Windows customization is just like redecorating our homes but when it comes to gadgets, the term used here is customization. Android is undoubtedly the king when it comes to customization but Windows is catching up. Even though it’s far away from the options, Microsoft is doing its best to constantly tweak the experience over time.
Customization doesn’t just mean applying fancy themes. Windows 10 has reached a level where installing apps will give you amazing functionalities. Once you power on your new Windows 10 device or reset it, you’ll witness what Microsoft likes to call “Out of the Box Experience” or OOBE. It’s a simple process that might differ from PC to PC but the fun lies as soon as you begin the setup as you get to configure your Start Menu, select wallpapers or backgrounds for the desktop or lock screen, and choose the apps you’d be delighted to use.
Windows customization isn’t the same-old process. It is going a mile ahead of those who’d prefer the pure Microsoft experience. You might have come across a few articles or videos on the web where enthusiasts show off their own version of windows customization. It isn’t difficult to achieve that look as it only takes a few moments, settings and apps to get that desired look.
You might be new to Windows or just looking for a fresh start, there are plenty of options for windows customization. This guide will help you change your Windows 10 PC into something that might invoke envy from your peers. I will list a number of options to get your windows customization on point. So, let’s jump right in!
Best tools for Windows customization
The first phase for your windows customization is setting great looking wallpapers. As you might already know, you can set background for your desktop and lock screen which means you’ll have to choose two wallpapers that might attract eyeballs. I personally use an amazing website to download a whole array of wallpapers. But I’ll you spoilt for choice.
If you hate options, then you won’t regret choosing Unsplash. It’s the best website that offers high-quality, professional-looking wallpapers that can be downloaded for free. The makers only have one request when you download wallpapers from the site: Give credit to the original photographers if their photos are being used for a paid assignment. I use Unsplash wallpapers for all my devices – be it a smartphone or a personal computer. You can even search a keyboard upon which you’ll be shown fantastic wallpapers.
Pexels offer free wallpapers that easily catches eyeballs. They are HQ, look professional, and a whole lot of varieties make it an interesting pick. The desktop backgrounds are just out of this world.
WallpaperAccess gives you..eh, access to a lot of high-definition wallpapers. The website even safely categorizes into topics that are trending. So, if you happen to be a fan of the Parasite movie fan, you can get some HD wallpapers right away!
The second phase of windows customization is applying themes. Themes are an amazing tool that changes the entire look of your Windows 10 PC. Don’t fret as Microsft Store has plenty of free themes, including Panda, Harry Potter, etc. But apart from this default option, I could find another prolific name that vastly improves your Windows 10 feel.
Windows themes have been around for a while now. Not much has changed but that’s the best thing about it. Why fix something that’s not broken, right? Windows themes are versatile and can be manually edited once a theme is downloaded. It’s a great default option if you too lazy to look for other choices.
If you’ve purchased a new Windows 10 PC, you won’t see many themes. To download more, click on “Get more themes in Microsoft Store.” You’ll be redirected to the theme store.
DeviantArt is a unique hub of custom theme store that some feel is risky but that isn’t the case. Once you visit the website, enter windows 10 themes in the search bar. You’ll see several popular themes. But before installing any theme from the said website, you should keep in mind a few things.
You must always set a restore point before any custom themes. We are talking about the Windows UI so extra precaution is necessary. Make sure a vital part of the UI isn’t tweaked while exploring the changes. Read carefully what the developers have to say or how the installation process is explained.
3. Third-party Software
The third phase of windows customization is downloading useful third-party software that will take the UI change a step ahead.
RocketDock is a launcher, sort of. With this tool, you can pin shortcuts of the apps you use the most, conveniently on the desktop. Not just apps, you can even add shortcuts for programs and even folders in a small-sized dock using the Rocket dock tool.
Think of Rainmeter as customizable widgets for Windows. You can use tools like memory and battery power, RSS feeds and weather forecasts as customizable skins on your desktop. Some of the skins are great at interacting. For instance, you can write your notes, launch most-used apps, control media playback, etc. Explore the app by diving into settings and find the best skins.
Wox is the most helpful amongst the lot. Though setting it up is a bit tricky, you’ll get used to it over time. So what does it do? It launched a universal search and by that I literally mean universal.
Whatever files match your search topic, it will be displayed. You need to tweak the software and set a command to call up the app. You can also open folders, non-executable files or system settings. Moreover, Wox ships with preinstalled plugins and they are plenty. It’s a mush have tool!
Spyrix is a keylogger that controls and records every single keystroke. The free version offers many features so you probably won’t need the premium version. Speaking about the features, it includes full remote cloud monitoring free of charge. This means that you can control any kind of computer activity wherever you’re located. But you must your registered account to browse on any device. Perhaps the bonus feature is the screenshot tool which takes screenshots of all active windows.
