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Start Screen - Change Background Color and Image


Brink

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Start Screen - Change Background Color and Image
This tutorial will show you how to easily change your Start screen background image and color, accent color, and your sign in screen color in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
Published by Brink
#1
ByLine
How to Change Your Start and Sign in Screen Background and Color in Windows 8 and 8.1
Synopsis
This tutorial will show you how to easily change your Start screen background image and color, accent color, and your sign in screen color in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
How to Change Your Start and Sign in Screen Background and Color in Windows 8 and 8.1

information   Information
This tutorial will show you how to easily change your Start screen background image and color, modern UI accent color, and your sign in screen color in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

There is still currently no known way to set a custom wallpaper as the sign in screen background.


EXAMPLE: Start and Sign in Screen Background and Color
Your_Sign-in_and_Start_screens.jpg
Start.jpg
Windows_8_1_start_start_view.jpg





OPTION ONE
Change Your Sign in and Start Screen Background Image and Color in Settings Charm in Windows 8.1


Note   Note
This option will show you how to change only the background image (desktop or default) and color of your Start screen, and only the color of your sign in using PC settings in Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1.


1. While on your Start screen (Start or Apps view), open the Settings charm.​
NOTE: This will not work if done from your desktop.​
2. Click/tap on Personalize. (see screenshot below)​
Windows-8-1-Start_background_color-1.jpg
3. In the top background images section, click/tap on one of the 15 image thumbnails you want set as your Start screen background. (see screenshot below step 5)​
Note   Note
The bottom right corner thumbnail is for setting your Start screen background to be the same as your current desktop background. When selected, the Background color option in step 4 below will only change your Sign in screen background color and not your Start screen.
Note   Note

If you select any of the other image thumbnails as your Start screen background, then the selected image will be inlayed on top of the Background color option you selected in step 4 below for your Start screen background color.​
4. In the middle Background color section, click/tap on a color family you want in the bottom bar, then click/tap on a color shade above the bottom bar to set (check) as your Start and Sign in screen background color. (see screenshot below step 5)​
Note   Note
If you selected the desktop background thumbnail in step 3 above, then this will not change your Start screen background color, and will only change your sign in screen background color instead.
Note   Note

Examples of items that use the background color would be:​
  • Start screen background unless as per above.
  • App highlight box on Start screen (Start and Apps view).
  • Arrow button background on bottom of Start screen (Start and Apps view).
  • Sign in screen background.
  • Charms flyout background.
  • Charms menu title header background
  • etc....
Tip   Tip
Your background color is stored as a hex value of the StartColor DWORD at the registry location below.
Tip   Tip

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Accent​
5. In the bottom Accent color section, click/tap on a color family you want in the bottom bar, then click/tap on a color shade above the bottom bar to set (check) for all of your modern UI screens accent color. (see screenshot below step 5)​
Note   Note
Examples of items that use the accent color would be:
Note   Note

  • Start button (ex: taskbar, charms bar) when hovered on.
  • Selected menus on the left side in PC settings.
  • Slider colors in PC settings.
  • Menu titles in PC settings.
  • etc....
Tip   Tip
Your accent color is stored as a hex value of the AccentColor DWORD at the registry location below.
Tip   Tip

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Accent​
Windows-8-1-Start_background_and_color-2.jpg

6. When finished, you can click/tap on an empty area on Start to close the Personalize flyout.​








OPTION TWO
Change Your Sign in and Start Screen Background Image and Color in "PC settings" in Windows 8


Note   Note
This option will show you how to change only the background image and color of your Start screen, and only the color of your sign in using PC settings in Windows 8 and Windows RT.

If you like, you can use this option to change the color of your sign in screen background, and also use OPTION THREE below to use a custom image on your Start screen background.


1. Open PC settings, click/tap on Personalize in the right pane, and Start Screen in the left pane. (see screenshot below)​
Start_Screen-1.jpg
2. From here, you can choose an image for the Start screen background, and/or choose a color for the Start and sign in screen background. (see screenshot above)​
Note   Note
If you use OPTION TWO below, then it will override the image and color selected here on your Start screen.
Note   Note

The color you select will only be applied to your Start and sign in screen, and not to the default sign in screen that shows all users.​
3. When finished, you can close PC settings if you like​







OPTION THREE
Change Your Start Screen Background using "Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer"


Note   Note
This option will show you how to change your Start screen background to any custom image you like. If you like, you could also select more than one picture to have a slideshow on the Start screen.

