Software

How to personalize Windows 10

A little variety in your work environment can go a long way toward improving your mood and productivity. Mark Kaelin shows you how to personalize Windows 10.

Personalize Windows 10

Just like the previous versions, Microsoft Windows 10 can be personalized for your individual taste. However, the procedures required to change the default look of Windows 10 are a bit different. Here's a brief tutorial on how to do it.

This is personal

Most of the configuration changes are performed from the Personalize section of the Settings Menu. The easiest way to get there is to click or press the Start Button in the lower left corner (or you can press the Windows key on your keyboard), click the Settings menu item, and then click the Personalize link. You should end up on a Personalization page that looks similar to Figure A.

Figure A

Figure A

Windows 10 Personalization page.

The settings on the Personalization page are context sensitive, which merely means your available choices will change when you pick a new setting.

Background

I don't like a single color background, so I typically change my desktop background to a slideshow of images. This is where context sensitivity comes into play. As you can see in Figure A, at the moment, I can only choose a different background color, but if I change the Solid color setting to Slideshow (Figure B), I'm presented with a new set of choices.

Figure B

Figure B

You can create a slideshow for your desktop background.

You need to put all of the images you want for your slideshow in one folder. Of course, you can forgo the slideshow and choose to just show an individual image, if you prefer.

Colors

The Color settings are interesting. The default is to have the accent color chosen automatically from the palette, based on the background image. That means when your image changes, the color of the tiles, borders, and even some icons are going to change along with it. I like the effect, so I opt to leave the setting turned on (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

The accent color is chosen automatically.

If you prefer to keep a chosen color, turn it off, and you'll see more options (Figure D) based on that choice.

Figure D

Figure D

You have other color options.

Lock screen

The Lock screen is the first image you see when you boot Windows 10. Microsoft has provided us with some beautiful photographs for this screen, but I prefer to use my own landscape photo, taken while traveling the dangerous roads of Skyrim.

You can also change some settings for Windows 10 apps from this screen. I've asked for more detailed information from the Calendar app (Figure E), for example.

Figure E

Figure E

You can personalize the Lock screen.

There are also links to Screen timeout and Screensaver settings on this page.

Themes

If you get bored with your personal Windows 10 configuration, you can look to adopt someone else's configuration by choosing a canned theme (Figure F). There are hundreds of themes to choose from online, on just about any topic you can imagine.

Figure F

Figure F

There are hundreds of themes to choose from.

Under the Related Settings heading on this screen, you'll find links to other potential opportunities for personalization regarding sounds, icons, and mouse pointers.

Start

The last item on the Personalization screen is Start. This is where you can change the behavior of the Start Button (Figure G). You can change which apps appear on the list after you click, decide whether you want to see recently used apps, and choose whether to have Start display the full screen (this is useful if you're using a touch screen).

Figure G

Figure G

You can change the behavior of the Start Button.

Variety is the spice of life

A little variety in your work environment can go a long way toward improving your mood and productivity, so I've always tried to personalize my Windows desktop with images and colors that please me. Now, with this tutorial, you too can make Windows 10 look the way you want it to look.

Also see

      About Mark Kaelin

      Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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