1. Home
  2. Windows

How to reset Windows 10 appearance and color

We cover a lot of different tips for modifying how Windows 10 looks. More often than not, we edit the Windows registry to get the job done. The edits are small and mostly harmless but modifying the registry always comes with some risk which is why you should always back it up. There’s no way to quickly reset the registry back to its default state. If you’ve been modifying the system quite a bit and have come away with something breaking, you can reset Windows 10 appearance and color by restoring the registry keys that control it.

If there are other aspects of Windows 10 that have broken as a result of your tinkering, this won’t fix it. It’s only meant for appearance related changes that need to be reset.

Reset Windows 10 appearance

To reset Windows 10 appearance and color back to the default one, we’re going to have to make quite a few changes to the registry which is why you should back it up first. Your Windows 10 installation may not look right but if it’s stable then you have a registry that is more than worth backing up.

Once you’ve backed up the registry, open a new Notepad file and paste the following into it. Save the file with the REG file extension. Name it whatever you want. It won’t have any impact on the registry.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics]
"IconTitleWrap"="1"
"Shell Icon Size"="32"
"BorderWidth"="-15"
"CaptionFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"CaptionHeight"="-330"
"CaptionWidth"="-330"
"IconFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,00,\
00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"MenuFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,00,\
00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"MenuHeight"="-285"
"MenuWidth"="-285"
"MessageFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"ScrollHeight"="-255"
"ScrollWidth"="-255"
"SmCaptionFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,\
00,00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"SmCaptionHeight"="-330"
"SmCaptionWidth"="-330"
"StatusFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
"AppliedDPI"=dword:00000060
"PaddedBorderWidth"="-60"
"IconSpacing"="-1125"
"IconVerticalSpacing"="-1125"
"MinAnimate"="0"

Once you’ve saved the file, it’s time to merge the changes with the registry. Before you do that though, you should disable all apps that modify the Windows 10 UI. Ideally, you should uninstall them to be safe but if you’re not willing to do that, you should disable their changes.

Right-click the file and select Merge from the context menu. The file is going to change the value of quite a few different registry values so once you merge it, you should restart Explorer at the very least. The best thing is to restart your system as there are some changes that are applied only after a user logs out or the system is shut down.

This won’t fix everything that’s wrong with the look of Windows 10. It’s not resetting the entire registry; only its appearance related settings. If you have problems with text being cut off, icons not showing properly, menus not displaying correctly, etc., this should fix things.

Leave a comment