Windows 7 Changing colors of window buttons (and perhaps start menu/taskbar themes?)

It sounds fairly simple, but I don't know where to start or what to find. What I'd like to change is the button colors (just the red x) to blue.


Also, I found this site that has different start menu button layouts. Not sure where to go from here though.

Customize Your Windows 7 Start Menu Button - TechSpot Guides

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Extraordinary Member
Hi Ryuukumori and Welcome to The Forum.

Changing the Close button will mean editing a .msstyles file which you will find located in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes. (To save typing I'm going to assume you'll be modifying the standard aero.msstyles theme and I'll quote from a previous post of mine!! How do I change the colour of this taskbar)
Because you are modifying a system theme file, you may find you'll need to patch the three files needed to enable the running of non-system themes. Download DeepXW's Universal Theme Patcher and run it before you start with ResHack.

Working with ResHack.
  • Download and merge the Take Ownership.reg file into your registry. Download and open Resource Hacker 3.5.2 Beta (the download link is roughly half way down the page in a green box).
  • GoTo C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\Aero and r-click Aero.msstyles and then use the Take Ownership.
  • Drag n drop Aero.msstyles into ResHack.
  • Expand IMAGE and scroll down to #936 and #966 and then expand those.
  • Click on the "flower" and then r-click it and select Export resource. Then modify to your liking.
  • Search and select your new image.
  • Fill in Resource Type: IMAGE and Resource Name: 936 / 966 then click Replace.
  • On the Menu bar select File and then Save.
  • In the Aero theme folder you will now have your modified aero.msstyles and the original named aero_original.msstyles.
  • Right click your Desktop and select Personalize.
  • Select Windows 7. Once your new aero.msstyles style has loaded the close buttons will have (hopefully) changed colour!
I've changed the above image numbers to what I believe are the relevant numbers for the close buttons. Once you've got that sorted it is fairly easy to rename your "modified theme" and you can then rename the original aero.msstyles back so you then again have the standard aero theme.

Below are a couple of quick colour changes made by sliding the Hue control under Adjustments >> Hue/Saturation in Photoshop completely to the right.
Blue 966.png Blue 936.png

Start Button.
The Start button program is a small utility that does what you can do manually yourself, but quicker. What it does is: Copies Explorer.exe and saves it as a backup, replaces the Start Button (also called Start Orb) with your new one and then stops and re-starts your Explorer.exe. The Start Orb is then changed. All you need to do now is find a Start Orb you like. The best place to find them, in my experience, is on deviantArt/Start Orbs. You might even spot a couple of Start Orbs I've made in there!!

If I've given the wrong numbers/ you're trying to change the buttons in a different theme, the numbers may well be different. Any problems, feel free to come back. I'm never too far away!!

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