Customization

How to change color scheme on Windows Terminal

The Windows Terminal app lets you change the color scheme (theme) using the Settings UI and Settings.json file – here's how and how to create new schemes.

Windows Terminal color schemes

On Windows Terminal, you can specify the color scheme to make each console profile (such as for Command Prompt, PowerShell, WSL2, etc.) more fun and personal using one of the default options or custom schemes you created manually or downloaded from an external source.

Although the names may be used interchangeably, a theme is not the same as a color scheme. The Windows Terminal defines a theme as a color system mode, which can be in two states, light or dark, affecting the entire application. In contrast, a color scheme is a scheme of colors for the background, selection, cursor, foreground, etc., and they only apply to a specific profile.

If you use the Windows Terminal app, you can change the color scheme in at least two ways using the Settings UI or editing the Settings.json file directly with a code editor (such as Visual Studio Code).

In this guide, you will learn the steps to change the default color scheme for each Windows Terminal profile on Windows 10.

Change color scheme via Settings UI on Windows Terminal

To change the color scheme (also refer as a theme) for Command Prompt, PowerShell, etc., use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Terminal.

  2. Click the menu (down-arrow) button and select the Settings option.

  3. Select the profile you want to change its theme color.

  4. Click the Appearance tab.

  5. Use the “Color scheme” drop-down menu and select the color scheme:

    • Campbell.
    • Campbell Powershell.
    • One Half Dark.
    • One Half Light.
    • Solarized Dark.
    • Solarized Light.
    • Tango Dark.
    • Tango Light.
    • Vintage.

    Terminal profile appearance settings
    Terminal profile appearance settings
  6. Click the Save button in the bottom-right corner.

Once you complete the steps, the new colors will apply to the command-line tool.

If you want to change the theme mode, you have to adjust the Appearance settings.

Change color scheme editing JSON file on Windows Terminal

To change the color scheme by editing the JSON file, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Terminal.

  2. Click the menu (down-arrow) button and select the Settings option.

  3. Click the Open JSON file option.

  4. Under the “profiles” section, in the “lists” bracket, type the following line of code to change the color scheme for the command-line interface:

    "colorScheme": "Campbell Powershell"
    Settings.json change theme
    Settings.json change theme
    Quick tip: If you have more than one line of code inside the bracket, make sure all the lines end with a comma (,) except for the last line. Otherwise, the settings may not save correctly.
  5. Use the Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut to save the file.

After you complete the steps, the scheme will be reflected in the console.

Create custom color scheme via Settings UI for Windows Terminal

In addition to the default colors, you can also create your custom Windows Terminal color schemes.

To create a custom color scheme for the Terminal app, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Terminal.

  2. Click the menu (down-arrow) button and select the Settings option.

  3. Click on Color schemes.

  4. Click the Add new button.

  5. Click the Rename button next to the “Add new” button.

  6. Confirm a name for the scheme.

  7. Click the Accept rename button.

  8. Under the “Terminal colors” section, click each color and select the hex color you want to use.

  9. Under the “System colors” section, click each color and select the hex color you want to use for the foreground, background, cursor color, and selection background.

    Custom color schemes
    Custom color schemes
  10. Click the Save button.

Once you complete the steps, the scheme will appear in the list of available colors when customizing a specific profile.

You cannot delete the predefined schemes, but you can delete the custom colors you create using the Delete color scheme button.

Create custom color scheme editing JSON file on Windows Terminal

To create a color scheme using the JSON file, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Terminal.

  2. Click the menu (down-arrow) button and select the Settings option.

  3. Click the Open JSON file option.

  4. Under the “schemes” section, type the following lines of codes to create a new color scheme:

    {
    "background": "#142838",
    "black": "#142631",
    "blue": "#8FF586",
    "brightBlack": "#FFF688",
    "brightBlue": "#3C7DD2",
    "brightCyan": "#6CBC67",
    "brightGreen": "#8FF586",
    "brightPurple": "#8230A7",
    "brightRed": "#D4312E",
    "brightWhite": "#8FF586",
    "brightYellow": "#E9F06D",
    "cursorColor": "#C4206F",
    "cyan": "#8FF586",
    "foreground": "#8FF586",
    "green": "#3BA5FF",
    "name": "My Custom Color",
    "purple": "#781AA0",
    "red": "#FF2320",
    "selectionBackground": "#094FB1",
    "white": "#BA46B2",
    "yellow": "#E9E75C"
    },
    Create new color scheme in Settings.json
    Create new color scheme in Settings.json

    In the code, make sure to replace My Custom Name with the name of the scheme you want to use, and edit each color with the hexadecimal code for the color you want to use for each element.

    Quick tip: If you have more than one line of code inside the bracket, make sure all the lines end with a comma (,) except for the last line. Otherwise, the settings may not save correctly.
  5. Use the Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut to save the file.

After you complete the steps, similar to using the Settings UI, the color scheme will be available alongside the list of the already available colors.

Alternatively, you can get custom color schemes for Windows Terminal from websites like Windows Terminal Themes. You only need to browse through the available colors, click the Get theme button, and paste the code under the “schemes” section like in step No. 4.