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Windows XP - Change Colour Schemes / Appearance

Welcome to this Windows XP tutorial on how to change your color schemes or appearance. You want to change your colors or windows xp appearance for preference or because the current colors are harch on your eyes.

Thinks To Note
  • Click the images to see a larger version
  • Yellow arrows or circles indicate where to look or click
  • Unless specified otherwise use the 'left' mouse button to click

Windows XP - Change Color Scheme / Appearance

Start Menu in Windows XP showing selection of control panel

With your computer logged into Windows you should have the desktop loaded. In the lower left corner of the screen click the 'Start' button. A vertical menu will pop up.

On the right of the pop up start menu are many commonly used items. As pictured 'Control Panel' is one of these items.

Click the 'Control Panel' option on the start menu.

Control Panel selecting Display

The control panel will load showing all of the available settings. You will see an icon for 'Display' which we have highlighted in the picture.

With your mouse, double click the 'Display' icon.

The Display properties window will appear.

Display properties box showing appearance tab in Windows XP

You will see five tabs along the top of the display properties window. The fourth one is the 'Appearance' tab. Click this tab.

You will see the appearance window as pictured. You can see the preview window shows an example of the colors currently in use by using an active window, inactive window and a message box.

Below the preview window you will see some selectable options.

Display properties box selecting appearance color scheme in windows xp

If you click the 'Color Scheme' drop down box you will see some preset color schemes to choose from. The blue is default for Windows XP. The other available color schemes are silver and olive green.

Select a color scheme and click the 'Apply' button

For our example we will select the 'Silver' color scheme.

Display properties showing selected appearance color scheme

Notice how the colors change in the preview box and since we clicked apply it changed the box color for the display properties too.

If required you can further customise the individual items by clicking the 'Advanced' button. This will open a window that allows you to choose the color for individual items.

There shouldn't really be a need to change individual items.

Once you have chosen your color scheme you can click 'Ok' to close the display properties window.

Next tutorial - Change Windows XP Themes

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