How to Turn on High Contrast Themes in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users how to use Windows 11 high contrast themes to change the color palette on the screen and help people with low vision and light sensitivity.

Recently we showed you how to use color filters in Windows to help folks with low vision and avoid eye strain. You can read that post here.

If you’re still having problem seeing what’s on your screen even with color filters, you can try Windows 11 high contrast themes to help distinguish between things that differ only by color. This changes the color palette of objects on the screen which brings out contrast and could help you see clearly.

The new Windows 11, when released generally to everyone, will come with many new features and enhancements that will work great for some while adding some learning challenges for others. Some things and settings have changed so much that folks will have to learn new ways to work with and manage Windows 11.

Like previous versions of Windows, there are many places one can set Windows high contrast themes. Windows 11 is no different.

To get started with using Windows 11 high contrast themes, use the steps below:

How to configure high contrast themes in Windows 11

The quickest way to set Windows high contrast theme is to use the accessibility feature on the logon screen.

On the login screen, click accessibility icon highlighted on the screen below and toggle the button to turn on High Contrast.

How to set high contrast themes in Windows 11

When you have poor vision of light sensitivity, use Windows built-in high contrast theme to help you see clearly. This will help with contrasting and distinguish between things that are differ on the screen, including text, images and objects.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from its System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click Accessibility, select Contrast themes on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

On the Contrast themes settings pane, scroll down and select one of the preset contrast to use right away.

  • Aquatic
  • Desert
  • Dusk
  • Night sky

Select a contrast that works in your situations. On the screen, you can also turn on a keyboard shortcut so that press the Left ALT + Left SHIFT + PRINT SCREEN to toggle high contrast on and off.

After making your selection, click the Apply button to apply your changes.

For some users, the Dusk contract might work just right.

That’s it!


This post showed you how to use Windows 11 built-in high contrast themes to help situations where users are having hard time seeing on the screen.

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