View Full Version : Fixing appearance settings in Vista

12-09-2008, 10:27 AM
Somehow I have altered the appearance settings of my computer and I don't like it, but I can't seem to get back to the original settings! I am running Vista Home Premium and have gone into personalisation but once you get into Windows colour and appearance settings, I am lost.

Currently if I look at Outloook, the top border is very dark blue, and all the other borders are grey (folder list, inbox, etc). Same with Firefox. I want to restore them to their original settings, but within each menu item in the appearance settings (such as inactive title bar, active title bar, etc) there are often several different colour options. I've spent the last 10 minutes changing each one in turn, but still keep getting this grey background which I am finding quite hard to read.

Is there any simple way of reverting to the original colour scheme? I've tried changing from Windows Classic to Windows Standard in the hope it will revert, but no joy as yet. I have no idea what bit I may have changed in the first place but I want my old view back!

12-09-2008, 10:53 AM
So... do you want the Aero theme or the Windows Classic theme?

12-09-2008, 10:54 AM
I only have Classic or Standard (or some weird black and white options or high definition ones) and from memory I had it set to Classic. I've managed to work out how to change the colour of the items mentioned - it's the 3D items box - but I can't remember what colour they were before and nothing I try seems right!

I think all the things were pale blue before but now everything is grey - like when I click on the start menu, the buttons along the bottom (lock this computer, etc) used to be in colour, now they are just black and become highlighted with dark blue if I hover my cursor over them.

12-09-2008, 11:03 AM
Try right-clicking the desktop>Personalize>Theme>Windows Classic (on the dropdown menu)

Then click OK.

12-09-2008, 11:07 AM
That just gives me the same menu options I get from going in through the control panel. I'm hoping there is some way to restore the original settings without having to fiddle individually with each setting (which doesn't seem to be working either!).

12-09-2008, 11:09 AM
Try going to Personalization>Windows Colour and appearance>Open classic...>click WIndows Standard>OK

Does that fix it??

12-09-2008, 11:21 AM
Try going to Personalization>Windows Colour and appearance>Open classic...>click WIndows Standard>OK

Does that fix it??

Nope, it just retains any settings that were already there - ie, the ones I've been trying to fix.

12-09-2008, 11:24 AM
Try applying Windows Classic then Windows Standard again.

12-09-2008, 11:26 AM
Try applying Windows Classic then Windows Standard again.

Done that - but each time, it just retains whatever settings I've already mucked up! I'll try doing it then restarting and see if that works.

12-09-2008, 11:43 AM
Try this Same place - from the beginning:

1. Right-Click on a blank area of desktop
2. Select Personalize from the context menu
3. Click Window Color and Appearance Option
4. Here you can check if you want to Enable Transparency or not.
5. You can also disable the whole aero glass theme from here. Just click the Open classic appearance properties for more color options link. ( small blue writing down the bottom)
6. In the box select Windows Aero Example (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/Capture1221175096.jpg)

Click OK

Once back in Aero, then you can change the colour schemes to what you want

12-09-2008, 12:07 PM
Thanks guys, for some reason I either didn't notice that there were other options ABOVE classic and standard (the Vista and Aero options were not showing at all) or they weren't appearing. I ended up doing a system restor and voila, when it restarted, all was back to normal again!

I obviously have Windows Vista Basic (which I like) and everything has been restored to that. I have NO idea what I did to alter this - I know I did play around with a few settings the other day when I got a new flat screen monitor, but that was increasing font sizes, etc rather than display settings (other than changing the resolution).

I'm rapt it's all back to normal and I'll know what to do next time (oh, there WILL be a next time, I'm sure of it!) I muck things up! Thanks!

12-09-2008, 01:48 PM
Awhhh Vista Basic - by default Aero is turned off in Basic. You can turn it on as long as the hardware supports it.

If its not showing in the menu as you mentioned it may need a reg hack - IF you do this make sure you create a restore point first in case it tunes to custard. Heres how to enable Aero (http://www.petri.co.il/activate_vista_aero_on_vista_basic_edition.htm)

In the editions its turned on by default if hardware is not capable of running Aero, Vista will turn it off and resort back to the classic theme.

12-09-2008, 02:16 PM
What's the difference between Aero and Vista Basic? I just went in and changed it to Aero to see if I could and I honestly can't notice any difference! Does Aero have something Vista Basic doesn't?

But I did notice that when I went back in to change it to Vista Basic to do screen shots to compare the two, instead of opening the same folder that showed the different options, the first screen was one with all sorts of lovely colour choices!

12-09-2008, 02:22 PM
Part of Aero is the glass effects that replace the traditional title bars.

Like in this screenshot: http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/mycomputer1221184562.png

Look at the 'My Computer' title bar, as well as the title bar of Firefox - it shows my desktop icons (note that I have installed a patch that enables transparency when windows are maximised - normally they turn black when maximised).

12-09-2008, 02:25 PM
Part of Aero is the glass effects that replace the traditional title bars.

Does that happen when you change the colour scheme? I must confess I can't see any difference in the default colour setting. Not entirely sure what you mean by the 'glass effects' though.

12-09-2008, 02:28 PM
See my edit ;)

12-09-2008, 02:31 PM
Ah, tricky! Very nice, I've changed mine to graphite for now, but may play around with other colours later. That full colour menu used to be there but must have gone to the background somehow.

12-09-2008, 03:07 PM
One of the features of Aero I use a lot is the Flip 3D, its used when you have a few ( or lots) of windows open and you can flip through them to get to the one you want.

Key stroke = Windows logo key -> Tab (Windows Flip 3D) Picture from Microsofts site (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/Windows_Vista_3D_Flip.png) It also gives you live preview of all open windows in Alt -> Tab

12-09-2008, 03:32 PM
But that isn't in Vista Basic wainui :D

Unless it's enabled in the registry hack you talked about...

12-09-2008, 10:58 PM
I like switcher-its kind of like the expose feature in Mac

12-09-2008, 11:25 PM
Just as added confusion, here's what I've found is available...
In order of appearance:

Windows Classic - Windows 2000 type appearance

Vista Basic: Looks like this (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/VistaBasic.JPG) and is ugly as sin imo.

Vista Aero: Let's break this into two sub categories shall we?
1. Aero with transparency/3D Effects like this (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/VistaAero.JPG). (ignore the "active"/"inactive" stuff, just look at the actual "Appearance Settings" box)
2. Aero without Transparency /3D effects. This basically looks the same as above however the start menu/window title bars are opaque and stuff like Flip3D doesn't work.

I've found that Vista Home Basic will actually use the non-3D Aero theme if the hardware is up to it (1GB + RAM etc). Vista basic theme will only be used if hardware is not grunty enough otherwise.

If you upgrade a Vista Basic PC from min requirements to something a little nicer, be sure to rescan the Vista Experience Index to get the options of Aero etc.

Ok, Essay over :p