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Fri, Jan 30, 2015 11:14 pm

Windows color command

By default, when you open a command prompt window on a Microsoft Windows system, you get a window with a black background and white text. If those color choices are not the ones you would prefer, you can change them with the color command.
C:\Windows\system32>color /?
Sets the default console foreground and background colors.

COLOR [attr]

  attr        Specifies color attribute of console output

Color attributes are specified by TWO hex digits -- the first
corresponds to the background; the second the foreground.  Each digit
can be any of the following values:

    0 = Black       8 = Gray
    1 = Blue        9 = Light Blue
    2 = Green       A = Light Green
    3 = Aqua        B = Light Aqua
    4 = Red         C = Light Red
    5 = Purple      D = Light Purple
    6 = Yellow      E = Light Yellow
    7 = White       F = Bright White

If no argument is given, this command restores the color to what it was
when CMD.EXE started.  This value either comes from the current console
window, the /T command line switch or from the DefaultColor registry

The COLOR command sets ERRORLEVEL to 1 if an attempt is made to execute
the COLOR command with a foreground and background color that are the

Example: "COLOR fc" produces light red on bright white


If you would prefer black text on a white background, you can use color 70, though the background color looks like a light gray on the systems on which I've tried that color combination, rather than white.

Black on white command window

The command color f0, which is for black on bright white, does provide a white background with black text, though, on those same systems.

Black on bright white command window

If you don't like a color combination you've obtained from the command, you can set the colors back to the default white text on a black background by entering the color command with no options.

If you want to make the change apply to every command prompt window you open for the currently logged on account, you can use the windows regedit command to edit the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor and change the value for DefaultColor from its default value of 0 to the hexadecimal value f0, which is decimal 240.

Registry default command processor color f0

Once you've changed the registry value, every new command prompt window you open from that time onwards will use the new settings.

You can check on the registry value from a command prompt with the command reg query "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor" /v DefaultColor.

C:\Users\User>reg query "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor"
 /v DefaultColor

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor
    DefaultColor    REG_DWORD    0x0

You can set the value from the command prompt with a command similar to the following one:

C:\Users\User>reg add "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Command Processor" /
v DefaultColor /t REG_DWORD /d 240 /f
The operation completed successfully.


The data to be used is specified with the /d option. In the above case, I am using the decimal equivalent, 240, to the hexadecimal number F0 and adding the /f option, so that I won't be prompted as to whether I wish to overwrite the existing value.

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