There are two things to consider when selecting text in Windows 11. One is the highlight color and another is the highlighted text color. In most cases, Windows will retain the text color and use blue (light or dark) color for highlighting. Reading the highlighted text will be problem when you have vision issues. Good thing is that you can easily change both highlight color and the highlighted text color to make it convenient for you. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how you can do that.
Highlight Color and Highlighted Text Color
To make sure the topic is understood, rename a file on your desktop. Windows will use dark blue as the highlighting color and retain the white font color for text as shown below.
Changing Default Highlight and Text Colors
There are no options in the Settings or Control Panel app for changing the highlight colors in Windows 11. You need to modify a registry entry for this purpose.
- Press “Win + R” shortcut keys to open Run prompt.
- Type regedit in the box and press “OK” button.
- This will open Registry Editor app, copy and paste the following path in the address bar and press enter.
- Scroll down on the right pane and find Hilight and HilightText keys in the list. These are the two keys used for highlight and highlight text colors in Windows 11.
- As you can see in the last “Data” column, the color code is in RGB value (Red, Green and Blue). So, make sure to keep the RGB values for highlight and text colors (read next section on how to get this). Here, I will simply use black color for highlighting (RGB – 0 0 0) and white color for text (RGB 0 255 0).
- First, double click on the “Hilight” key and enter the “Value data” as 0 0 0. Click “OK” button to close the pop-up.
- Second, double click on the “HilightText” key and change its “Value data” as 0 255 0. Click “OK” button to save your changes and close the pop-up.
Close the Registry Editor and restart your system. Now, try to rename a file on your desktop and you should see the highlight and highlighted text colors are changed as per the values you have provided in Registry Editor.
Will it Work on All Apps?
Changing highlight colors will affect all the places like renaming files, editing text in Registry Editor, Run prompt, etc. In some apps like Notepad, only the highlight color will work but not the highlighted text color. Below is the highlight and highlighted text colors in Notepad before and after changing the registry entries (I used the same colors as in the above example).
And this will not work on third-party apps including Office apps.
Default Color Values
If you have messed up with the color values, the text will become unreadable. In such a case, here are the default RGB values which you can reset back in the Registry Editor.
- RGB value for Hilight key – 0 120 215
- RGB value for HilightText key – 255 255 255
Getting RGB Colors
Selecting proper color code for highlight and text colors is important to make the text readable when you select. Though there are lot of online color picker tools available, I personally recommend Microsoft PowerToys app. You can use PowerToys Color Picker tool to grab any color visibly and get RGB and various other color code formats.