When Windows 8 was in the first versions of beta, and even in the pre-beta session, customization was hardly a word, with all the tweaking being done by 3rd party applications. Now, a few days away from the actual release date, Windows 8 allows users to manually change the colors of the Start Screen background, using a small settings panel hidden behind a few keyboard strokes.
By using the following steps, users will have the possibility of tweaking the default color of the Windows 8 former-Metro panel and even change the entire pattern, pretty much acting as a theme changer. There are various styles to choose from but as you are going to see for yourself, Microsoft has mainly bet on blue.
How to change the Start Screen background in Windows 8
- Open the Charms bar by pressing the Windows + C buttons simultaneously.
- From the options menu, go to Settings -> Change PC Settings -> Personalize -> Start Screen.
- Choose whatever pattern suits you best or go for a solid color, Windows letting users pick one of the 20 available.
As always, things beyond the usual can be done, but not without relying on an external program to do it. In this case, if you were hoping that Windows alone let’s you change the background with a custom image, like a wallpaper, you will have to count on the Changer.
How to use the Changer
In a few words, this application will replace the empty background with a custom image, as long as the user has administrative right and the picture itself is a .PNG file with 72dpi, 256 colors and a 2000×400 pixel resolution. The process is not perfect, as the image will be automatically split in half to be accommodated by the system and the program itself has not been tested on 32-bit architectures.
- Download the software.
- Unzip the 7z file using WinRAR or an equivalent program.
- Change the .ex_ tail into .exe.
- Open the app and press the “Make a Backup” button, just to be safe that the current Windows 8 image will be saved.
- Choose from the exiting range of images or pick a custom one that goes by the guidelines above, and hit the Preview button to check it out.
- Press the Patch button to set the new image or Restore from Back-up to go back to default.