Windows 8-bit 256 color palette

Some people like to say the internet is forever. Unfortunately, it’s not. I recently needed to track down a 256 color Windows system palettes from the Windows 95/98 era. In less than 20 years, the internet has all but forgotten what the color palette might have been.

This is my best attempt at reconstructing it from various pieces of information I was able to find around the web. This is a true-to-color gif image, so the color values haven’t been corrupted by downsampling.

The actual color values can be downloaded here.

256 color 8-bit Windows system palette

3 responses to “Windows 8-bit 256 color palette”

  1. Hi, I hope you dont mind, I made a pallette on using this. I posted a link back to this page on it.

  2. We need to know how you got this palette and why we should consider it being the most generic one used by Windows 9x : When I extract the palette embedded in the 256-colors icons from some Shell32.dll v4 lib, colors #10 to #245 are totally different than yours. (Among them, 204 entries seem to provide the 6-levels RGB range of colors, with 12 colors missing, but 8 are in fact present at the end of the palette, so only 4 are missing. Also, #10 to #21 are the additional default colors proposed by Paint on its main window)

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