Change Desktop color for all users

Posted on 2007-09-28
Last Modified: 2013-11-21
how do i set desktop color for all users (including those connecting via RDP)?

windows server 2003 (not running terminal services)

server is joined to a domain, but i only want these settings on this server.

Question by:zephyr_hex
    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution

    Greetings zephyr_hex,

    You can achive this by implementing group policy and creating .adm file.
    Here are the steps.

    Create a new text file called "background_color.adm" with the following content:

     CATEGORY "Desktop"
      CATEGORY "Custom desktop options"
       KEYNAME "Control Panel\Colors"
       POLICY "Background color"
        EXPLAIN "Allow you to control the background color of the user's desktop."
        PART "Enter the RGB values of the user's desktop background (ex: 128 128 128)" TEXT
        END PART
        PART "Color" EDITTEXT
         VALUENAME "Background"
        END PART

    Save, close.

    Now, open the group policy manager or the AD User and computers MMC snap in, navigate to the OU that you want to apply the policy, create a new GPO and edit it.

    In the GPO editor, navigate to "User configuration" and the "Administrative templates". Right-click and select "Add/remove templates...". Click "Add.." and select the ADM file you just created. Close the dialog.

    Right-click on the "Administrative templates" entry again and select "view"->"filtering". UNcheck "only show settings that can be fully managed" (since the registry change you want to make isn't in the HKCU\policies tree, it won't show if this box is cheked).

    You now have a new untry under "User configuration"->"Administrative templates"->"Desktop"->"Custom desktop options" called "background color".


    Hope this helps!
    LVL 26

    Assisted Solution

    Here is another template for same.
    Click On "View" Menu-> "Filtering". Un-Check "Only show settings that can be fully managed"
    It will appear "Administrative Template" -> "Control Panel" ->

    CATEGORY !!SystemControl
      KEYNAME "Control Panel\Colors"
      POLICY !!Background
        KEYNAME "Control Panel\Colors"
        EXPLAIN !!Background_Help
        VALUENAME "Background"
        PART !!PromptColor EDITTEXT
          VALUENAME "Background"
        END PART
      END POLICY ;Background
    END CATEGORY ;SystemControl

    CATEGORY !!IconControl
      KEYNAME "Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Bags\1\Desktop"
      POLICY !!Arrange
        EXPLAIN !!Arrange_Help
          VALUENAME "FFlags"

            NAME !!Default         VALUE NUMERIC 00000220 DEFAULT
            NAME !!ArrangeOn       VALUE NUMERIC 00000221
            NAME !!ArrangeOff      VALUE NUMERIC 00000224
            NAME !!ArrangeOnGrid   VALUE NUMERIC 00000225
            NAME !!Hide            VALUE NUMERIC 00001220
           END ITEMLIST    
        END PART  

          VALUENAME "Sort"

            NAME !!SortName       VALUE NUMERIC 00000000 DEFAULT
            NAME !!SortSize       VALUE NUMERIC 00000001
            NAME !!SortType       VALUE NUMERIC 00000002
            NAME !!SortModified   VALUE NUMERIC 00000003
           END ITEMLIST
        END PART
      END POLICY ;Arrange
    END CATEGORY ;IconControl

    SystemControl="Control Panel"
    LimitSize="Color of Desktop Background"
    Background_Help="Sets the color of the background.  58 110 165 is the default Windows 2003 Color"
    PromptColor="Hex Color of Background:"
    Background="Windows Desktop Color"
    Arrange="Desktop Icon Arrangement"
    Arrange_Help="Sets the arrangement and placement of the desktop icons"
    PromptArrange="How should the icons be arranged?"
    Default="Auto Arrange off, Align to Grid off"
    ArrangeOn="Auto Arrange on"
    ArrangeOff="Auto Arrange off, Align to Grid On "
    ArrangeOnGrid="Auto Arange on, Align to Grid on "
    Hide="Hide Desktop Icons"
    SortArrange="How should the icons be sorted?"
    SortName="Sort by name"
    SortSize="Sort by size"
    SortType="Sort by type"
    SortModified="Sort by Modified"


    Expert Comment

    Will this work on windows 2008 server.
    As Have tried it without success.

    Expert Comment

    Use GP - User Config - Preferences - Windows Settings - Registry - HKCU - Control Panel/ Colours - Background

    Featured Post

    IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

    Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

    Join & Write a Comment

    Suggested Solutions

    This is my 3rd article on SCCM in recent weeks, the 1st ( dealing with installat…
    ADCs have gained traction within the last decade, largely due to increased demand for legacy load balancing appliances to handle more advanced application delivery requirements and improve application performance.
    In this sixth video of the Xpdf series, we discuss and demonstrate the PDFtoPNG utility, which converts a multi-page PDF file to separate color, grayscale, or monochrome PNG files, creating one PNG file for each page in the PDF. It does this via a c…
    Excel styles will make formatting consistent and let you apply and change formatting faster. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use Excel's built-in styles, how to modify styles, and how to create your own. You'll also learn how to use your custo…

    734 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    24 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now