How do I change the colour used to display compressed files/directories?

A. The colour used is stored in the registry in hexadecimal format, therefore before you try and change the colour you need to work out what the value is in hex. Usually you know a colour as an RGB value like 255,0,0 for red and to convert this to Hex use the calculator supplied with Windows NT (calc.exe)

  1. Start the Calculator (Start - Run - Calc.exe)
  2. From the View menu select scientific
  3. Select Dec and enter in the first part of the RGB value
  4. Click Hex and it will be displayed in Hex, e.g. 255 would show ff
  5. Repeat for the G and B parts of the colour

You will now have a hex value for the colour, e.g. 255,128,0 would be ff, 80, 0

  1. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Move to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  3. Double Click on the AltColor value in the right hand pane
  4. You will see the actual value as something like
    0000 00 00 FF 00 ..y.
    Ignore the set of four zeros, and only modify the 3 sets of numbers after that, i.e. the 00, 00 and FF, ignore the last 2. To edit click once to the right of the value you wish to change the press the backspace key and it will delete both parts of the number, then type in your new value.
  5. Click OK and then close the registry editor
  6. You will need to logoff and on again for the change to take effect.

If you would prefer to avoid the registry, you can make the same change using the TweakUI utility

  1. Start the TweakUI Control Panel applet (Start - Settings - Control Panel - TweakUI)
  2. Click on the explorer tab
  3. At the bottom is shows the "color of compressed files" (why can't Americans spell Colour :-) ), click "Change Color"
  4. You can now just select the colour you want, and click OK
  5. Click OK
  6. You will need to logoff and on again for the change to take effect

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