Have you ever wanted to customize the bar at the top of every window that tells you the app’s name? That’s called the “title bar,” and Windows 11 isn’t configured by default to show an accent color on title bars and borders. Therefore, all your software windows will have boring white or black title bars by default.
You can select custom colors for both active and inactive (background window) title bars. A custom color selected for a title bar is also applied to windows’ borders. Here is how you can customize Windows 11 by setting custom colors for title bars.
How to Set the Color for the Active Title Bar
Windows 11 includes a palette with which you can choose an accent color for the active title bar. You simply need to turn on a built-in Show accent color option in Settings to apply the selected color to software windows. Here are the steps for setting the active title bar color in Windows 11:
- Right-click a part of your desktop’s wallpaper to select Personalize.
- Click the Colors navigation option.
- Next, click Accent Color to view the palette.
- Toggle on the Show accent color on title bars and windows borders option.
- Then select Manual in the Accent Color drop-down menu.
- Select a box on the Windows colors palette. You’ll immediately notice the border color around the Settings window changes when you do.
- Alternatively, click the View colors button. Then you can choose a color by dragging the circle on the custom palette and selecting Done.
The active window’s title bar and border will now have the color you selected. Open Control Panel to see the difference. The Control Panel’s title bar will now include the accent color you set in Settings.
How to Set the Color for Inactive Title Bars by Editing the Registry
Inactive title bars are used on background windows that aren’t currently selected. Setting the color for inactive title bars is a bit more complicated because Windows 11 doesn’t include a built-in option for doing so. Nevertheless, you can apply a color to inactive title bars by manually tweaking a registry key in the following steps:
First, choose a color for the inactive title bar by setting a color for the active one in Settings as outlined for the method above. That may sound confusing, but you’re going to need to copy the code for that color in the Registry Editor to apply it to the inactive title bar.
Once you have it, click Start (or you can press the Win key). Input Registry Editor in the “type here to search box” at the top of Windows 11’s Start menu, then select the search result to open the Registry Editor.
Now it’s time to do some editing:
- Next, click on Registry Editor’s address bar to erase the current path. Input ComputerHKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsDWM in that bar and press Enter.
- Right-click the DWM key in the left navigation pane to select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Input AccentColorInactive in the new DWORD’s text box.
- Next, double-click the AccentColor DWORD, which includes the code for the active title bar color you selected in Settings for step one.
- Select the code in the Value data box, and press the Ctrl + C key combination.
- Click OK to close the AccentColor DWORD’s Value data box.
- Double-click the AccentColorInactive DWORD you added to the registry.
- Click inside the Value data box and press Ctrl + V to paste in the copied color code.
- Close both the Edit DWORD window and Registry Editor.
- Open the accent color palette in Settings as covered in the first three steps for changing the active title bar’s color.
- Choose a different color for the active title bar from there.
Now title bars on inactive windows will include the color you previously selected in step one. To see the difference, open the DWM registry key again, as covered in steps two to four. Then double-click any DWORD for that key to bring up the “edit” window for it.
The Registry Editor window’s title bar in the background will include the color you set with the AccentColorInactive DWORD like in the screenshot directly below.
To remove the inactive title bar’s color, right-click the AccentColorInactive DWORD and select Delete. Select Yes when prompted for deletion confirmation. Or you can turn off the Show accent color on title bars option to remove coloring from both active and inactive window bars.
How to Set the Color for the Inactive Title Bars With Winaero Tweaker
The freeware Winaero Tweaker provides an alternative, more straightforward method for selecting an inactive title bar color. That software includes a customization setting for choosing an inactive title bar color. This is how you can set the color for inactive title bars with the Winaero Tweaker software:
- Open the website for the Winaero Tweaker software.
- Click Download Winaero Tweaker to get a ZIP archive for that software.
- Open Windows’ file manager app to bring up the folder in which your browser downloaded the ZIP file.
- To decompress Winaero Tweaker’s ZIP, right-click winaerotweaker.zip and select an Extract All option on the archive’s context menu.
- Then select Show extracted files and click Extract to view a folder that includes Winaero Tweaker’s setup wizard.
- Double-click the WinaeroTweaker-220.127.116.11-setup.exe to open the installer for the software. Go through the setup options to install Winaero Tweaker.
- Select Run Winaero Tweaker after installing. Clicking the setup wizard’s Finish button will then also start Winaero Tweaker.
- Double-click Appearance in Winaero’s left pane.
- Select Inactive Title Bars Color to view that option.
- Next, click the Current color box.
- Choose a color in the palette window, and select OK to confirm.
Inactive title bars on windows will now include whatever color you chose for them. To test this, swap to another window other than Winaero Tweaker. When Winaero Tweaker becomes inactive, its title bar should turn the color you just set up. If it isn’t, you probably need to enable the Show accent colors on title bar option in Settings.
Winaero Tweaker also includes some other title bar customization settings worth noting. Double-click the Advanced Appearance Settings category to select Window Title Bars. Then you can choose a different title bar font by clicking the Change font button. Or drag the Window title bar height bar’s slider to reconfigure the bar’s height. Click Apply Changes to save the settings you’ve selected there.
Colorize the Title Bar in Windows 11
You don’t have to stick with a plain white title bar in Windows 11. You can apply two of your favorite colors to active and inactive window title bars with the methods above. However, note that your selected title bar colors will not be applied in Settings, Microsoft Store, File Explorer, and some other pre-installed UWP apps.
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