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How to fix show color on taskbar greyed out on Windows 10

The taskbar on Windows 10 can show the accent color that’s set for your system. The color setting for the taskbar is grouped with the Start Menu and the Action Center. You have to enable color for all three or disable it for all of them. The color selection is up to you; you can pick one yourself or you can let Windows 10 pick one based on the wallpaper that you’ve set.

If you’re trying to enable color for the taskbar, but the option is greyed out i.e., it cannot be enabled, the fix is pretty simple.

Fix show color on taskbar greyed out

The taskbar color setting being greyed out isn’t a bug. It’s the result of a poorly designed feature i.e., the light theme on Windows 10. There are two simple ways to ‘fix’ it i.e., get color on the taskbar, and one hack way of getting around it.

1. Switch to dark theme

The light theme on Windows 10 does not let users set a color for the Start menu, taskbar, and action center but if you switch to the dark theme, you will be able to enable the option.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the Personalization group of settings. 
  3. Select the Colors tab.
  4. Open the Choose your color dropdown.
  5. Select Dark.
  6. Scroll down, and the ‘Start, taskbar, and action center’ option will now be enabled. You can select a color from the swatches given on the same tab, or you can enable the ‘Automatically pick an accent color from my background’ option.

2. Switch to custom theme

If you like the light theme but want color on the taskbar, you can settle for a compromise; the light theme for apps but dark for the system.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the Personalization group of settings.
  3. Select the Colors tab.
  4. Open the ‘Choose your color’ dropdown.
  5. Select the ‘Custom’ option. Additional options will appear.
  6. For the ‘Choose your default Windows mode’ option, select Dark.
  7. For the ‘Choose your default app mode’ option, select Light.
  8. You will now be able to enable the ‘Start, taskbar, and action center’ option for showing color.

3. Use a modified wallpaper

This is the option you should use if you absolutely have to use the light theme but also want to have color on the taskbar.

  1. Pick the wallpaper that you want to use. It should fit your screen exactly. Resize it before you proceed.
  2. Pick the color you want to use for the taskbar. Get the HEX and/or RGB value for it.
  3. Take a screenshot of your desktop (Win+PrntScrn).
  4. Open the screenshot in an app like IrfanView.
  5. Select the entire length and height of the taskbar. Note down the dimensions.
  6. Open the wallpaper in an image editor like Paint.net or GIMP.
  7. At the bottom, add a solid color bar that is the exact size (width and height) of the taskbar and is the same color that you want to use for the taskbar.
  8. Save the wallpaper.
  9. Download a free app called TranslucentTB.
  10. Run it, and use it to set the taskbar to transparent.
  11. Set the wallpaper as your background and you will have a colored taskbar.

Conclusion

Microsoft is ironing this out in the next major version of Windows 10. It appears to have been corrected in an insider build but there’s no telling if it will actually make it to the stable build that is released at the end of this year. These options may be the only fix for the while.

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