How To Turn On High-Contrast Theme in Windows 11

High-contrast themes make it easy to see what’s on the screen for people with visibility problems. Here’s how to turn on high-contrast themes in Windows 11.

When it comes to design, Windows 11 is far better than Windows 10. It looks nice with rounded corners, neatly organized options, mostly consistent design language in the operating system, built-in apps, and more.

By default, you can change the Windows 11 theme to be dark, light, or a combination of both. For the most part, the default theming is excellent for most users. After all, good themes generally don’t hinder your screen reading ability. However, that might not be the case for all. For example, people with vision problems or the elderly might feel it hard to see the screen and read content with standard themes. In those cases, you must turn on a high-contrast theme in Windows 11.

As with other versions, Windows 11 has a lot of accessibility features. For example, you can increase the text size, use text to speech, turn on Narrator, etc. In addition to all these features, you can also enable high-contrast themes to make it easy for low-vision people to read better. To make things easy, Microsoft included four high-contrast themes in Windows 11. If you don’t like the built-in high-contrast themes, you can create one yourself with the provided options.

When turned on, a high-contrast theme will highlight essential parts of the operating system, options, and menus with high-contrast colors and make them easy to see. For example, the text, background, divisions, button, selection, hyperlinks, etc., will be highlighted with contrasting colors. As you can guess, this is very useful for people with vision defects.

So, without delay, let me show you how to turn on the high-contrast theme in Windows 11 and create a high-contrast theme in Windows 11.

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Turn on the high-contrast theme in Windows 11

Windows 11 has four built-in high-contrast themes. They are Aquatic, Desert, Dusk, and Night Sky. Three of the four high-contrast themes are a variant of a dark high-contrast theme, and the other is a light high-contrast theme (Sepia). All four themes are pretty neat and will make the reading experience that much better. You can turn on the high-contrast theme via the Windows 11 Settings app. All you have to do is select the theme from the dropdown menu and click Apply. Here’s where to find the option and turn it on.

  1. Right-click on Windows 11 start button.
  2. Select the “Settings” option.
  3. Click on the “Accessibility” tab.
  4. Click on the “Contrast themes” option.
  5. You will see a preview of high-contrast themes at the top.
  6. Select a high-contrast theme from the “Contrast themes” dropdown menu.
  7. Click the “Apply” button.
  8. With that, you’ve turned on the high-contrast theme in Windows 11.

Here are the exact steps in a bit more detail:

First thing, open the Settings app. For that, right-click on the “Start menu” and choose the “Settings” option. If needed, you can even press the “Start key + I” shortcut to launch the Settings app. After opening the Settings app, click on the “Accessibility” tab on the sidebar.

This is the page where you will find most of the Windows 11 accessibility features. Here, click on the “Contrast themes” option. As you can tell from the page name, the Contrast Themes page hosts the high-contrast themes, and you can turn them on or off from there.

high contrast themes in Windows 11

Windows 11 will show a preview of all the available high-contrast themes at the top, right under the “Preview themes” section. Select a high-contrast theme from the “Contrast theme” dropdown menu and click the “Apply” button to turn on a high-contrast theme.

turn on high contrast theme in Windows 11

As soon as you press the Apply button, the high-contrast theme is immediately applied in Windows 11. If you want to change to another high-contrast theme, choose a new one from the dropdown menu and click the “Apply” button.

high contrast theme in Windows 11

Turn off the high-contrast theme in Windows 11

If you no longer want to use a high-contrast theme, you can turn it off just as quickly. Here is how to turn off the high-contrast theme in Windows 11.

  1. Open Windows 11 Settings.
  2. Click “Accessibility” on the sidebar.
  3. Go to the “Contrast themes” page.
  4. Select “None” from the “Contrast themes” page.
  5. Click the “Apply” button.
  6. As soon as you do that, the high-contrast theme is turned off.
turn off high contrast theme
high contrast theme turned off

As you can see, it is pretty straightforward to turn off the high-contrast theme in Windows 11.

Create a high-contrast theme in Windows 11

If you don’t like the included high-contrast themes or want to make your own, you can do that with just a few clicks. All you have to do is edit an existing high-contrast theme and save it as your own. It is pretty easy to make a high-contrast theme for Windows 11. Let me show you how to do it in simple steps.

  1. Use “Win + I” to open Settings.
  2. Go to the “Accessibility > Contrast themes” page.
  3. Select a theme of your choice from the “Contrast themes” dropdown menu.
  4. Click the “Edit” button.
  5. Click on the color boxes and customize the colors as needed.
  6. Press the “Save as” option.
  7. Type a name in the blank field.
  8. Click the “Save and apply” button.
  9. With that, you have created a new high-contrast theme in Windows 11.
  10. The new high-contrast theme is available in the “Contrast themes” dropdown menu.

Same steps in a bit more detail:

Launch the Windows 11 Settings app with the “Windows key + I” shortcut. After that, go to the “Accessibility > Contrast themes” page. This is where you will find the high-contrast themes in Windows 11.

Here, select a theme from the “Contrast themes” dropdown menu that closely resembles the high-contrast theme you want to create. Next, click the “Edit” button.

edit high contrast theme

The Settings app will show the theme edit options as soon as you do that. You can change the Background, Text, Hyperlink, Inactive text, Selected text, and Button text colors. Customize the colors as needed by clicking on the color boxes next to the options. The more time you spend customizing the colors, the better will be the high-contrast theme. In my case, I just changed the Background and Text colors for demonstration purposes.

After that, click the “Save as” button, type a name for the high-contrast theme and click the “Save and apply” button.

create a high contrast theme in Windows 11

The new Windows 11 high-contrast theme is saved and applied instantly as soon as you do that.

You can see the new theme listed in the “Contrast themes” dropdown menu.

custom high contrast theme in Windows 11

That is all. It is that simple to create a high-contrast theme in Windows 11.

Delete custom high-contrast theme

Just as you can create high-contrast themes, you can also delete them. Here is how to do it.

Important note: You cannot delete or change the default high-contrast themes.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to the “Accessibility > Contrast themes” page.
  3. Select the custom high-contrast theme from the “Contrast themes” dropdown menu.
  4. Click the “Delete” button.
  5. The high-contrast theme is deleted immediately.
delete custom high contrast theme in Windows 11

That is all. It is straightforward to turn on a high-contrast theme in Windows 11, create a high-contrast theme, turn off a high-contrast theme, and delete a custom high-contrast theme.

I hope this easy Windows 11 guide helps you.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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