Software

​How to turn your desktop from drab to dynamic with Microsoft's Personalization Gallery

The Personalization Gallery offers a huge collection of visually compelling themes. See how you can use them to jazz up your desktop.

desktop.png

If you're like most technology geeks, I'll bet that you were interested in the recent news that astronomers have discovered three Earth-sized planets orbiting a small red sun just 40 light-years away from Earth. These planets are just the right distance from their sun to have the potential to sustain life. This news had me daydreaming about outer space, which led me to think about adding space-related desktop wallpaper to my Windows 10 system. Fortunately, Windows 10's Appearance And Personalization feature makes it easy to access the Personalization Gallery and add new Themes and Wallpaper to your system. So I connected to the Personalization Gallery and found some interesting images.

Let's take a closer look at how you go about accessing the Personalization Gallery and adding themes to Windows 10.

Getting started

To begin, select the Start button and click Settings. When the Settings screen appears, click the Personalization tile. From the Personalization screen, select the Themes tab and click Theme Settings to open the Personalization dialog, shown in Figure A. To continue, click the Get More Themes Online link.

Figure A

Figure A

To access the Personalization Gallery from within Windows 10, click the Get More Themes Online link.

In case you are interested, there's an even quicker way to access the Get More Themes Online link: Just select the Start button and type Themes. When you do, Search will locate the link, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

Figure B

Using the Search feature will save you a bunch of navigation steps.

SEE: Windows 10: Here's Microsoft's new look Start menu

The Personalization Gallery

When you select the Get More Themes Online link, a browser window will open and display the Personalization Gallery page. Once I got there, I quickly located a couple of space-related themes, shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Figure C

The Personalization Gallery page contains themes based on NASA images.

Now, as you can see, the Personalization Gallery contains a huge list of theme categories. So if you're not interested in space-related themes, you have plenty of other choices. As you'll discover, most of the themes contain a number of desktop backgrounds and a window color. However, some are more elaborate themes that include new sounds as well as images and colors. If you have dual-monitor setup, you'll be interested in the panoramic themes. When you see a theme that interests you, just click the Details button to get more information.

When I clicked the Details button on the NASA Hidden Universe theme, I could preview the 14 images contained in the theme, as shown in Figure D. I also found a link to the Spitzer Space Telescope website, where I found plenty of other cool outer space images.

Figure D

Figure D

Click the Details link to preview the images in the theme.

After you click the Download Theme button, you'll find a .themepack file in your download location, as shown in Figure E. To install the theme, double-click the .themepack file. The theme will be added to the Personalization window, as shown in Figure F, and the theme will be set.

Figure E

Figure E

When you click the Download Theme button, you'll find a .themepack file in your download location.

Figure F

Figure F

Once you double click the .themepack file, it will be installed and ready to use.

More handy Windows how-to's

What's your take?

Have you ever used the Personalization Gallery to add new themes to your Windows 10 system? Share your experiences and advice with fellow TechRepublic members.

About Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox