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How to Customize Your Desktop Theme in Windows 8

How to Customize Your Desktop Theme in Windows 8

Jul 12, 2012

“I like the desktop theme that comes with Windows 8, but I’d like change out some of the wallpaper images for pictures of my own. I’d also like to change the color of the bar at the bottom of the screen. What can I do to customize my desktop theme in Windows 8?”

Although Windows 8 includes a flashy new interface — called “Metro” — to replace the old Start menu as a program launcher, most people running Windows 8 on desktop and notebook computers are likely to spend the majority of their time looking at the classic Windows desktop — at least until we find out whether Metro-style applications are really going to take hold. As such, you want your desktop to look as nice as it can and create a desktop theme that presents the type of working environment you want. Windows 8 allows you to create and save themes with the wallpaper images, colors, sounds and screensavers of your choice.

  1. Windows 8 Desktop Theme PersonalizationClick the Desktop tile from the Start screen if you aren’t viewing the desktop already.
  2. Right-click the desktop and select Personalize on the menu.
  3. Click the Desktop Background link at the bottom of the window.
  4. Click the Picture location drop-down menu at the top of the window and choose the folder containing the image(s) that you want to use for your desktop wallpaper.
  5. Hover the mouse pointer over an image that you want to use as your wallpaper. A small check box appears in the corner. Click the check box to select the image. You can great a desktop wallpaper slideshow by selecting several images in this fashion.
  6. Select the desired time interval for the slideshow using the Change picture every drop-down menu. You may also want to click the Shuffle and When using battery power, pause the slide show to save power check boxes.
  7. Click the Save changes button.
  8. Click the Window Color link at the bottom of the window.
  9. Select the desired color that you would like Windows to use for the taskbar and title bar. Windows 8 has a new option — Automatic — that automatically changes this color to match the color of the current wallpaper. It’s a pretty cool feature.
  10. Click the Enable transparency check box to make the taskbar and title bar slightly translucent.
  11. Click the Save changes button.
  12. Click the Sounds link at the bottom of the window. Although I won’t be going into how to create a sound scheme in this article, suffice it to say that Windows 8 includes two different sound schemes: Windows Default and No Sounds. Although I think that the system sounds in Windows 8 are some of the best Microsoft has ever done, I always select No Sounds so Windows won’t interfere with my music.
  13. Click OK.
  14. Click the Screen Saver link at the bottom of the window.
  15. Select the desired screen saver using the Screen Saver drop-down menu. Windows 8 doesn’t include any screen savers that you haven’t seen in previous Windows versions, so I suggest selecting None, which is the default.
  16. Click OK. You can see your completed theme at the top of the Personalization window, titled Unsaved Theme.
  17. Click the Save Theme link.
  18. Type the desired name for your new Windows 8 theme.
  19. Click OK.

Now that you’ve saved your theme, you can look at other themes whenever you like by simply clicking them. Your saved theme will remain available, just as it was. If you ever decide you don’t want a theme any more, right-click it and select Delete theme.