Windows 10: Change color of menubar and list header? Solved

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  1.    09 Mar 2016 #1

    Change color of menubar and list header?

    On Windows 10 the menubar and list header are white by default. I'd like to change them to a greyish color instead. I've tried using the SMACC tool, editing the registry, and editing my main .theme file, but nothing so far has changed these two colors. Maybe they're defined in the .msstyles file or a .dll file somewhere?

    Btw, the list header I'm talking about is the topmost header row in any ListView control, which usually allows you to click on it to sort the list contents or change list column widths.

    Any ideas on this?

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. JohnC's Avatar
    Posts : 3
    Dual Boot 10 Pro v1607 10 Pro rs2 build 14971
       09 Mar 2016 #2

    Hi Fin, welcome to Ten Forums. Settings > Personation > Color :

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Turn the switch on below the colors to show on start, Taskbar action center and Title bar. Might not be exactly what you are after, hope it helps.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    09 Mar 2016 #3

    Thanks, I've tried that already, but it only adjusts the titlebar, taskbar, and start menu.

    I'm willing to use Resource Hacker if that's what it takes!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    09 Mar 2016 #4

    Fin said: View Post
    Thanks, I've tried that already, but it only adjusts the titlebar, taskbar, and start menu.

    I'm willing to use Resource Hacker if that's what it takes!
    You'll have to do some digging into msstylesheets, lots of work!

    I realize High Contrast themes don't look the greatest, but, you can hit pretty close to center with them:

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      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    09 Mar 2016 #5

    Edwin said: View Post
    I realize High Contrast themes don't look the greatest, but, you can hit pretty close to center with them
    Lol, yes, I'd say those don't look the greatest, but they do have non-white menubar and list headers. I did try them for fun, and it shows that what I want to do is technically possible, somehow.

    The default Windows 10 Aero theme is pretty decent, with just a handful of colors that need changing. And that's my goal. So far I've found out how to set custom colors for the active and inactive titlebars, and a different custom color for the taskbar and start menu, and also the selected item color (that intense blue was too much). Just two more colors to go and Win10 will finally be easygoing for my eyes.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    10 Mar 2016 #6

    I experimented some more with a high contrast theme, and plugged in all the colors I could into it. It did change the menubar and list header to a better color, but it seems that too many appearance settings are not defined by the .theme file, and it ended up looking not as good as the aero default theme. And firefox is apparently aware of the high contrast theme being used, since it changes how it renders web pages to match. It was worth a try, but doesn't look to be a way to do what I want with my colors.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Bongo's Avatar
    Posts : 79
    Win 7 Pro/ Win 10 Pro
       10 Mar 2016 #7

    Welcome to the Ten Forums

    I would recommend that you start a new custom theme from scratch so you do not corrupt the original look at Post #38 Here it will show you how, it is for Windows 7 but it will work for Windows 10 also.
    When you get to step #5 you will need it to point to the correct location (that will be the next step I will show you on how to install it, it will make sense then)
    In creating the new theme in step #5 should look like this below with Your Theme Name in the bold areas.
    %ResourceDir%\Themes\aero\aerolite.msstyles\YOUR THEME NAME\YOUR THEME NAME.msstyles

    Look at post #50 shows how to install a theme.

    How to get rid of the line under the taskbar icons ? - Page 5 - Windows 10 Forums

    Now for the information you need it's in the .msstyles.

    The menu bar background is image number 749

    The header is image numbers 603, 602
    Image number 603 has 12 different states each one is 5 pixels by 24 pixels, each state is shown in the image below.

    Everything you need to install a custom theme is included in the zip folder below.

    If you need any help let me know.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Change color of menubar and list header? Attached Files
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    10 Mar 2016 #8

    Thanks for all the great info Jerry!

    I've worked on this a while today, but I may be stuck for now. It looks like UltraUXThemePatcher 3.0.5 (the latest version) is not compatible with my version of Windows 10 v1511 (build 10586) as the developer says on his website. I also tried UniversalThemePatcher but it wouldn't let me patch anything at all.

    If I were to directly edit images in the aero.msstyles file using Resource Hacker, would those style changes work without using the patch tools? Btw, I have multiple types of backups of my system, so I'm prepared for some direct editing of system files.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9. Bongo's Avatar
    Posts : 79
    Win 7 Pro/ Win 10 Pro
       11 Mar 2016 #9

    Hi Fin:
    I am using the one that I provided in the zip folder which is UltraUXThemePatcher 3.0.4 not 3.0.5 on two different installs it works perfectly, and both are 1511 build 10586.

    If you edit the original aero.msstyles you would still need to do the patch because it would lose its Windows signature.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    11 Mar 2016 #10

    Success! Once I used the Mr. GRiM method for placing the theme files and folders then they finally became active.

    I needed to modify some other image numbers than the ones you suggested, maybe because I'm using a different dpi setting?

    Here are the images I modified, along with some that I didn't end up needing:

    #572 for list header background
    #602 for ? (wasn't active, not sure what it does)
    #603 for list header background (wasn't active, but I modified it just in case)
    #749 for toolbar background
    #1197 for menubar background

    Thanks for your help on this Jerry! Now I can finally get Windows looking more how I'd like it.

    A sample of my progress so far. Clean and simple, but not all-white like the default theme is. There needs to be some contrast to make things easier for your eye to find.

    Click image for larger version. 

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