Once you have the picture selected, you could adjust the Start screen opacity and tiles opacity separately to display how transparent or solid you would like.

For more information about how to use the free Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer program, please also see: codigobit apps


1. If you have not already, then you will need to download the latest version of the portable or installer Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer .exe file at the link below.​
NOTE: If you download the portable executable, you will need to extract ModernUIStartScreen.ex_ and rename it to ModernUIStartScreen.exe.​
2. Unblock the ModernUIStartScreen.exe (portable) or Win8StartScreenCustomizerEN.exe (installer) file, then run the .exe file.​
NOTE: You would need to use OPTION ONE at this link to unblock the .exe.​
icon.png
3. From here, you can select to use your current desktop wallpaper or load a picture to use on your Start screen. (see screenshot below)​
NOTE: If you choose to Load Picture, then you will also need to drag the select box borders to include what you want to be displayed from the loaded picture. Only what is inside the select box is what will show on the Start screen.​
W8_Start_Screen_Customizer-2.jpg
4. If you would like to have a Start screen slideshow, then use Select Pictures to select more than one image, check Slideshow, select the change picture interval time, and select if you want the selected pictures to display randomly in the slideshow. (see screenshot below step 3)​
5. You can also adjust the sliders for the Start Screen Opacity and Tiles Opacity for how transparent or solid you would like them to be. (see screenshot below step 3)​
6. Check the Run at startup box. (see screenshot below step 3)​
NOTE: If you do not check this box, then the Start screen picture will go back to default like in OPTION ONE whenever you restart the computer or sign out.​
W8_Start_Screen_Customizer.jpg
7. When finished, click/tap on the Apply & Save button. (see screenshot below step 6)​
8. This will take you to the Start screen to see how your selected picture(s) look. Click on the Desktop tile to go back.​
9. Make any other changes you may like in Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer, and repeat step 7 until you have the Start screen how you like.​
10. When finished, either click/tap on Exit or the Hide button. (see screenshot below step 6)​
Note   Note
When you click on the Hide button, the program will stay running in the background and have an icon in the taskbar notification area (systray).
Note   Note

When you click on Exit, the program will close. The Start screen picture will still remain displayed until you either restart the computer or sign out unless you checked the Run at startup box in step 6 above.​




That's it,
Shawn


Related Tutorials


 
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Dave76

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#2
Thanks for the tut Shawn, green is not everyones favorite color.
 

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mikedl

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#3
Cool! Thanks, Shawn! :)
 

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Mainer82

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#4
Is there a way to specify your OWN color other than the given colors?
 

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robinb9

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#5
Brink,
how do you change the color other than what Windows 8 has to a different color or even a picture on the Start Screen
thanks
robin
 

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Brink

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#6

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robinb9

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#7
i saw that brink, in fact i am testing their start8- you can test that for 30 days also, then purchase it, the only thing i do not like about it at least in this version is you cannot right click on one of the shortcuts in the start menu and make a desktop shortcut. I like classic shell but i find on some computers it is crashing on others it is not but you can right click and make s shortcut with it and that one is free
(so far anyway)
I was wondering if there was a free one out there or you came up with a way to do it.
thanks Brink as always,
robin
 

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Brink

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#8
I don't know of any free options that worth using. :(
 

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robinb9

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#9
have you had any problems using classic shell on different computers? my desktop did not like it, (all these computers are upgrades to Windows 8 Pro), after the last set of ms updates it screwed up classic shell and would not load it, on my laptop I had no problem after the last set of updates, go figure
robin
 

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Brink

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#10
I don't use Classic Shell since I keep everything default, but I haven't heard anything other than this about issues with it.
 

