Add custom Windows Color & Appearance in Windows 7 & Vista

When you right-click on your Windows 7 or Windows Vista Desktop, and select Personalize, in the Windows Color & Appearance, you are presented with a set of 8 colors to choose from. This can be used to change color of windows, the start menu and the taskbar by picking one of these available color schemes.

However, you can add a custom color scheme to it, or you can also create your own color set using color mixer, should you wish to.

Here is how you can do it. This requires the following:

  1. Restorator
  2. Registry Editor : regedit
  3. Image Editing Software like Adobe Photoshop

First, run Restorator and open themecpl.dll (located under C:\Windrows\System32) and navigate to BITMAP. Now extract any bitmap file from 1 to 8.

Next, run Photoshop and change colors by adjusting the hue/saturation. Open the extracted bitmap image in Photoshop and click on Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation or press CTRL+U. Adjust or change color as you want and save & exit.

Once again run Restorator and open themecpl.dll and click on Resources > Add Resources or Press CTRL+U.

Now select the bitmap file, drag, and drop at the highlighted area.

Now run regedit to open the Registry Editor and Navigate to:

 HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ControlPanel\Glass Colorization\Swatches

Create a key with a GUID name … it must be unique among all GUIDs existing under Swatches
(Simple trick: Copy any GUID like {FD81078C-1B36-4595-A92E-91F05C4FA5DC} and change one of the character or digit … I am sure, it will be 99.99 % unique. The new GUID is {FD81078C-1B36-4595-A92E-91F05C4FA5DD})

Create a DWORD (32-bit) value and named to Color. Set the value of color, which you want.
(Simple trick: Right Click on desktop and navigate Personalize > Windows color and appearance, now set your favorite color using color mixer. Run Registry Editor and navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM and click on ColorizationColor and copy its value and paste in Color DWORD value)

Create a DWORD (32-bit) value and named NameId. Set the value to 69 in decimal. This registry value reads string from themecpl.dll.mui file located under C:\Windows\System32\en-US.  The 69 String ID in themecpl.dll.mui contains string value Vistas.

Create a DWORD (32-bit) value and named PreviewId. Set the value to 103 (The ID or name of bitmap resource file that has been added to themecpl.dll.)

Create a DWORD (32-bit) value and named PreviewOrder. Set the value to 9; which tell the color scheme added at 9th number.

Create a Expandable String value (REG_EXPAND_SZ) and named Resource. Set the value to themecpl.dll.

Exit. Reboot.

Update: Restorator is available now as a trial version only. The trial version expires after a period of 30 days. So you can use it to follow this tutorial, knowing this fact.

Guest Post By : Ramesh Kumar, MVP.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
This post has been submitted by a Guest Author. If you would like to submit a guest post, you may contact me on the mail ID mentioned in the About page.

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