COLOR – Windows CMD Command

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Sets the default console foreground and background colours.

Colour attributes are specified by 2 of the following hex digits. There should be no space between the two-color numbers.

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, COLOR restores the color to what it was when CMD.EXE started.

Color values are assigned in the following order:

The DefaultColor registry value.
The CMD /T command line switch
The current color settings when cmd was launched

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

In Windows 10 clean-install versions greater than build 16257 the default color scheme has been changed to modernize the look of the Windows Console suitable for modern high-contrast LCD displays.

Examples (from Windows 7):

The default terminal color is COLOR 07, white on black

The COLOR command will change the color of all the text in the window.

Error levels

If the color was successfully changed %ERRORLEVEL% = 0
Background and foreground colors are the same (will fail) = 1
e.g. COLOR 00

Windows 10 color schemes

In Windows 10 (new build >= 16257) the default color values have been changed to improve the legibility of darker colors on modern screens.

For upgraded machines (rather than fresh installs), the Windows Console Colortool can be used to change color schemes.

In PowerShell you will probably need to tinker with the new Colortool values: So up until very recently the console only supported 16 colors at a time. When the PowerShell team decided they wanted a very specific dark blue as the background color, rather than altering the color value for dark or light blue, they instead changed dark magenta to blue and used that as the background color.

COLOR is an internal command.
If Command Extensions are disabled, the COLOR command will not function.

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