[Tutorial] Change Advanced Appearance Settings in Windows 8 and 7

You liked Windows 7 so much, that you are facing trouble with the Metro UI of Windows 8. In Windows 7, there was an easy option to customize windows color and appearance using the advanced appearance settings. If you are not well versed with that feature in Windows 7, here’s a quick look around.

How to change Color, Size and Font for Window Item in 7 ?

Right-click on your Windows 7 desktop (mine is Windows 7 Ultimate) and from the context-menu select Personalize. Otherwise, you can also browse through Control PanelAll Control Panel ItemsPersonalization to arrive at the same.

You will be presented with the themes available on your system. Below the theme you selected you will see several options like Desktop Background, Window Color, Sounds, Screen Saver etc. Click on Window Color.


This will take you to the next screen. At the bottom you see, Advanced Appearance Settings. Click on it. This will open up Window Color and Appearance pop-up window. There you have a label Item and the options to change font, size, color etc. Generally its possible to change the font for Aero themes only. For customized themes and themes downloaded from online, this may not be available.


You can also reach this pop-up window through this navigation – Control PanelAll Control Panel ItemsPersonalizationWindow Color and Appearance and click on Advanced Appearance Settings at the bottom.


What about Windows 8 ?

As we have just stated earlier it was very easy to customize text size, font and color of Window Items in XP, Vista and 7. So if you are testing the Windows 8 release preview, you might have found that this option is not accessible as simple as in other Windows operating systems.

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Update 1 : From comments I observed, that this post is not a clear solution to all the problems related to advanced appearance settings of Windows 8. You can change a few things like text size etc of some elements. But many want to change settings like window color, font color, active title bar color, scroll bar color etc. in their Windows 8 system. Even after Google searching, I found that there is no 100% solution to this problem. Also the registry tweaks are not working as intended and work only for high contrast mode.

Update 2 : Also you cannot change the Metro font of Windows 8 using these tweaks. If you want to make title bar and buttons on it smaller, you can adjust the text size of it, and that will reduce both text size and title bar and buttons.


So if you are looking for ways to change text size, color, font of title bars, menus, message boxes, palette titles, icons and tooltips in Windows 8, there are two methods.

  • METHOD 1: Using Desktop Personalization
  • METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor

METHOD 1: Using Desktop Personalization

Open the “Display” settings window by selecting the “Personalize” option from Desktop context menu and then click on “Display” link given at the bottom of left-side bar.


[Source : askvg.com]

Once you change the text size of various items such as icons, title bars, etc by selecting the item from drop-down list and then selecting the desired size for it from the 2nd drop-down box, click on Apply button.

METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor

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The above method faces the deficiency that you cannot change the background color, border padding, caption buttons size, icon size, icon spacing, scrollbar size, etc, then you can customize the advanced appearance settings in Windows 8 using Windows registry.

1. Press “WIN+R” key combination to launch RUN dialog box then type regedit and press Enter. It’ll openRegistry Editor. Now go to following keys one by one:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelColors
HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktopColors
HKEY_CURRENT_USERControl PanelDesktopWindowMetrics

These registry keys have different DWORD values and strings on the right-side pane. By changing these values, you can customize advanced appearance settings information in Windows 8.


Important Tip:

The above Registry keys are the same in Windows Vista, 7 and 8. So, in order to make things easier, you can customize the advanced appearance settings in 7 or Vista and open the Registry Editor and take a back-up of the above mentioned registry keys. You can do this by right-clicking on each key and select Export option. This will create .REG files. Import these .REG files into Windows 8 Registry Editor and restart Windows 8 desktop. This will make the new settings take into effect.

If you are still facing any other problems related to advanced appearance settings in Windows 7 or 8, please mention in the comments section. Let us know your experience how you customized your different settings and which text, font of Window item you change mostly.


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