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Tech tips

7 ways to customize your Windows computer

Do you desire a desktop that looks and feels like your own? If generic displays, boring colors and old stock images don’t speak to you, you’ll love this. Windows gives you the ability to set and customize various features to your liking.

Whether you want a darker color scheme, a more striking lock screen or a vibrant color theme, Windows gives you a plethora of options. While some customization options are less obvious than others, it is worth the effort to get your display to look, feel and function the way you want it to.

Here are a few things you can do to personalize your PC. But before you get started, tap or click here to learn the 4 things to do when you get a new PC.

1. Themes

The most obvious way to personalize your Windows computer is by changing your theme. You can do this by right-clicking anywhere on your desktop and choosing the Personalize option.

Here, you can choose and preview different backgrounds and themes. You can even add new themes by using images from your gallery or by clicking the Get more themes in Microsoft Store option.

Windows themes feature a wide range of background images, sounds, colors and even mouse cursors. While the themes and options for your Windows display seem to be endless, there’s much more to choose from, which can be found in the Microsoft store.

Just like that, you’ve already started customizing your Windows computer to fit your preference — and that’s only the beginning.

2. Lock screen

Lock screen uses the generic “Windows spotlight” as its default to present a new background each time you open your computer. While this option provides users with a little variety by pulling striking images from Bing, it’s possible to permanently set any image you want.

RELATED: Microsoft will pay you to use Bing

To personalize the Lock screen using a custom image, open Settings, click on Personalization, choose Background from the left menu and tap the Browse button to find the specific image you want to use.

3. Start Menu

As you well know, the Start menu is an essential feature of Windows 10 because it acts as the gateway to all of your most important features. Your apps, settings and files can all be found via the Start menu. So, why not do away with the generic menu and make it your own?

There are various ways to customize the Start menu, some of which can be customized from the menu itself, and additional options can be managed through the Settings menu.

4. Live Tiles

You can’t talk about customizing your start menu without mentioning live tiles. Windows comes equipped with a default set of live tiles in the Start menu. Those are the large icons that populate at the right-hand side of the Start menu.

These icons consist of some of the more helpful tools and apps, such as the weather, your calendar, mail and photos. While these tools are automatically set, Windows gives you the ability to add or subtract just about any app to or from the live tiles pane.

Users have the ability to rearrange application tiles by dragging them anywhere around the Start Menu. If you won’t be using a particular application, simply right click the tile and select unpin from Start. If you wish to better organize your tiles, you can create a group by dragging tiles into an empty space.

You can also group your live tiles together in any combination you want. Windows make it so you can create a group for anything from games to scheduling or productivity apps, communication apps, design apps, etc. It’s completely up to you. 

Another option to remember is you can resize the live tiles by right-clicking on them and selecting the Resize option.

5. Color themes

Tired of looking at the same old plain colored Start menu? Thought so. Thankfully, changing your color theme(s) is a quick and easy process. Just right-click on your desktop, choose Personalize and select Color. From here you can pick and choose any accent color that catches your eye.

If the color you want isn’t listed, you can click the Custom color button to create a color of your very own by using the palette, or you can click the More button to enter the specific RGB or HSV code.

Click the check-boxes under Show accent color on the following surfaces if you wish to add you color to the start menu, task-bar, action center and title bars.

6. Dark mode

Want to give your Windows 10 an edgier feel? Go dark with Windows new Dark Mode. Replace your boring white background with the dark mode option. Right-click your desktop and choose Personalize, then go to Colors.

Scroll down until you see Choose your default app mode. Select Dark for Dark Mode and if you change your mind, click Light to restore the default white background.

7. Task bar

In addition to the variety of options available in Settings, you can also choose to change things up a bit via the task bar. For example, if you’re not a regular user of the Cortana search box, you have the option to remove it or only leave a button to access the experience to create more space for your more important apps.

If you right-click on your task-bar, and select Taskbar settings,  you will open a window which enables you to customize certain features in your taskbar. You’ll see quite a few  options to change its appearance. You can choose to hide it, use smaller taskbar buttons or lock the taskbar so you don’t accidentally delete a shortcut.

With all of these options, your computer will be completely personalized in no time! If your device has several users, each user can customize their own screens as well.

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