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How to change tile color for desktop apps on Windows 10

UWP apps have not been able to replace desktop apps. It’s been years since they were introduced and some of the most popular Windows 10 apps are still desktop versions. This is mainly because most apps are constrained with the UWP platform. Since they refuse to port to the UWP platform, they have some odd restrictions. There are apps that let you change the tile for a UWP app but if you want to change the tile color for desktop apps, you have to do it manually. Here’s how.

Tile color for desktop apps

Open the apps’ list in the Start Menu and look for the desktop app that you want to change the tile color for. Right-click it and select More>Open File Location from the context menu.

This will open File Explorer and there will be a shortcut to the app in the folder it opens to. Right-click this shortcut and again, select Open File Location from the context menu.

Next, open a new Notepad file and paste the following in it. You need to make an edit to this in order to set the color for the tile.

<Application xmlns:xsi="https://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<VisualElements BackgroundColor="#ffffff"

Change the #ffffff to the HEX value for the color you want to use. Save this file with the following name;




Make sure that Notepad saves the file as an XML file and not as a TXT file. Save it to the location you opened in File Explorer earlier. You can alternatively save it to your desktop and copy it to the folder.

Next, return to the Start Menu and go to the apps’ list. Again, look for the same app, right-click it, and select More>Open file location. In the location that opens, rename the app’s shortcut to anything. It doesn’t matter much what you name it because you have to change the name back  to whatever it was before. The rename forces Windows 10 to refresh the tile icon.

Once you’ve renamed the file, and named it back to what it originally was, open the Start Menu and the tile will show the new color that you’ve set. This color will not change when you change the accent color on Windows 10. You can change it to anything else by editing the XML file you created, and you can delete the XML file to force the tile to start showing the default accent color.

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