With the last few software updates of the year, Microsoft has added key customization features to the Xbox One. Just a few months ago, about the only thing that users could do to customize their Xbox One Start Screen was pin a few apps to the far left. Those app shortcuts could be rearranged and Microsoft let users choose a tile color, but that was it. If you wanted to show off your favorite color in some way other than changing the Live Tile color you were out of luck. That’s to say nothing of setting an Xbox One background.
With the November Xbox One Update, setting an Xbox One background is something that everyone can do. In addition to setting a background color, backgrounds can also be set to a solid color or a custom image. Here’s how to set Xbox One backgrounds.
Before we begin, it is important that you have all the things you need to set Xbox One backgrounds. Let’s start with the November Xbox One Update.
You’ll need the November Xbox One Update if you’re hoping to set a background on your Start Screen. There’s no way around this. If you haven’t connected your Xbox One to Xbox Live in some time, do it now and download the latest update.
The second thing you’ll need is the Xbox One’s Media Player app. Again, those who haven’t updated their console in a while won’t have this app. It’ll need to be downloaded from the Xbox Store. Just search the Store for “Media Player” and it’ll turn up.
The last thing you’ll need is the image or background you’ll want to use. Microsoft allows users to set achievement images as backgrounds on the Xbox One. If you want to use those you can, or you can load a flash drive or hard drive with the image you’d like to set as your background. The Media Player app also lets you see pictures that are stored on the PCs and tablets too – but that requires a bit of set-up. Images must be in JPG or PNG
First, turn on your Xbox One console by pressing the power button on your controller or by simply saying, “Xbox, On” if you have a Kinect 2 sensor.
You’ll need to go into the Settings area on the Xbox One. If you have a Kinect 2 sensor say “Xbox, go to Settings.” If you don’t have a Kinect 2 sensor that isn’t a problem. It’ll just take you a bit longer to get there. Pick up your Xbox One controller and select “My Games & Apps.”
Once inside My Games and Apps move the left joystick on your controller down once so that it highlights my Apps instead of Games. Look for the underline on the word on the far left.
Now take the same left joystick on your controller and push it to the right until you see Settings in the list of installed apps on your Xbox One.
Welcome to the Settings area. You’ll see a lot of different areas on your screen. Don’t focus on those in the middle that are in gray. Instead, look for those with a highlight on the left. Use the left joystick to select “My Xbox.” It’s in the bottom-left corner.
Now select “My Background.”
If you’d like to use a solid color, choose it from the colors included on the right. The first is solid black and you can get your Xbox One to go back to factory settings just by choosing that one. There are 21 colors to choose from in all.
Say you want to choose some achievement art instead, select Achievement art and you’ll be thrown to the Achievements app.
You’ll need to highlight a particular achievement and then select Set as Background.
Select Custom Image to use a personal background you’ve already picked out. You’ll be thrown to the Media Player app. You should have already plugged in the flash drive or hard drive with your picture on it. If you have then you’ll immediately see that storage medium listed. For this example we’re using out network to add an image to the Xbox One as a background so we’re selecting it.
Select the folder with the image you’re looking for.
Then select the picture so that its full-screen.
With the image full screen press the menu button on your controller. It is to the right of the glowing Xbox One logo.
Select Set As background.
That’s it. You’ve successfully set an Xbox One background. Remember to be mindful of the pictures you use. Some aren’t going to be great for putting on your Xbox One because of orientation and size. Microsoft has released an image file that lets users see exactly how their backgrounds are going to turn out. You can download that from here, but you’ll need Photoshop to actually edit it.
Beyond that, just be sure to use a picture that is large enough and shows off what you want. It wouldn’t hurt to match your tile color to that photo too.