Fences will remind you of the Android group feature, which lets you group apps into folders on your home screen for easy access. On Windows, you can create a group of apps and folders. These groups can be customized with different icons and colors. If your personal computer has more apps compared to your friend list, this one is for you!
As the name suggests, CustomizerGod lets you customize your Windows 10 desktop without any hassle. Almost everything can be customized, you just need to know the tools and the trick for a beautiful looking setup. The settings can get rough but you’ll get used to it.
With this app, you can create folders that match your caliber. In short, Folder Maker lets you add colors to your monotonous Windows folder. Simply install this tool and right-click on the folder you’d want to add color to. The app can also change the folder icons that support file formats like ICO, ICL, EXE, DLL, CPL or BMP.
Start10 lets you add jazz to your Windows 10 start menu. The settings in this app can get a bit overwhelming but in order to get that look, you should manage it. Start10 basically changes the entire look of your Start Menu so that you can give your own look, from scratch! You can also play with colors to really get that feeling.
From the creators of Start10 is another astonishing option WindowBlinds that lets you customize the UI on your Windows 10 PC. This mini-tool of sorts provides custom skins for the Windows 10 OS. The said tools are really powerful. They add a lot to windows customization in terms of the overall look of Windows, applications, buttons, fonts, icons and more.
The fourth phase of windows customization is changing the default settings. This is a really simple option and no third-party application is needed to make necessary changes.
- Show animations in Windows: This will enable fancy-looking animations on your Windows 10 PC but there will be a bit delay in going through things so it’s best to disable it. Go to Search and type animation. You’ll see “Show animations in Windows.” Disable it by toggling the switch.
- Transparency Effects: This option will make your Start menu, taskbar, and Action Center transparent or not, if you disable it. You can keep it on to make it look good.
- Automatically pick an accent color from my background: So if applying themes isn’t your cup of tea, then your Windows can sport a theme from your background. How does that work? Well, this option controls how Windows uses color for various on-screen components such as your Start Menu or Taskbar. You need to pick an “Accent Color” from the predefined pallet of colors or you can select “Custom Color” to get the color of your choice. To spice up things, you can select the “Automatically pick an accent color from my background.” Windows will automatically match a color from the picture you’ve set as your background.
- Choose your default app mode: You’ll get two options with this – Light or Dark. Selecting Light will make everything look white while opting for Dark means everything will go black, that will be a bit soothing for your eyes.
- Change your Start Menu options: Not many choices are available on the Start personalization screen. But you can show extra tiles on each column of tiles, most-used apps, and open the Start menu in full-screen mode.
- Change your Taskbar options: Here, you get to explore options to customize the taskbar. You can lock it from moving, automatically hide when you’re not using it, use small or large icons, and how the taskbar works when multiple displays are used. Right-click on the taskbar and click on “Taskbar Settings.”
- App Snapping: This option essentially enables any four apps to be seen at once on your screen. These four separate windows will prove to be helpful when you want to surf the internet while taking notes and a video playing on one window. Just right click on the taskbar and select “Windows side by side.” Talk about multi-tasking at its peak!
How do you customize Windows?
Windows customization is quite easy but can overwhelming. You can change themes that entirely change the look of your Windows 10 PC. Customizing your Start Menu is another option. The best option is also to change your desktop and background wallpaper.
How do I change my desktop background on Windows 10?
To personalize your desktop background, go to your desktop (Windows Logo + D), and right-click on the desktop at an empty place. You’ll see the Personalize option. You’ll see Background. You can either choose Picture, Solid color or Slideshow of selected pictures.
Why is my computer background black?
You need to change your desktop background. Download amazing wallpapers from Unsplash. They have some amazing collections.
How can I make my laptop look attractive?
To make your laptop look more attractive, constantly change the background. Download a dock, clean up your desktop, etc. Such small changes might do the trick.
Windows 10 has surpassed its predecessor and is no more a boring offering from Microsoft. Windows customization is now better than ever so you can go all out. I know it is a huge list but if you want to do something, give your 100 percent. The methods listed above are simple, easy to go around and free. Although the default settings do not make your computer look old, it doesn’t make it look attractive either.
You can try a combination of the things you like in order to make your PC a bit attractive. It’ll take a few tries to get it right. Don’t overdo it as your desktop might look cluttered. Just stick with a maximum of two desktop customization programs at a time.
So did you like the contents of this article? Which is your favorite tool for windows customization or applications? Did I miss an important that might make a huge difference? Let our readers know in the comments below. Make sure you share this article with people who would love to customize their Windows 10 PC.