Microsoft DOS color command

Updated: 06/22/2018 by Computer Hope

About color

The color command enables users running Microsoft Windows to change the default color of their background or the Windows command line window.

Tip: See our page on how to change the font, layout, and color options in a command prompt window if you are looking for steps on how to change the color of the command prompt window in Windows.


The color command is an internal command and is available in the below Microsoft operating systems.

Color syntax

Sets the default console foreground and background colors.

COLOR [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 below 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, this command restores the color to what it was when cmd.exe started. This value either comes from the current console window, the /T command line switch or from the "DefaultColor" registry value.

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

Color examples

Color 0A

Creates a black background with light bright green text, similar to many of the FTP, telnet, and old BBS console screens.

Additional information