Change Window Border Colours via registry

lhrslsshahi used Ask the Experts™
On our Windows 2003 server we have the Advanced tab under Display properties graded out by group policy.

How can I change the border colour of  the Windows from the registry?

Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
bbaoIT Consultant

why not via GPO directly??

are you saying you want to get rid of settings by hacking the registry directly??
Default grey for "Active Window Border":
[HKEY_USERS\<USER SID>\Control Panel\Colors]
"ActiveBorder"="212 208 200"

Red "Active Window" border (width unchanged):
[HKEY_USERS\<USER SID>\Control Panel\Colors]
"ActiveBorder"="255 0 0"

where <USER SID> is something like:


Tried the above it didn't even change the colour.

I have been asked to change the colour via the registry. Open internet explore it still comes as an orange window but when you click on the bar goes back to default blue.
How to Generate Services Revenue the Easiest Way

This Tuesday! Learn key insights about modern cyber protection services & gain practical strategies to skyrocket business:

- What it takes to build a cloud service portfolio
- How to determine which services will help your unique business grow
- Various use-cases and examples

Ryan_RIT Systems Administrator

If you know how to change the color from within Control Panel, you could do this on a system while running Process Explorer (free MS download) which logs all changes to files and registry keys.

i.e. Launch PE, start capturing, make appearance change, stop capturing, examine log to find which key(s) changed.

Once you think you've found the right key, test it on one or two PC's before applying it to the main GPO.
Just for info, the registry key that I suggested is the one that the change was applied to on a Windows XP system.  In many respects XP is pretty similar to 2003, but perhaps not in this particular case.  I usually just export the registry to a "before change" *.reg file, then change the setting and apply it, and then export an "after change" *.reg file.  I use Beyond Compare when comparing registry files, but there are also free file comparison programs around.  Such changes are usually applied to the [HKEY_USERS\<USER SID>] to begin with and are then replicated in the [HKEY_CURRENT_USER] key, but sometimes it needs Explorer to be refreshed.
Thank you lhrslsshahi

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial