts certain colors from being used. In such a scenario, the application will calculate the nearest color. Please keep this in mind before you report it as a bug.

Winaero ColorSync supports the following command line arguments:
ColorSync.exe /aerotostartscreen - apply the window border color to the Start screen background and exit.
ColorSync.exe /startscreentoaero - apply the Start Screen background color to the window border and exit.

Alternatively, you can use my other app, Winaero Tweaker. Go to Appearance -> Aero Colors:
winaero tweaker bookmarks UI controlsThere you can click "Apply this color to the Start screen". Also, the option Appearance -> Sync Metro/Aero Color allows you to set the same color for Aero and the Start screen with one click:

Winaero Tweaker color sync
That's it.

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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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