Win10 scrollbox contrast


New Member
Mar 15, 2021
I'm not sure of the correct terminology here as Microsoft keeps changing it and well, I tend to think in terms used by Apple in GS/OS (the Apple IIGS operating system, although very similar to the Mac's System 6.0.8) back on my first computer.

On the scrollbar is a shaded region that shows roughly where you are in the document, and clicking above or below that can make you scroll by a screenfull at time. Apple called it the "Scroll box" back with GS/OS in the late '80s. I've been using that term since.
However, distinguishing the shaded part from the non-shaded (it varies with the amount of vertical scrolling available) part is difficult in Windows 10. The contrast just isn't enough as the shades are too similar.
On earlier versions of Windows this could be adjusted, but those same registry entries don't work.
I know it can be changed because of what happens if you choose "high contrast display", but those are ugly.

Has anybody found a way to actually adjust the contrast between the two colors used on the scrollbar and the scrollbox that works in win10? The built-in solution works just fine in Windows 95 through Windows 7.
Here's a pic to help describe what I'm talking about.
The only way is by altering an entry in the registry.

I have this in my saved notes and cannot remember the origin.
If you are going to change anything in the registry, please make a backup first! - either the reg, or the wholw OS

  1. Open the Registry Editor.
  2. Find the following registry keys:
    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors
    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors
  3. There you have to change the Scrollbar value to any colour you like.
    The defaults are: "200 200 200" and "212 208 200", respectively.
    You can substitute them with any colour combination "RRR GGG BBB", where RRR/GGG/BBB are all within range 0-255 and represent the red/green/blue colour components, respectively.
  4. Exit the Registry Editor. You will need to log-off and log-in again for the change to take effect.
Later: Just tried it after many months. I could not see any big change, but maybe you ned to play with the colour combinations a little.
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That works fine on Windows 98SE and Windows 7, but I tried it on Windows 10 and it had no effect.
I even tried a gpupdate /force and rebooted.
I altered the first scrollbar value under Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors to 200 200 250 and the second under Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors to 212 248 200 in the hopes it would make it distinctively blue and green for testing purposes. Still looks like light grey on off-white. I just want to make the light grey a dark grey like on the old Macs I used in high school or my first computer an Apple IIGS.

Tested with Thunderbird, Firefox, and Windows Explorer. I know Firefox can sometimes let websites change the scroll bar (try visiting Twisting the Hellmouth for an example), so I really need to look into how to change it in that program, but the same applies for everything else.
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