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robinb9

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#11
oh, ok i just purchased star8, for $4.99 it is not bad, I talked to someone on their chat and they said the next version will have the right click option to make a shortcut.
I want to really compare the two anyway because the clients of mine who will be purchasing windows 8 I want to get a feel which one I like better or have the choice if something goes wrong with classic shell or star8, I am trialing Deco8 now, I want to give it the full month to see how it goes.
Thanks again for your help
robin
 

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Brink

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#12
You're welcome. Please let us know what you think about it afterwards. :)
 

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robinb9

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#13
sure thing ;)
robin
 

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robinb9

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#14
so far i like it, it gives you the ability to use their pictures or you can put in your own, you can also add more than one and it works like the backround for Windows 7 where it changes every seconds or minutes. As said it is only the first day so i want to really be able to test it, I will report back in about a week or so to give it a good run.
robin
 

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robinb9

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#15
Ok my take so far on Decor8:
On one desktop computer running Windows 8 Pro upgrade from 7 (32bit) I have Start8 for Start Menu which I trialed and bought and trialing Decor8 now
On one laptop running Windows 8 Pro upgrade from 7 (32bit) which I have Classic Shell Start Menu and trialing Decor8

Both installed with no problems
Since they are exactly the same program I wall tell as one:
VERY easy to configure
You can use your own picture or you can use their group pictures
You cannot use more than one of your own pictures as a shuffle, it seems to only load one (that is the only negative I saw)
There are a bunch of nice pics they supply and I guess if you really get bored with one picture you can always change it
You can customize the metro charm bar and make it a different color
you can customize the login screen also and change position of the tiles on the metro screen
I really like it and plan to purchase it. $4.99 is no biggy, I guess if it was more than that I prolly would stick with the Windows 8 drab one until someone comes up with a better free version.
You get to trial it for 30 days so you really have nothing to loose
Here is an example of what it looks like
newone.jpg
 

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Brink

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#16
Great news Robin. I'm happy to hear it'll work for you, and that you like it. :)
 

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robinb9

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#17
Brink maybe others will try it, they got nothing to loose, if they do not like it they can just uninstall it but they have 30 days to try it :)
robin
 

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Brink

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#18
Tutorial updated with OPTION TWO to be able to change the Start screen background picture to whatever image you like using the free program Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer.
 

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    Motherboard
    ASRock X79 Extreme11
    Memory
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    SB Recon 3Di Integrated Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    256GB OCZ Vector
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Corsair Air 740
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    100 Mb/s Download and 10 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Lite-On iHBS212 12x BD Writer
    Creative F200 webcam
    Samsung CLX-3175FW Printer
    Linksys EA9500 Router
    Arris SB6190 Cable Modem
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL

Dave76

Team Member
VIP Member
Pro User
#19
Thanks for Option two, had to reboot before it would work.

Now I have my start screen the way I like it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64/ Windows 7 Ult x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    76~2.0
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-3570K 4.6GHz
    Motherboard
    GIGABYTE GA-Z77X UD3H f18
    Memory
    8GB (2X4GB) DDR3 1600 CORSAIR Vengeance CL8 1.5v
    Graphics Card(s)
    Sapphire HD 7770 Vapor-X 1GB DDR5
    Sound Card
    Onboard VIA VT2021
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LCD Dell SP2208WFP
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050
    Hard Drives
    Samaung 840Pro 128GB, Seagate 500GB SATA2 7200rpm 32mb, Seagate 1TB SATA2 7200rpm 32mb,
    PSU
    Corsair HX650W
    Case
    Cooler Master Storm Scout
    Cooling
    Corsair H80 w/Noctua NF P12 12cm fan, case fans 2X14cm
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wave
    Mouse
    CM Sentinel
    Internet Speed
    Abysmal
    Browser
    Opera Next
    Other Info
    Dell Venue 8Pro: Baytrail Z3740D, 2GB Ram, 64GB HDD, 8" IPS Display 1280 x 800, Active Stylus.
    Haswell laptop: HP Envy 17t-j, i7-4700MQ, GeForce 740M 2GB DDR3, 17.3" Full HD 1920x1080, 16GB RAM, Samsung 840 Pro 128GB, 1TB Hitachi 7200 HDD,
    Desktop: eSATA ports,
    External eSATA Seagate 500GB SATA2 7200rpm,

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
22,708
#20
You're welcome Dave. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-3930K 3.2 Ghz (O/C to 4 Ghz)
    Motherboard
    ASRock X79 Extreme11
    Memory
    32 GB (8GBx4) G.SKILL DDR3 Quad PC3-19200 2400 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    SB Recon 3Di Integrated Chip
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    256GB OCZ Vector
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Corsair Air 740
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    100 Mb/s Download and 10 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Lite-On iHBS212 12x BD Writer
    Creative F200 webcam
    Samsung CLX-3175FW Printer
    Linksys EA9500 Router
    Arris SB6190 Cable Modem
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL