How to Customize Windows 10?

Everyone likes to organize their PC according to their taste and preferences. Thanks to Windows 10, we have plenty of customization and personalization options. You can completely change the look and feel of your Windows PC. You can personalize a custom lock screen, color accents, desktop backgrounds, and a plethora of settings to work on the interface. In this guide, EverythingTech will help you to personalize your Windows 10 PC according to your taste and preference.

Changing the Background or Creating a Slideshow

The desktop background is the main thing, which makes your PC cool. Usually, people have some abstract designs or landscape images. You need to choose whether you want a single image or a slideshow of images on your computer. The Windows store is full of contemporary themes, which have selected desktop backgrounds with matching accents. You can easily install any of them and avoid creating a custom slideshow on your own.

How to change the desktop wallpaper?

    Go to your desktop settings from the start menu.
  • Open the personalization option.
  • Now click on Background.
  • You can select whether you want a single image or a slideshow by using the drop-down menu.
  • Use the browse button to locate the image you want to use from your computer.
  • “Choose a fit” help you to select how you want your image to be placed on a desktop. You have options such as fill, stretch, center, span, etc. Usually ‘fill’ will do a great job of placing the image.

Changing the Colour Accent

The color accent of the entire operating system creates a unique experience. It feels more like the colors of the theme we used to have in our old feature phones. Anyway, it gives a unique personality to your computer. In fact, in some high-end luxury cars, you can change the ambient lighting to change the interior look and feel.

How to change the color accent in Windows 10?

  • Go the settings from the start menu.
  • Open the Personalization menu from the settings.
  • Now select colors to see different color accent.
  • From here, you can select the color accent you would like on your PC.
  • You can also choose the Custom color option to select a custom color from the palette. Here, you can also input a color code to get the exact color for your computer accents.

To add color accents to Windows 10 elements

  • Visit the personalization options page.
  • Then go the colors tab.
  • Below the colors, you will find “More Options”.
  • Check on the Start, taskbar, and action center.
  • Next check on the Title Bars to display the color accent above the title bar of various applications and Windows file explorer.

Transparency Effects

Transparency was a really big deal back in Windows 7 days, we admit it is one of the coolest visual change ever done to Windows. Sadly, instead of having full transparent effects, Windows only have translucent effects. Windows 10 elements such as Action Centre, Start, taskbar, and applications have transparency effects with distinct textures. To enable these effects on your Windows PC to have:

  • Go the settings from the start menu.
  • Open the Personalization options.
  • Select Colors.
  • Below the color shades, you will find more options. Here, you will find a toggle switch to turn on or off the transparency effects in Windows 10.

Dark Mode Vs Light Mode

Over the years, Windows users always requested for a Dark Mode for their computer. Linux and macOS had already listened to their customers. Thanks to Microsoft, they have finally listened to age-old demand and introduced dark mode to Windows 10 with updates. The Windows 10 dark mode utilizes a dark color scheme throughout the user interface and supported applications. It is best for low-light environments, where you do not need the screen to scream out its brightness. The choice is up to you though.

Here is how you can change your interface into dark mode:

  • Go the settings from the start menu.
  • Open the Personalization options.
  • Select Colors.
  • Here you can see a drop-down slider to select ‘light’, ‘dark’, or ‘custom’ mode.
  • The custom mode lets you choose between default Windows mode and default app mode.

Customizing the Lock Screen

The Windows 10 lock screen is an interactive place to get information without unlocking the device. It mainly started its life from Windows Phone (officially dead) and got integrated with Windows 10 eventually. You have various options to sign-in into the device. There are options to set a custom image, a slideshow of pictures, show notifications of applications, Windows Spotlight, and widgets as well.

How to customize your lock screen?

By default Windows, the lock screen will have the Windows Spotlight feature. It displays a new background every time you switch on your computer. You can learn more about the image by clicking on it, which opens up the Bing browser to display information. To start customizing the lock screen, you need to:

  • Go the settings from the start menu.
  • Open the Personalization options.
  • Select the Lock Screen to view options
  • By selecting the drop-down menu, you can select either a ‘picture’ or ‘slideshow’ option for your lock screen. Thus, you can select an individual image or a complete slideshow of images.
  • You can also use the advanced slideshow settings to tweak the slideshow even further.

Lock Screen App Notifications

We give the credits to Android OS for this feature. You can have application notifications of your Windows 10 PC on the lock screen itself. Some Windows app will show their details and status on the lock screen. To select the apps to appear on the lock screen:

  • Go the settings from the start menu.
  • Open the Personalization options.
  • Now select the Lock Screen.
  • Here, you will find chose apps to show quick status.
  • You can select applications to show status, or select None to have more privacy.
  • Only some Windows Store Apps are able to show their status.

You can configure up to six applications to display notifications on the lock screen. Mail, Calendar events, Skype, and Messaging are some of the best apps to show notifications.

Customizing the Start Menu

The start menu of Windows 8 was a big disappointment because it tried to stop the legacy of the start menu from previous versions. We just had a long screen with live tiles, which only good for touchscreen users. Windows 10 on the other hand, made the Start Screen identical with the classic Start Screen menu. You can find your apps, settings, and files in the Start menu itself. You can start to customize a lot of things from the Start menu itself or visit the settings app to make more changes.

Making basic changes in the Start Menu

  • Open Settings from the Start Menu.
  • Now select Start
  • Here you have a bunch of toggle switches to tweak the nature of the Start Menu.
    • Show more tiles on Start: lets to fit up to 8 small tiles to the Start Menu.
    • Show app list in Start menu: This shows the list of installed applications and software in your Windows 10 PC. Disabling this will only show the pinned live Windows tiles on the Start menu.
    • Show recently added apps: shows the list of apps and software you have installed recently on your PC.
    • Show most used apps: shows your most frequently used applications on the start menu. It comes handy when you are switching between apps.
    • Occasionally show suggestions in Start: We recommend turning this off since it is like an advertisement from the Windows store in the form of recommendations.
    • Use full screen: Just in case you like a full-screen start menu from Windows 8, then you can use this feature to cover the entire screen with Start Menu (recommended for touch users).

Tweaking the Live Tiles

Instead of visiting the settings app, you can do a lot of personalization from the Start menu itself.

How to Resize the Start Menu?

Drag/Stretch the edges vertically or horizontally to resize the Start menu.

Arranging Start Menu tiles, folders, and groups

You can manually drag the tiles, group of tiles, and folder around the Start Menu space. To create a folder of tiles, you need to drag a title above another to create a group.
For better organization of the tiles, drag the tiles into an empty space. Here, click on the header to create a name for the group.

Live Tiles

Live Tiles were first introduced with Windows Phone. It is great of displaying app information or notification, which requires you to open the app. The feature has been continued to Windows 10. However, only some of the Windows 10 store apps supports live tiles.

Resizing Live Tiles

You can resize a live tile by right-clicking a tile and choosing from the given sizes including Small, Medium, Wide, or Large. However, you might lose the live functionality under certain sizes depending on the app.

Live Tiles customization

  • You can turn off the live tile functionality of a tile by right-clicking on the tile.
  • You can remove a tile from the Start menu by right-clicking and selecting “Unpin from Start”.
  • To turn view application settings of an individual application, you can right-click a tile and select ‘more’.
  • To pin a tile to the taskbar, right-click on a tile and visit ‘more’. Here, click on ‘Pin to taskbar’.
  • To launch a Windows program as an administrator, right-click on the tile and visit more.

Windows Taskbar

The taskbar is one of the most important features of Windows 10. It is responsible for showing multiple running applications, pinned applications, various notifications, tools, and your date with time. You can customize the taskbar from the settings app or with the options available in the taskbar.

  • Go to Settings from the Start Menu.
  • Go to Personalization.
  • Open Taskbar.

There are numerous toggles and settings you will find in the taskbar settings:

  • Lock the Taskbar: If you enable this toggle, you won’t be able to resize or move the taskbar.
  • Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode: If you enable this toggle, the taskbar will hide until you hover the cursor above it.
  • Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode: If you enable this toggle, the taskbar will hide until you try to touch the taskbar position.
  • Use smaller taskbar buttons: Enabling this will make the taskbar minimalist and consume less space on your screen. It will use smaller icons and buttons to reduce its size.
  • Show badges on taskbar: This enables the apps to display status and notifications on the taskbar.
  • Taskbar location on screen: You can easily drag the drag taskbar with the mouse to set it on any position. However, this drop-down makes you do this in a more traditional way.

Note: If you have multiple monitors, then Windows 10 taskbar allows to do even more with the customization. You can have the ability to display the taskbar on all the displays or which display will have the application icons, etc.

Configuring the notification area

When you take a look at the bottom right corner of your taskbar, you will see an arrow, which opens the notifications from the system and other apps. To customize this area, you need to:

  • Go to Settings from the Start Menu.
  • Open Personalization settings.
  • Open Taskbar settings.
  • Go to “Notification area”, then you will see ‘Select which icons appear on the taskbar’ option.
  • Open it and you can select which apps or utility you want in your notification panel.
  • You can also turn off system icons to display in the notification panel.
  • There are system icons like Clock, Volume, Network, Power, Location, Action Center, Touch Keyboard, Windows Ink Workspace, and Touchpad.

My People Feature

The My People feature in Windows 10 allows us to easily connect with people in your contact list easily. However, you don’t intend to use this feature, then you can disable it by:

  • Go to Settings from the Start Menu.
  • Open Personalization settings.
  • Open Taskbar settings.
  • Below the People options, you will find a toggle ‘Show contacts on the taskbar’.

Final Thoughts on Windows 10 Customization

Although, there are plenty of customization and personalization options available in Windows 10. You can still go beyond by downloading third-party and get more personalization options in your PC. However, the reliability and performance of such options is a big question. The recent Windows 10 updates have brought a lot of personalization and customization options to the user experience. This makes Windows 10 a solid competitor to Mac OS Mojave. We can even take the liberty to say, that Windows 10 is better in some areas in terms of customization and user experience. Thanks to dynamic live tiles, touch screen support, transparency effects, and legacy UI.