Windows Terminal 1.16 outs new color themes feature

A new preview of the Windows Terminal arrives with support for colorful themes and other changes.

Windows Terminal 1.16
Windows Terminal 1.16
  • Windows Terminal 1.16 is now available as a preview.
  • This new version introduces new support custom themes and color schemes.
  • The update also brings various improvements and fixes.

The Windows Terminal app is getting a new update that bumps the version number to “1.16” and brings new features, fixes, and improvements.

In version 1.16, the Windows Terminal introduces new theming capabilities to customize the experience, and the “Color schemes” page has been designed to make it easier to use. Also, this release brings a new text rendering engine. You can now set tabs where tabs will open.


On Windows Terminal 1.16, you can now create custom themes using the themes global property, which will appear in the “Theme” drop-down menu from the “Appearance” page.

Terminal themes settings
Terminal themes settings (Source: Microsoft)

However, you’ll need some JSON skills to create a theme. Here’s an example of the coding that builds a theme:

        "name": "Grace Kelly",
            "background": "#00515EFF",
            "showCloseButton": "always",
            "unfocusedBackground": null
            "background": "#061612FF",
            "unfocusedBackground": "#061612FF"
            "applicationTheme": "dark"

In addition, you can modify settings that are applied to the tab with the tab object inside a themes object. The tab object supports background, unfocusedBackground, and showCloseButton properties. background will set the color of the tab background when the tab is active and will always show colors at full opacity. unfocusedBackground sets the color when the tab is inactive and showCloseButton toggles the appearance of the close button on the tab.

The tabRow object supports background and unfocusedBackground properties. background will set the color of the tab row background when the window is focused. unfocusedBackground will set the color of the tab row background when unfocused.

Finally, it’s possible to modify settings applied to the window with the window object inside a themes object. The window object supports applicationTheme. applicationTheme will apply the colors of the selected application theme to the terminal window unless other colors are specified.

Text rendering engine 

Starting with this release, the Windows Terminal makes the text rendering engine introduced in version 1.3 the new default. The new engine improves performance and supports additional pixel shaders (including the retro effect), bold text, and underline lines. On sessions without a graphics card, the text rendering engine will fall back to another mode that doesn’t require hardware support.

Tabs appearance

You can now set where new tabs open with the new newTabPosition global setting. However, this setting also appears on the “Appearance” setting page.

Default colors

The team has also made changes to the default colors for a more cohesive appearance. In addition, this release sets the dark theme as the default, rather than following the system theme.

Terminal new colors
Terminal new colors (Source: Microsoft)

Color schemes redesigned

The “Color schemes” page has been updated to improve its styling and user flow. In addition, there’s a new “Set as default” button, which will apply a color scheme as your default color scheme across all profiles.

New Colors schemes page
New Colors schemes page (Source: Microsoft)

Other changes

The new expandSelectionToWord action expands the beginning and end of a text selection to encompass the words the selection is on. { "command": "expandSelectionToWord" },

Windows Terminal 1.16 is now available as a preview with the new features mentioned above and several bug fixes, and you can download it from the Microsoft Store or GitHub. If you are using the stable channel of the app, you can now update to version 1.15, which includes all these improvements.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].