When MSIE Won’t Show You Colors

October 5, 2007, by Suzanne

For MONTHS this has been driving me crazy. I’m no dummy, but I’m beginning to wonder about somebody at MS. The MSIE browser on my lap top simply would not show me any font colors or any background color, although it would show the occasional image. Frankly, for my personal browsing, I had switched to Mozilla and Opera, and sometimes even “OffByOne”, because I was really tired of MSIE’s heavyweight bells and whistles crashing any computer I was on.

But when I make a web page, dang it, I want to test-view it in all browsers to make sure it displays nicely for any visitor I’ve got. But one can’t do that if a major browser out there won’t show any font or background colors. All MSIE would show me was black text with blue links on a white background. And no online search would solve it for me. Oh, certainly, you can find Microsoft’s condescending little help page, guiding you through unchecking the “Ignore Colors” boxes under MSIE’s “Tools/Internet Options/Accessiblity” menu. However, mine never were checked in the first place. And you will not find any other suggested fix anywhere online, not at Microsoft, not anywhere, until now. You’ll only get reams and reams of links and ads trying to sell you questionable “Bug Fixer” (or rather “Bug Installer” software). (How cynical am I? 😉 ) I went so far this morning as to unstall MSIE entirely (I’ve never had the nerve to do that before), download a whole new copy, and install it entirely brand spanking new. But nooooooo, it still refused to show me any colors.

That’s when it came to me. What’s bigger than MSIE? What’s its boss? It’s answering to somebody/something. “What’s its diocese?” Why, Windows itself of course.

So there you have it. This is not an Internet Explorer problem, this is a WINDOWS problem. Forget setting any Internet Options or other Internet Explorer settings, unless at one time you really did change its settings. Instead, go to your Windows Control Panel/Accessibility Options/Display and Uncheck “Use High Contrast”, hit Apply, and you’re done.

Apparently this little box, to use or not use “High Contrast” only affects MS Internet Explorer, and NO OTHER FEATURE of Windows. Nowhere else for all these months, have I been locked out of colors but in MSIE. So why do they have this box under Windows instead of in MSIE menus? Only Microsoft knows.

Hope this little post helps somebody out there in Internet-land 🙂