MS-DOS and Windows command line color command

Updated: 12/30/2021 by Computer Hope
color command

The color command allows users running MS-DOS or the Windows command line to change the default color of the background or text.


To change the window text color, see: How to change font, layout, and color options in command line.


Color is an internal command and is available in the following 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.