Greg Shultz laments the lack of color in Windows 10's title bars, but he looks forward to the return of color as evidenced by the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10525.
While Windows 10 has a ton of great features, one of the things that I really hate is the fact that the Title bar color can only be white. There's no built-in setting for changing the color of the Title bars. You only get white.
Of course, this is not the end of the world, but it is frustrating, because we've been able to change the color of Title bars ever since Windows 3.x. Heck, starting with Windows 98, we could even configure multi-colored Title bars with the gradient-fill feature (Figure A). Furthermore, you could set the Title bar color in Windows 8.1, so why not in Windows 10?
Gradient-fill Title bars were all the rage starting with Windows 98.
If you've been frustrated by the white only Title bar in Windows 10, fear not, because Microsoft has brought Title bar colorization back with the first new build of the revived Windows Insider Program.
In this post, I'll take a look at the return of colored Title bars in Build 10525. As I do, I'll also take a brief look at what the return of the Windows Insider Program means to future updates of the Windows 10 operating system.
Windows 10's Title bars
In Windows 10, when you select the Colors tab in the Personalization Settings window, turn off the Automatically pick a color from my background setting, turn on the Show color on Start, taskbar, and action center setting, and then then choose an accent color (Figure B). The only color you get on a window is a thin border using the color you selected.
You can choose from a good-sized collection of colors on Colors tab in the Personalization Setting window.
However, the Title bar remains white (Figure C).
The Title bar remains white.
Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10525
I'm still running a system that's connected to the Windows Insider Program, and I've been waiting and wondering when the first preview build would be released, since Windows 10 went live on July 29th. On August 18th, Gabe Aul announced that Microsoft was releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10525. (Just for reference, the release version of Windows 10 was build 10240.) As I read through the post, I was excited to see the section titled Updated color options, in which Aul stated:
"We got a lot of feedback on the default color for Start, Acton Center, Taskbar, and Title bars and that you wanted to be able to change (them) to reflect your preferences. This feature is now available (though still early) in build 10525 for you to try."
I immediately updated my test system to build 15025 in order to check out the new settings. Here's what I found:
By default, the Title bars in build 15025 are white. However, when you go to the Colors tab in the Personalization Settings window and turn on the Show color on Start, taskbar, and action center setting, the Title bars automatically get the accent color (Figure D).
In build 10525, you can add color to the window Title bars.
If you turn off the Automatically pick a color from my background setting, you can then pick an accent color to use for the Title bar (Figure E). Of course, that accent color also shows up on the Start Menu, Taskbar, and in the Action Center.
You can pick an accent color to use for the Title bar.
While I'm focusing on the Title bar color in this article, build 15025 is also packing a very interesting behind-the-scenes new feature to the Memory Manager called a compression store. Be sure the check out the Memory Management Improvements section of Aul's post.
The next Windows 10 update
So, now that we have the return of the Windows Insider Program and the first very visible UI change to Windows 10 since it was released, how long will it take for this new feature to make it out to the general public in a Windows 10 update? According to Terry Myerson, in a January 2015 blog post:
"This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device--at no cost. With Windows 10, the experience will evolve and get even better over time. We'll deliver new features when they're ready, not waiting for the next major release. We think of Windows as a Service--in fact, one could reasonably think of Windows in the next couple of years as one of the largest internet services on the planet."
Let's sit back and see how long it takes before Microsoft delivers a Windows 10 update that contains the Title bar color feature.
What your take?
Have you missed the ability to make Title bars some color other than white? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.