How to Add a Background and Colors to Start in Windows 10
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How to Add a Background and Colors to Start in Windows 10



Microsoft wants users to want to be more productive with its Windows 10 operating system upgrade. It’s also aiming for an operating system upgrade that finally frees users from all the hoops they had to jump through before. Music, videos, games and apps are all in one place. Built-in virus scanning, easy system restores and mandatory software updates are part of the package users at home get too. But one can’t love an operating system that feels cold and dictated by a corporation. For users to love Windows 10, Microsoft needed to deliver better background, theming and customization options.

Deliver the company did. Whereas parts of Windows 8.1 felt clinical and barely customizable, Windows 10 has options and toggles galore. Don’t like the Start Menu and want the Start Screen back? You can create it with the flip of a switch. Not big fan of the clear glass effects? You can turn those off too. Backgrounds are back, and you don’t have to choose two very different wants or find a setting to make them match.

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Here’s how to add a background and customize Windows 10.

Change Your Background in Windows 10

With a mouse, go to the Desktop and right-click anywhere. If you have a device with touch place your finger anywhere on the screen and hold it there until you see a square box appear. Both mouse and touch users should select Personalize from the drop-down menu.

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Choose the background you’d like that comes included with Windows 10 or select a picture of your own to showcase. Tap or click on one of the pictures below the drop-down menu to use a picture you recently added as a background.

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By default, changing your background in Windows 10 changes the accent color of Windows 10. You can disable that from the Colors menu to the left and choose a specific color if you want. Use the drop down menu to change how the picture is stretched across your screen.

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What accent colors you choose has always been important in Windows. For example, in Windows 7 choosing an accent color added a different color tinge to windows frames. Windows 10 takes colors to its logical conclusion. Essentially, Windows 10 uses colors to let you add personality to your entire PC.

Tap or click on Colors on the left.

By default all the switches in the Colors menu are turned on. Automatically, pick an accent color takes your background and choses a highlight from it. Switch it off to choose your own background.

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Besides these, you can disable accent coloring for the Start menu, Taskbar and Action Center with the second switch on this screen. Turning this off gets you a muted black Windows 10 experience.

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Finally you can disable transparency if you aren’t a fan of seeing your background behind he Start Menu and Taskbar.

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Lock screen allows you to add some personality and your favorite apps to the lock screen on your PC. This is particularly, useful if you need to what’s going on your computer with just a glance.

Tap or click on lock screen on the left.

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Like backgrounds, tap or click on any recent photos you want to use or browse to choose your own images.

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Tapping or click on the drop-down menu to switch between using a slide show or a single picture. Slide shows will actually pull images from Microsoft’s OneDrive service. That’s the same service that has apps on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.

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Below all of this is a way to pin apps to your lock screen. Microsoft gives users seven slots for apps that they’d like to get updates from without unlocking their PC. App developers have to include support for this in their apps, but it’s really, really useful for checking mail or getting an update on your next appointment.

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Customize Start

Finally, select Start to customize the Start Screen/Start menu that’s new in Windows 10. From here you can add new folders to it, get a list of your most used apps or switch between the Start Screen and Start Menu.

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If you’re using the Start menu and need more space, just add it. The Start menu is completely resizable when Tablet Mode is turned off. Place your mouse cursor on the edge of the Start Menu to grow or shrink it.

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For now, making any theme changes in Windows 10 seems to stay with your individual PC. You’ll need to make any changes over again when you go to another PC loaded with Windows 10.



  1. tw1

    07/31/2015 at 12:25 am

    Umm, pretty sure desktop backgrounds where changeable in 8, too. No meaningful change here, apart from it seems, not letting us change the background of the start menu to a picture.

  2. Travis Pope

    08/18/2015 at 7:05 am

    People will still want to know how to do this. Also, Desktop backgrounds were changeable in Windows 8, but you couldn’t customize the background of the Stat Screen until Windows 8.1 debuted later.

  3. Pete

    08/26/2015 at 5:18 pm

    Windows 10 doesn’t remember the background image on my laptop. I set the image as background. The image appears as the desktop background for a little while – maybe an hour – maybe less… And then it goes back to the default image. What’s with that..? Desktop backrounds were changeable back in the Windows 95 days. This is the first time in my 20-odd years of computering that WIndows has ever struggled to cope with remembering what the background image is supposed to be. Any ideas? Otherwise I’ll just track down the default image and save over it with the one I want.

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