Changing Windows UI Elements

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  1. Posts : 62
    Windows 10 64-bit

    Changing Windows UI Elements

    I'm new to Windows 10 (Windows 10 Pro 20H2) and I've been trying to change some UI elements.

    1. Registry.
    Changing the value of "MenuBar" in "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors" has no effect.
    Why is that? Can I change the MenuBar background color somewhere else in the Registry?

    2. Creating a theme.
    I've followed the steps provided in Please Wait... | Cloudflare.
    What tool should I use for editing the theme?
    And when and why does UltraUXThemePatcher come in?

    Thank you. I'd appreciate your help.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 34,882
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Hi, this has been discussed a number of times.
    Free tools like
    SMACC by member Superfly and Classic Color Panel (Google)
    go some way to compensate for the missing Advanced Appearance Settings dialogue of Win 7, although it's not always clear to which part of the GUI they refer.

    However, colouring file explorer-related backgrounds requires a different approach.
    Qttabbar (free, by Quizo) adds a lot of features, including the ability to colour backgrounds.

    For browser backgrounds, see each browser and add-ons as necessary.

    You can create/modify simple themes entirely within Settings:
    Changing Windows UI Elements-1.png

    Using this approach, together with Stardock's Curtains for the title bar and frame, and Stardock's IconPackager for icons gives me a readily reproducible look that I can carry across upgrades.

    However you seek to change Windows' appearance, you must consider the 6 monthly cycle of feature updates and how that and updates may impact these, and how your changes may impact the success of upgrades and updates.

    I've not used UltraUXThemePatcher so will leave that to someone else.

    Changing Windows UI Elements-1.png

    On ultrauxthemepatcher I came across this which states which files it patches:
    Download UltraUXThemePatcher - MajorGeeks
    Last edited by dalchina; 03 May 2021 at 10:28.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 62
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Hello dalchina,

    Thank you for the detailed reply. I do appreciate it.

    For some reason I can not apply any changes with "SMACC by member Superfly" or "Classic Color Panel".
    (They seem to modify "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors" which has no effect on my machine. I don't understand why.).

    I've been using Qttabbar for a long time on Windows 7.
    I've installed it on Win 10 as well, but you can only change Qttabbar's own bars; - you can not change File Explorer's bars (please correct me if I'm wrong).

    I've tried Stardock's Curtains themes, but my system is RTL (Right To Left) and they do not seem to support it.

    If I understand it correctly, UltraUXThemePatcher should come at a later stage.
    First I need a tool to edit my theme.
    In Change color of menubar and list header? @Bongo uses "Windows Style Builder", but in Custom theme there's a UxStyle_0242_x86_x64_preview.exe file which does not work with the latest Win 10 versions.

    I'm truly a beginner in this, and I hope someone should be able to enlighten me. :)
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 34,882
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Hi, just as an experiment for you, here's the reg file I use if I need to reapply the pale yellow colour I use (attached in zip file). Examine that to see exactly what is modified to do that, and feel free to back up those registry keys, apply that and see if it changes anything- e.g. Wordpad or Notepad's background.

    I can't comment on using Curtains in a non-English environment- you would have to ask on a Stardock forum about that I'm afraid.

    There are downloadable theme packs with instructions e.g. on DeviantArt and WinCustomize- some use one or other of the theme patcher files.

    However, some also use 3rd party utilities too such as OldNew Explorer, and/or Aeroglass - but note that Aeroglass is not compatible beyond a late build of 1903, so ignore such themes.

    I.e. you have to look carefully at what they say is required if you intend to apply one.

    You mention you've already come across a program that is not compatible. That's the problem- some of these themes have been out for a while- there are no guarantees here.

    That's why I stay carefully within bounds of things that- other than icons- do not modify system files and are easily removed or reversed.

    SMACC: did you notice this instruction:
    Select colour scheme for various components and save it to the registry (requires signing-out and back in)

    You might find this interesting:
    Add Personalize (classic) context menu in Windows 10
    Changing Windows UI Elements Attached Files
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 62
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Some Progress. :)
    Notepad's background color did change to yellow.
    And it seems that "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors" applies it.

    Interestingly - modifying the value of "Menu" and "MenuBar, the menu did change in some applications (NOT in Notepad) and the menu bar itself remained white but I got a kind of border/separator under it in the color I applied.

    Changing Windows UI Elements-.png

    The menu bar is one of the most important elements I'd like to change system-wide. It requires some more investigation.

    Thanks again.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 34,882
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    You could of course consider using WindowBlinds by Stardock. It's a more mature product, much more fully featured than Curtains; plenty of downloadable themes.
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 62
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    I'll try it again, but I think they don't support RTL.

    I appreciate your kind help.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 34,882
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    I thought you tried Curtains... now I'm suggesting WindowBlinds- did you try that too?
      My Computers

  9. Posts : 62
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    I tried WindowBlinds some time ago. I did not try Curtains.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 34,882
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    You said:
    I've tried Stardock's Curtains themes, but my system is RTL (Right To Left) and they do not seem to support it.
      My Computers


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