We're deploying thin clients connecting to a terminal server farm. The computers have high visibility to the public and I would like them to at least look presentable and not like something out of 1995. So I installed the Desktop Experience feature and enabled the Theme service.

The server will not support Aero because it has no 3D graphics, but we can enable the Windows 7 Basic theme, which has the Aero look without the 3D effects. The problem with that theme is that you can select any window color you want, as long as it's baby boy blue.

Is there a way to make those windows another color? The window color controls do nothing.

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    Interesting. 2012 seems to work fine, but I can't find any obvious way to do this on 2008. – Michael Hampton Jun 13 '14 at 0:53
  • Have you tried tweaking the default user profile? – MDMoore313 Jun 13 '14 at 1:41
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    If I knew what setting to tweak I would. I'm signed into the server using the local admin account, not my domain account, so it's free from group policy influence. The GUI controls just don't do anything – Wes Sayeed Jun 13 '14 at 1:58

Try editing the registry value Background (REG_SZ) under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors either manually (for testing), logon script or Group Policy Preferences.

Format is "R G B", where the value of each colour is 0-254.

The default e.g. is 58 110 165:

Paint.NET colour selector

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It is not possible to change the window color when using the basic theme. I don't remember where I read this (it's been a long time since I posted this), but Microsoft did this on purpose because changing colors is a "feature" you have to pay for in some developing countries. The basic theme is the only one supported in the Windows Starter and Home Basic editions of Windows 7. Humorously, being able to run more than 3 programs at once is also a "feature" since that's a limitation of the Starter edition.

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