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How to change the drag selection color on Windows 10

When you select items on Windows 10, whether its items on the desktop, or folders and files inside File Explorer, the selection is highlighted with a translucent blue box. It’s been that color for the past many versions of Windows but if you don’t like the blue, you can change the drag selection color with a registry edit.

Change drag selection color

You will need admin rights to change the drag selection color. It’s also a good idea to back up the registry keys you’ll be modifying though we will give you its default value that you can use to rest the selection color back to its default color.

Use the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box. In the run box, type ‘regedit’ to open the registry editor.

In the registry editor, go to the following location. Here you’re going to have to modify the value of two values.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors

Before you modify the keys though, you need to decide which color you want to use for the selection box and then you need to find the RGB value for that color. You can use Google to find a color wheel that will give you both RGB and HEX values for your color of choice.

The RGB values are three different values that correspond to the red, green, and blue values that make up the color. When you enter them, you’re going to have to separate them with a space.

Once you have the color, look for the HotTrackingColor value and enter the RGB value for the color you selected.


255 102 102

Next, look for the Hilight value and enter the same RGB value for it that you entered for the previous one. Once you’re done, you need to restart your system. Restarting Explorer will not do the trick here. You need to restart your system to get the change to take effect.

The new selection color will appear when you click and drag over items or over an empty area on the desktop or the in File Explorer. This change will also impact other more subtle areas on Windows. I can’t give you a conclusive list of all the areas it will impact but it seemed to change the selection color of the URL inside Chrome when I selected it.

To reset the color back to its default value, enter the following RGB values in both the values that you modified and restart you system after to execute the change.

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