How to Add Custom Accent Colors to Windows 10

It's easy to change Windows 10's accent colors, the shades that appear in your taskbar, Start menu, settings menus and in some window title bars. However, by default, the operating system only allows you to choose from a predefined palette of 48 colors. If you want your taskbar to exactly match your company's logo shade or, if your favorite hue of yellow isn't one of the default four dozen, there are a couple of ways to add your own custom hue.

Add a Custom Accent Color Using the Mixer

If you don't have a precise color to match and just want to fiddle with some controls until you get an accent shade you like, you can use Windows 10's color mixer. If you have the RGB or Hex code for a particular color, you'll have to use the other method: adding custom colors to the registry.

1. Open the run prompt by hitting Windows + R or typing "Run" into the search box.

2. Type "Control Color" into the run box and hit Ok.

A window appears with a list of colors.

3. Select the color block that is closest to what you want. The window title bar will change to match that color.

4. Open "Show color mixer."

5. Adjust the Hue, Saturation and Brightness bars until you get a color you like. As you move the sliders, you will see a preview of the color in the window title bar.

6. Click Save Changes.

Add a Custom Accent Color Using the Registry

If you have an exact color you want to use as an accent color, you need to edit the Windows registry to add it. The "color mixer" method described above just isn't precise enough. 

1. Open the registry editor by typing "regedit" into run box or the search box and hitting Enter.

2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_Machine\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Themes\ by opening the folders in the left pane.

3. Create the Accents key under Themes if it does not exist by right-clicking on the Theme folder and selecting New -> Key then renaming the key to "Accents."

4. Open the Accents key.

5. Create a subkey named "0" under Accents and another named "Theme0" under that.

6. Create a new DWORD (32-bit) value named "Color" under Theme0. You can create new DWORD values by right-clicking in the right pane and selecting New -> DWord (32-bit) and then renaming the entry it creates.

7. Open the Color DWORD value by double-clicking on it.

8. Enter a color value in ABGR (also called KML) format and click OK. ABGR stands for Alpha Blue Green Red and is composed of hexadecimal numbers. This tool will convert regular hex or RGB colors you get from an image editor into ABGR.

9. Close Regedit and restart your computer.

 The new color will now appear at the bottom of the list of hues in the Accent color menu.

You can add up to seven additional custom colors to the menu by creating additional theme folders under the Accents key in the Windows registry. You need to name these Accents\0\Theme1, Accents\1\Theme0, Accents\1\Theme1, Accents\2\Theme0, \Accents\2\Theme1, Accents\3\Theme0 and Accents\3\Theme1.

Customize Windows 10

Avram Piltch
Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master's degree in English from NYU.