Need to change Active Window Title Bar Color for all Terminal Server users in Windows 2008.

Posted on 2011-10-09
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Can a GPO be setup to change the color of the Active Window Title bar for all users on a Windows 2008 R2 Terminal Server?   I'm looking for a way to alert all terminal server users that they have been switched to a temporary backup database by changing the title bar of the application's window to red.

Then I need to change the application window color back to blue when they have been switched back to the primary database server.

I need this so the users will know when they are on the backup server and can view but should not perform new data entries until the production server is back online.  
Question by:NetToken
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    computer settings - admin templates - windows components - desktop window manager - window frame coloring. Set however you wish.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    by:Felix Leven

    Author Comment


    I don't think I'm doing this correctly mwiener1.   I launched the MMC console, added the Local Computer Policy snap-in, and navigated to computer settings - admin templates - windows components - desktop window manager - window frame coloring.  I enabled Specify a default color and four options came up Alpha, Red, Green & Blue with each one preset to "1".  I tried changing the Red option to 255, clicked Ok and logged onto the terminal server as another user.  No changes appearent to the Windows color scheme for active window frames or others.

    I'm still trying to teach myself this stuff.  What am I doing wrong?
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    You need to update group policy after you make the changes.

    Run gpupdate /force on the terminal server after you change the settings from a CMD window or the run box.

    Author Comment

    Hmm... Still not working for me.  I'm logged into the terminal server via Remote Desktop as Administrator, run MMC console "Local Computer Policy" as described before.  I leave Alpha =1, set Red = 255, Green = 0 & Blue = 0.

    Then run:  C:\>gpupdate /force, from a command window which returns...

    Updating Policy...

    User Policy update has completed successfully.
    Computer Policy update has completed successfully.

    Then I remote desktop into the terminal server under a differ user account but there's no color changes.

    Am I using the wrong numbers for Alpha & the color setting fields?
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    Use Group Policy Management and add a new Policy called "Red Title Bar" and link this to the desired OU or you can edit your existing TS policy for instace.

    Add a new Registry Item under <Desired policy> -> User Configuration -> Preferences -> Windows Settings -> Registry

    Browse the Key Path to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Control Panel -> Colors - ActiveTitle (see screenshot). Here you'lle see the default color settings 10 36 106.

    Choose Select and change the Value data to 255 0 0. Under Action choose Replace and click Ok

    Close all windows and run gpupdate/force /target:user on your TS server.

    When you want to switch back to the default color, just edit the Value 255 0 0 back to its original of 10 36 106 or make another Group Policy with the original colors and unlink the "Red Title Bar" GP end link the "Default Title Bar Color" GP and run gpupdate/force /target:user again.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you Meultje for providing such a complete and detailed answer to my question.

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