How to invert or change the colours on your Windows computer, to make icons and links easier to see

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderYou can invert or change the colours on a Windows display in several ways.


Considering how much computer work is based around what we can see on our screens, it might seem like using a computer would be impossible for users with impaired vision. However, that isn’t the case at all.

Windows has many different settings built to help those with impaired vision. These include high contrast mode, an on-screen magnifier to see small icons, a dark mode that makes the light from your screen less intense, and of course, inverted colours.

If you’re in need of inverted colours on your Windows display, here’s how to activate them.

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How to invert colours in Windows 10

1. These settings are found under Magnifier. Press the Windows key on your keyboard, or click the Windows icon at the bottom left of your screen, and type “Magnifier.” Open the search result that comes up.

2. Scroll down through this menu until you find “Invert colours” select it.

Ross James/Business InsiderYou should be looking for this checkbox here to invert the colours.

3. While the Magnifier app is active, colours will be inverted and part of the screen may be zoomed in. Closing the magnifying app will disable inverted colours and remove the zoom until the application is reopened. If you only want to invert colours without magnification, set the zoom level to 100%. You can also set Magnifier to open at startup, so you don’t have to repeat these steps.

Ross James/Business InsiderThe Magnifier inverts the colours while it’s open. Because I have my settings to ‘Dark,’ they become light.

How to turn on high contrast mode

1. Search in the Start Menu for “high contrast” and select “Turn high contrast on or off” when it comes up. Alternatively, you can search for it in any open Control Panel window if you’ve been following the previous steps.

2. Turn on high contrast mode using the toggle you see. This should give you some of the functionality of inverting colours, but with more control over your preferences, though you will have to turn it on to test them. When turning on high contrast mode, be aware that your computer will tell you to wait for a few seconds – it hasn’t crashed and isn’t going into shutdown mode, but simply needs time to adjust the display.

Ross James/Business InsiderHigh contrast mode makes all colours more stark, so clickable options and icons are easier to see.

Once you’ve toggled it on, high contrast mode will be on permanently – unless you toggle it off again.

How to turn on dark mode

1. If both the previous options were too intensive for your purposes, but you’d still prefer to use a darker palette for your Windows computer, then search for “Colour Settings” in the Start Menu.

2. Under the box “Choose your colour,” you can select “Dark.” You can also select “Custom” to change only specific parts of your Windows display to the darker settings.

Ross James/Business InsiderWhen you change from light to dark mode or vice-versa, you can see the difference immediately in the menu itself.

While there are dedicated programs, like F.lux, that are able to change the screen tint to reduce eye strain, Windows comes packaged with enough usability options that you should be able to find some variation of what you’re looking for in these settings.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in these options, and you have a graphics card installed, it’s worth checking to see if it comes with software that allows you to change these settings in other ways.

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