Customize colors in Windows using Classic Color Panel

Martin Brinkmann
May 16, 2017
Updated • Jul 30, 2017

Classic Color Panel is a free portable program for Microsoft Windows devices to customize the colors used by various interface elements.

The application is compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 10 operating systems. While that is the case, it is most useful on Windows 10 devices as Microsoft had the glorious idea to remove the Color Control Panel applet from the operating system.

This leaves Windows 10 users with the (meager) color options provided under Settings > Personalization > Colors. Experienced users may manipulate colors for interface elements in the Windows Registry (under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors), but that is probably not something that most users want to do let alone are aware of.

Classic Color Panel

classic color panel

Classic Color Panel improves the accessibility of the color customization options. You can run the program directly after installation. It displays a prompt on start that allows you to create a backup of the settings of the Registry. It is recommended that you accept that, as you may double-click on the Registry file at any time to restore the default color settings.

The program interface itself links interface elements such as ButtonText or Background to colors. These colors are shown next to each element, and a click on the color opens a color picker that you may use to change it to another one.

The app divides text colors and interface colors and displays each in its own column in the interface. A click on the three arrow icon displays even more interface elements that you can modify the color for.

customize colors windows 10

Colors are not changed automatically, which means that you may have to sign off and on repeatedly to test various color schemes before you find a suitable one.

You do need to click on apply once you have made changes to modify the Registry values. The program prompts for a sign off, and if you accept, will sign you out immediately.

The new color scheme is active right after you sign on again the next time. The program ships with a handy "default" button that you may click on to restore the default color scheme. Last but not least, you may also export the color scheme at any time. This can be useful if you want to apply it to another device or another user profile as well.

The developer published examples for some of the interface elements on the site. While you may be able to identify some by name, you may find the images helpful to determine others.

Closing Words

Classic Color Panel restores color customization options on devices running Windows 10. Windows 7 and 8 users may also use the program but it is less useful on those machines. It may be easier to use though, as it displays all color options in a single interface and makes customizing those a breeze.

software image
Author Rating
3.5 based on 9 votes
Software Name
Classic Color Panel
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Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Murray White said on July 31, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I have not found any help file or manual related to CCP.

    Regarding your maps, what program are you using to obtain maps? CCP is used to adjust the same items that you could when using W 7 and it is likely that a third party program can’t be adjusted depending upon how it was written by the developer.

    Hopefully another subscriber may have more info.

  2. A3KP said on July 31, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Is there somewhere a good manual for this prog?
    The balloon tips are too less for me to understand
    what it does.

  3. A3KP said on July 31, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    The only thing i want is to make the background color of the personal maps light gray instead of white.
    But the program doesn’t this changing. I tried several configurations but nothing.
    I know we have a day/night light in Creators but that not works because for me are the
    fonts bad readable then.

  4. Murray White said on July 30, 2017 at 7:34 am

    I just went to and did a download of the program to check to see if all was ok and it was. See if it will work for you and try more than one browser if you experience difficulty using your default browser.I used Chrome initially but also checked the link with both Vivaldi and Edge with equal success so hopefull AadK you will have some success.

    1. Anonymous said on August 19, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      It says that it is an unsave connection,so i don’t get it from Wintools.

      1. Murray White said on August 20, 2017 at 7:25 am

        I have tried a couple of browsers without any difficulty in obtaining the download and I have an ultra secure system. Might have something to do with where you live or see if an alternative browser works for you.

  5. AadK said on July 29, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    The link is broken.

  6. AasK said on July 29, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Why can’t we download this anymore. Link is broke.

  7. Parker Gabriel said on July 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    A detailed user guide for this will help tremendously, so that users do not end up ruining the appearances of their folders, their other applications, and/or the like.

  8. Murray White said on May 19, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Perhaps the browser is not set to reopen closed tabs? If using Chrome go to the 3 vertical dots on the R side of the open browser window and click on Settings. When there look to the second item, On Start Up and put a dot in the second item, Continue where you left off.

    Many browsers have a similar option.

  9. Albert said on May 19, 2017 at 2:31 am

    This is lovely. Click on the Log off button and bye-bye your session…Wonderful…The 14 apps I had open. All the tabs in my browsers with multiple windows…This is lovely…How brain dead….

  10. Murray White said on May 19, 2017 at 12:35 am

    The change of the window in both Wordpad and a room in Paltalk — I am admin in PC Tech — works perfectly. I have passed on the link to the room and it will also end up in the room’s website related to Windows 10 information which I and another admin maintain related to W10 information. Now I just have to figure out how to change the background color of an Explorer window so it won’t be stark white.

  11. Cameochi said on May 18, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    The lack of color and start menu choice in Windows 10 is solved by some of us by using Stardock’s inexpensive Window Blinds and Start 10. Some of the skins cannot be greatly altered but for the most part, one can customize the look of the desktop to their liking and make changes to system fonts.. There are additional background and skins available at Win Customize. The software will not change Office products though.

  12. Clairvaux said on May 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    What I would really like is to be able to change colours in some applications. For instance, the offensive baby blue theme in Outlook 2003, or the extraordinarily limited choice of highlighting colours in Word 2003. Windows 7 makes quite a good job of selecting its interface colours.

  13. Anonymous said on May 16, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    thanks Martin. I think I will do an install and see if I can get the window to change color. I was so simple in W7 and before — bugs me that MS would change that after it being so useful for so many years.

  14. Murray White said on May 16, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    a question rather than a comment. I am quite content with my current setup except for one thing. I would prefer my apps to be either a pale blue or pale gray instead of white as a background color.

    When installed, does this program make use of the colors currently selected or does it change all colors to its own defaults? I would prefer to keep what I have and simply adjust the window color of Wordpad, a Paltalk room text window etc. and leave all the rest alone.

    Also, when using the revert to default button, does this select Windows 10 o/s defaults or use the setup that the user had as the default position. Hopefully the latter but would like to know answers to both questions prior to spending time trying to make a small change but having to do a lot of work due to the way this program works.


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 16, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      The program keeps the current scheme, it does not change it automatically. Also, it lets you create a backup so that you can restore the status quo whenever the need arises.

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