Console.BackgroundColor Property


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Gets or sets the background color of the console.

Namespace:   System
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public static ConsoleColor BackgroundColor { get; set; }

Property Value

Type: System.ConsoleColor

A value that specifies the background color of the console; that is, the color that appears behind each character. The default is black.

Exception Condition

The color specified in a set operation is not a valid member of System.ConsoleColor.


The user does not have permission to perform this action.


An I/O error occurred.

A change to the BackgroundColor property affects only output that is written to individual character cells after the background color is changed. To change the background color of the console window as a whole, set the BackgroundColor property and call the Clear method. The following example provides an illustration.

using System;

public class Example
   public static void Main()
      WriteCharacterStrings(1, 26, true);
      Console.MoveBufferArea(0, Console.CursorTop - 10, 30, 1, 
                             Console.CursorLeft, Console.CursorTop + 1);
      Console.CursorTop = Console.CursorTop + 3;
      Console.WriteLine("Press any key..."); 

      WriteCharacterStrings(1, 26, false);

   private static void WriteCharacterStrings(int start, int end, 
                                             bool changeColor)
      for (int ctr = start; ctr <= end; ctr++) {
         if (changeColor)
            Console.BackgroundColor = (ConsoleColor) ((ctr - 1) % 16);

         Console.WriteLine(new String(Convert.ToChar(ctr + 64), 30));

A get operation for a Windows-based application, in which a console does not exist, returns ConsoleColor.Black.

The following example saves the values of the ConsoleColor enumeration to an array and stores the current values of the BackgroundColor and ForegroundColor properties to variables. It then changes the foreground color to each color in the ConsoleColor enumeration except to the color that matches the current background, and it changes the background color to each color in the ConsoleColor enumeration except to the color that matches the current foreground. (If the foreground color is the same as the background color, the text isn't visible.) Finally, it calls the ResetColor method to restore the original console colors.

using System;

class Example
   public static void Main() 
      // Get an array with the values of ConsoleColor enumeration members.
      ConsoleColor[] colors = (ConsoleColor[]) ConsoleColor.GetValues(typeof(ConsoleColor));
      // Save the current background and foreground colors.
      ConsoleColor currentBackground = Console.BackgroundColor;
      ConsoleColor currentForeground = Console.ForegroundColor;

      // Display all foreground colors except the one that matches the background.
      Console.WriteLine("All the foreground colors except {0}, the background color:",
      foreach (var color in colors) {
         if (color == currentBackground) continue;

         Console.ForegroundColor = color;
         Console.WriteLine("   The foreground color is {0}.", color);
      // Restore the foreground color.
      Console.ForegroundColor = currentForeground;

      // Display each background color except the one that matches the current foreground color.
      Console.WriteLine("All the background colors except {0}, the foreground color:",
      foreach (var color in colors) {
         if (color == currentForeground) continue;

         Console.BackgroundColor = color;
         Console.WriteLine("   The background color is {0}.", color);

      // Restore the original console colors.
      Console.WriteLine("\nOriginal colors restored...");
//The example displays output like the following:
//    All the foreground colors except DarkCyan, the background color:
//       The foreground color is Black.
//       The foreground color is DarkBlue.
//       The foreground color is DarkGreen.
//       The foreground color is DarkRed.
//       The foreground color is DarkMagenta.
//       The foreground color is DarkYellow.
//       The foreground color is Gray.
//       The foreground color is DarkGray.
//       The foreground color is Blue.
//       The foreground color is Green.
//       The foreground color is Cyan.
//       The foreground color is Red.
//       The foreground color is Magenta.
//       The foreground color is Yellow.
//       The foreground color is White.
//    All the background colors except White, the foreground color:
//       The background color is Black.
//       The background color is DarkBlue.
//       The background color is DarkGreen.
//       The background color is DarkCyan.
//       The background color is DarkRed.
//       The background color is DarkMagenta.
//       The background color is DarkYellow.
//       The background color is Gray.
//       The background color is DarkGray.
//       The background color is Blue.
//       The background color is Green.
//       The background color is Cyan.
//       The background color is Red.
//       The background color is Magenta.
//       The background color is Yellow.
//    Original colors restored...


for modifying safe top-level windows and subwindows. Associated enumeration: UIPermissionWindow.SafeTopLevelWindows

.NET Framework
Available since 2.0
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