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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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More Ways to Tweak the Start Screen

You’re going to be seeing a lot of the Start screen. You may as well set it up the way you like.

Change the Background Picture and Color Scheme

Windows wouldn’t be Windows if it weren’t bristling with options to change the look of your world. In Windows 8, you can change both the background image on the Start screen and the color scheme.

These are related, as it turns out. For example, the Start screen wallpaper pattern actually changes to match the color you choose for your Start screen world. You might think that Microsoft gives you only 20 Start screen wallpapers to choose from—but multiply those by the 25 different color schemes, and you’ll feel like a regular Sherwin-Williams.

The steps go like this:

  1. Open the Personalize pane.

    It’s in a weird but more accessible new place in Windows 8.1—no longer part of PC Settings. Here’s how you find it:

    Touchscreen: Open the Charms bar (swipe in from the right margin). Tap Settings. Tap Personalize.

    Keyboard: At the Start screen, type start. In the results, choose “Change the background and colors on Start.”

    You wind up with something like Figure 2-5.

  2. Tap the various squares below the miniature desktop to try on the different wallpapers.

    Once you’ve settled on a background you like, proceed to step 3.

    Tip

    Microsoft gives you a choice of 20 backgrounds—and no option to choose an image of your own. If you care, check out Stardock’s Decor8 ($5). It lets you choose any photo for the Start screen wallpaper—and any color ...

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