How-To Geek

How to Change the Color of the Sign In Screen in Windows 8


Nearly every component of Windows 8 can be customized to suit your needs, some settings however are buried deep into the registry.

How to Change the Color of the Sign In Screen in Windows 8

Note: This hack only affects the screen where you have to choose a user, not the screen where it asks for your password.

Press the Win + R keyboard combination to open a run box, then type regedit and hit enter.


When the registry editor opens, drill down into:



On the right hand side create a new DWORD (32-Bit) value and name it DefaultColorSet.


Then double click on it to open its properties.


Now change the Base type to Decimal and assign it a value between 0 and 24. Here’s a list of some common colors:

  1. 11 – Dark Green
  2. 12 – Light Green
  3. 14 – Red
  4. 16 – Purple
  5. 17 – Dark Blue
  6. 18 – Light Blue
  7. 21 – Mustard
  8. 22 – Pink
  9. 23 – Grey
  10. 24 – Gun Metal


That’s all there is to it.


Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 12/18/12

Comments (7)

  1. James

    If I want to revert to the default, burgundy color, can I safely remove this key, or will I need to just use a color code?

  2. mike

    You know, it has become a real pain in the **(($ to deal with the GUI on windows 8, maybe if we ignore it long enough and hard enough Microsoft will get the message. And maybe they will dump it like they did Vista.

    I feel sorry for the saps who buy the tablet (which shall go unnamed under the theory that doing so give it more power) from Microsoft and can’t break away to Linux.

    I wouldn’t even take a Microsoft tablet for free except to sell it to some fool.

    And if vendors continue with the practice of loading the newest default Microsoft OS on their machines I will go back to building my own machines and installing something else or buying a Mac. I can load Linux on a new Mac as easily as a Windows machine.

  3. Chris

    Poor old Mike! So much hate in so few words. If all he has to worry about are a few cosmetic aspect of Windows 8 then I can’t understand why he’s getting into such a bother. I have Win 8 installed on 4 PCs and I cannot understand for the life of me why so many are providing so much negative feed back. The “Metro” front end works fine – with or without a touch screen. It is quite easy to adapt to the changes. Give it a fair go.

  4. nt0xik8ed

    If i wanted to make them all gun-metal do i have to do each on individually or is there a group-grope kind of hack that would make them all a single default color?

    lol @ mike the linux user.

  5. nt0xik8ed

    it didn’t change the color of anything. i was hoping to make all the tiles one color so i intentionally read this all wrong. but still my sign in screen is blue…

  6. Rey

    It didn’t change color in my case….

  7. Jim

    Accent doesn’t show up in my registry. A search shows it under HKEY/CLASSES/ROOT but I can’t go further with it. Classed as a Registry Root. Can’t help further as I’m only a user, not a geek.

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