Customising the appearance of your computer

Windows 10 lets you customise your computer: from changing the menu colours, to changing the wallpaper and lock screen. The information below will help you with how to do it.

 

Opening the personalisation settings

There are a few ways you can change the appearance of your computer. To start, you need to go into the personalisation settings.

 

Setting the desktop background

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background picture
1.

Open the Personalisation settings.

2.

You'll see a preview of the background, and a drop-down menu below. Choose Picture from this menu.

3.

You'll get five images to choose from. They will be default Windows wallpapers, or the last five pictures you've used as a background. You can also click Browse to choose a new picture from your computer.

4.

Choose how the image fits on your screen. There are FillFitStretchTileCentre and Span options. You might need to try different ones to see what works best.

Windows 10 will automatically choose an accent colour to match your new background. You can change this in the colours section of the personalisation settings.

Setting a solid colour as the background

 
 
 
 
solid colour background
1.

Open the Personalisation settings.

2.

There is a drop-down menu below Background. Click this and choose Solid colour.

3.

You'll see 24 colours in a grid. Pick a colour to set it as a background. You can see a preview at the top of the screen.

Using a slideshow for your desktop background

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slideshow background
 
 
 
 
slideshow background
1.

Open the Personalisation settings.

2.

You'll see a preview of the background, and a drop-down menu below. Click this and select Slideshow.

3.

Click Browse to choose the folder that has the pictures you want in your slideshow, and click Choose this folder.

4.

The preview window will show the first picture in your folder. You can choose how often the image changes, and how the image(s) fits on the screen.

Changing the colour scheme used in Windows 10

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Windows 10 has a black taskbar, grey Start menu, and an accent colour (used on tiles, borders and taskbar icons) by default. The accent colour is matched with your background, but you can choose one of your own.

Changing the accent colour

 
 
 
 
accent colour
1.

Open the Personalisation settings.

2.

Click Colours on the left.

3.

There is a switch to automatically pick an accent colour. Click to turn it off.

4.

You'll see a grid of 49 colours. Pick one to use as your accent colour. You can see a preview of it at the top of the window.

Using accent colours on the menus and taskbar

You can also add colours to the grey menus and the taskbar. You can't choose specific colours, but Windows 10 will choose a colour that goes best with your accent colour.

 
 
 
 
accent colours on taskbar
1.

Open the Personalisation settings.

 

2.

Click Colours.

3.

Click Show colour on Start, taskbar and action centre. You'll see the Start menu and taskbar colour change colour on the preview window.

4.

You can choose a new accent colour if you want. You can also turn off the switch to go back to black and grey.

Making the Start menu and taskbar transparent

You can also choose between making your menu slightly transparent or opaque. The default option is slightly transparent. If you'd like an opaque menu, follow the steps below:

 
 
 
 
transparent taskbar
1.

Open the Personalisation settings.

 

2.

Click Colours on the left.

 

3.

Click Make Start, taskbar and Action Centre transparent, and your menu will now be opaque.

Customising the Windows 10 lock screen

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By default, your lock screen will show the time and date, but you can choose to show information from apps.

Changing the lock screen image

 
 
 
 
lock screen image
1.

Open the Personalisation settings.

 

2.

Click Lock screen, on the left-hand side.

3.

You'll see a preview of the lock screen as it is now. You can change this by selecting Picture or Slideshow from the drop-down menu.

4.

You can choose from the five images that will appear, or click Browse to choose a picture from your computer. For a slideshow, select the folder of pictures you want to use.

Adding app info to the Windows 10 lock screen

You can choose to display app information on the lock screen. This might be weather information, updates, emails etc.

 
 
 
 
app info
 
 
 
 
1.

Open the Personalisation settings.

2.

Click Lock screen on the left.

3.

Under Choose an app to show detailed status, there are boxes with + symbols in them. These are used to add additional app information to the lock screen. Click a + and choose an app from the list. The list will depend on the apps you've got installed.

The link below this lets you to change the screen timeout and set a screen saver. The screen timeout settings turn off the display or put the computer to sleep after a set amount of time, saving power. Clicking the screen saver settings brings up a window for you to choose a screen saver, and choose a timer for when the screen saver activates.

 

Changing the theme used in Windows 10

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Themes are a combination of background colours and the lock screen. You can find themes in the personalisation window, on the left-hand side. You can save the theme you just created, load previously saved themes, choose a default Windows theme, or go online to download more themes.

As soon as you click a theme it will instantly apply to your computer, so we recommend saving your current theme first, if you haven't already.

Saving the current theme

 
 
 
 
theme settings
 
 
 
 
save theme
1.

Open the Personalisation settings.

2.

Click Themes > Theme Settings.

3.

A window will come up, asking you to choose between different themes. Under 'My Themes' is your current theme, along with any other themes from your computer. Click Save theme to name your current theme, then click Save.

4.

The theme will now show at the top with its chosen name.

A 'Synchronised Theme' lets you use that theme across other Windows 10 or Windows 8 computers or devices with the same Microsoft account. If you click Get more themes online, you'll be taken to a web page featuring hundreds of user-created themes that you can download to your computer. These themes will be added to your theme library, letting you apply them to your computer when you want.

 

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You can also personalise your Start menu.

 
 
 
 
customise start menu
1.

Open the Personalisation settings, then click Start on the left.

2.

The switches control the appearance of the Start menu. Clicking the switches turns these features on or off.

  • Show or hide your most frequently used apps gives you quick access to the apps you use most often.
  • Show or hide apps that have recently been added to Windows 10 lets you access new apps.
  • Open the Start menu full screen maximises the size of the Start screen to fill the window.
  • Show jump lists on the Start menu and taskbar - 'Jump lists' are lists of recently accessed files or folders.
3.

Click Choose which folders appear to bring up a list of switches to add a folder to the bottom of the Start menu.

 Hopefully you’re sorted, but if you’re having any problems with your kit, you can contact one of our Team Knowhow Experts here.

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