Windows 10 Settings has only 24 Color Choices for Background

If you prefer solid color desktop background instead of shiny desktop wallpaper, note that the new Personalization settings page in Windows 10 displays only 24 color choices for background color, and the color picker is no longer available.

Color picker is a valuable tool wherein you can choose your preferred shade, as well as input the Red : Green : Blue (RGB) values to make up a custom color. This is missing in the new user interface, but there are some excellent workarounds for this problem.

Update 2021: Information in this article is now obsolete because the recent versions of Windows 10 come with a nice-looking color picker dialog. It also lets you input the RGB values manually.

personalize solid color - color picker
Personalize – Solid Color – Color picker dialog with RGB choices

For older builds of Windows 10

If you’re still using an older build or version of Windows 10, then the following information may be useful to you.


Only 24 color choices shown for Solid color background.

We have at least three workarounds:

  1. Access the hidden classic desktop background Control Panel.
  2. Create a tiny image using Paint (or any other tool) and set it as background wallpaper (fill).
  3. Using RegEdit.exe to set the RGB values directly in the registry.

Accessing the (Hidden) Classic Desktop Background Page

Thanks to the Reddit user and MSFT employee Dr.Preppy for this tip!

Fortunately, the old desktop background Control Panel is still available but hidden, and you can access it by running this command from Run (WinKey + R) dialog:

shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921} -Microsoft.Personalization\pageColorization

This is another way of running Control Panel applets. Refer article Executing Control Panel Items (Windows) for more such commands.

The classic desktop background page loads up. Select Solid Colors and click the More… link to bring up the color picker. Select a built-in color or customize a color and click Save changes.

Create an Image File Using MS Paint and Set it As the Background

Just in case Microsoft completely removes classic Control Panel applets in future, you have other options to set a solid colored background with custom shade. Launch Microsoft Paint  (Paint Brush – mspaint.exe). Reduce the canvas to a very small size so as to reduce the output file size.

Choose a color from the color palette. If you need a custom color, click Edit colors

Select your preferred shade, and click Add to Custom Colors. Note that the RGB values are filled up automatically as you choose/change the shade.

Select the custom color and click OK.

Use the Fill tool to fill up the canvas with the chosen color. Save the file to a convenient location. This fill will be your desktop background (solid colored one).

From the File menu, click Set as desktop background, and choose the Fill option so that the tiny image fills up the entire screen.

This sets the solid color background in your desktop with your preferred shade.

Using Registry Editor to Set the Color Code (RGB) Manually

If you know the RGB value of your preferred color (shown in color picker dialog above), you can input it directly in the registry.

Click Start, type Regedit.exe and press {ENTER} to launch the Registry Editor. Navigate to the following location in the Registry Editor:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors

Double-click Background and type in the RGB value in the text box. For example, if your preferred color is 336699, type it in as 33 66 99.

Exit the Registry Editor, logoff and login for the change to apply.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

3 thoughts on “Windows 10 Settings has only 24 Color Choices for Background”

  1. I use black for my background because I am about 80% blind (a contrast problem) white produces too much glare FOR ME. With black, gpl;d or yellow writing is the easiest for me to read. The problem is, many things do not have gold text. I get it with my PDF files and even my nmusic scores are gold on black (which enables me to cvontinue to read music) but I sure wish more software people knew abpit the problems of us sight-impAIRED PEOPLE. A LOT OF WEB SITES HAVE “CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW” WRITTEN IN BLACK ON A BLQACK BACKGROUND SO THEY MISS OUT ON A SALE TO ME)

  2. I used the MS Paint option to set background color on Windows 10 desktop and it worked just fine. But now I cannot set a photograph in the center of the desktop with the Paint background in place–seems Windows counts the background color as a Picture. Can you help?


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