Posted On 2005-11-1 by FortyPoundHead
Keywords: Command Reference
Tags: Windows Commandline Windows
Views: 1599


Sets the default console foreground and background colours.


      COLOR [background_attr][foreground_attr]


      attr : Specifies color attribute of console output

Color attributes are specified by TWO hex digits -- the first corresponds to the background; the second the foreground. Each digit can be any of the following values:

0 = Black

8 = Gray

1 = Blue

9 = Light Blue

2 = Green

A = Light Green

3 = Aqua

B = Light Aqua

4 = Red

C = Light Red

5 = Purple

D = Light Purple

6 = Yellow

E = Light Yellow

7 = White

F = Bright White

If no argument is given, COLOR restores the colour to what it was when CMD.EXE started.

Colour values are assigned in the following order:

The DefaultColor registry value.

The CMD /T command line switch

The current colour settings when cmd was launched

The COLOR command sets ERRORLEVEL to 1 if an attempt is made to execute the COLOR command with a foreground and background colour that are the same.


"COLOR 17" is white on blue.

"COLOR 1c" is RED on blue. - use for error conditions

"COLOR 97" produces Wordperfect style white on a light blue screen.

"COLOR 9e" produces high contrast yellow on a light blue screen.

"COLOR 07" is white on black - the default.

"COLOR 00" is an invalid option and will set %ERRORLEVEL% to 1 (this fails on some early builds of NT 4 - see verify for an alternative method of raising an error)

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