Steps On How to customize Your Windows 10 Backgrounds, Colors, Lock screen and Themes

As Windows 10 has evolved a lot right from Windows 7 to Vista and Windows 8.1,  so has the personalization of look & feel of Windows. While the basic remains the same, Windows 10 has a lot to offer to consumers who love to customize and personalize their PC according to their liking. In this post, I am touching upon the basics of these things in Windows 10, and offering you extended tutorials to read on further.

Customize Windows 10

Windows 10 Personalization Settings are available under Settings > Personalization. It has 5 specific settings which include Background, Colours, Lockscreen, Themes,  Start, and Taskbar.

Putting up your favorite desktop wallpaper or background

This is the first thing you will change as soon as you log in to your PC. We all love to have our favorite wallpapers, and Windows 10 offers you with many features. So here how you can change it
  • Select Background. Here you get to see a preview of how it will look like with the current wallpaper or the one you set up with.
  • You have three options here using the drop-down.
    • Picture: Select an image you want to use. You can then arrange right from being fit on the screen to span it across in form of tiles.
    • Solid Colour: You can choose one form the color picker if you like it plain and simple.
    • Slideshow: This option lets you select more than one pictures of your choice, and then keep changing it every few seconds.

Choosing the color accent of your liking

If you notice closely, there is a bit of color throughout Windows experience. The default is set to blue. If you want to change it, use Colors section. Here you can choose from the available standard colors or use the color picker. The color will be used everywhere including Start, Taskbar, Action Center, and so on.
What I really like is the option to change accent color based on background wallpaper. So every time the wallpaper changes, I get a new accent color, and it keeps the look fresh.
This setting offers you granular controls. You can choose to skip showing accent color for Start, Taskbar, action center, and title bars. Also, I would suggest keeping the transparency effects turned on. Windows 10 now comes with Fluent Design, and they look fantastic. Lastly, you can choose between Dark and Light theme for your apps.

Customize the Lock screen

Similar to Desktop Backgrounds, you can customize Lock Screen to display Picture and Slideshow. However, what you will really like about Lock Screen is Windows Spotlight, App Notification, and Cortana integration.
Those who aren’t aware, Windows Spotlight is an option for the lock screen background that displays different background images and occasionally offers suggestions on the lock screen.  I would suggest you read about Windows Spotlight, also try this Windows Spotlight tool which saves them as wallpaper on your PC – but let’s talk about the Cortana integration.
Customize Windows 10 Backgrounds
Pro Tip:
  1. If you are using Slideshow on LockScreen, you can choose it to display pictures of your Camera roll folders from OneDrive. Make sure you have all pictures available on your PC
  2. The lock screen displays advertisement which is annoying. But you can disable the ads on the lock screen.

Cortana Integration on Lock Screen

Under Lock Screen settings, look for a link Cortana lock screen settings. Open it, and it will take you to Cortana settings.  Under Lock Screen section, you can choose to use Cortana when the device is locked. Select the checkbox next to Let Cortana access my calendar, email, messages, and other content data when my device is locked if you want to let Cortana use your information when your screen is locked.
Note:
  1. You will need to have a microphone set up in case it’s a Desktop PC for you. It also works with Webcam microphone.
  2. In case it’s not working perfectly for you, try changing the language.

App Notifications on Lock Screen

While this is not new, but I highly recommend you to use it on daily basis. Just like how you get notifications, and preview from apps on your Phone, you can choose apps to display similar kind of notification on the lock screen so you don’t miss what is important to you.
Here you can choose up to seven apps to display notifications along with your calendar. So if you working on two different machines, just looking at this machine will give you a clear idea that you are not missing anything important.

How to apply, customize a Windows 10 Theme

You can download themes directly from the Microsoft Store now. Instead of going to a website, and downloading them, its much safer, and also makes sure they stay updated.  The link to download the themes is available right in Themes sections of Personalization.
That said, there are two more topics left to discuss. Start Menu, and Taskbar. Both of these play a crucial role on a day to day usage, and we will talk about in our next post in much detail.

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