How to Jazz Up Your Boring Windows 10 Desktop Theme

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Is your Windows 10 desktop looking a bit bland? You can spruce it up with a fresh paint job—including new wallpaper, colors, and a new mouse cursor—by applying a theme, which offers backgrounds, interface colors, cursors, and even sounds all in one shot.

In the latest version of Windows 10, namely the Creators Update, you can make your own custom themes and download an array of special themes from the Microsoft Store. Let's check it out.

First, make sure you're running the Windows 10 Creators Update, which rolled out in April. To check, right-click the Start button. If you see the Settings command in the menu, you have it. If you see Control Panel in the menu, you're still running the prior flavor of Windows and need to install the Creators Update, which you can do from the Windows Update screen in Settings.

Now you can try creating a theme. Right-click on the desktop and from the pop-up menu, click on the "Personalize" command. At the Personalization window, click on the Themes setting. The window shows your current desktop background, color, sounds, and mouse cursor.

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To change those various attributes, click on the background option and choose a background image for your desktop.

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Go back to Themes and click on the Colors option. Choose an Accent color for your background, which can be based on your background or something different.

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You can also concoct your own custom color. Click on the Custom Color button and choose a custom accent color from the palette. Click Done.

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Scroll down the Colors screen. You can opt to give your colors a transparent effect; show accent colors on the Start menu or screen, the taskbar, Action Center, and Title Bars; and choose a light or dark mode.

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Return to Themes. Click on the Sounds option. From the Sounds window, you can change the default sounds for various Windows events and programs. You can also opt to hear the Windows Startup sound. Click OK when done.

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Swing back to Themes. Click on the Mouse Cursor option. At the Mouse Properties window, you can pick a new cursor for your mouse. Select each mouse state and click on the Browse button. From the window showing the different cursors, double-click on the cursor you wish to use.

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You can cut to the chase by clicking on a specific scheme to change all the mouse cursor states in one fell swoop. When done, click OK.

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If you wish to save your custom background, color, sounds, and cursors, click on the Save theme button.. Name your theme and then save it.

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If you don't want to go through the steps of creating your own theme, choose one from Microsoft. At the Themes window, click on the link to "Get more themes in the store."

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You can now explore the themes in the Microsoft Store.

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When you find one you like, click on it to display its full page and then click on the Get button to download and install it.

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After the theme has been installed, click on the Launch button to return to the Themes screen. You'll now see your new theme nestled among the existing ones. Click on it to apply it. The new theme repaints your Windows desktop, Start menu or screen, and other features with a fresh look and feel.

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For more, check out:

  • How to Customize Your Computer Keyboard
  • How to Customize and Enhance Your Windows 10 Display
  • How to Customize the 'Send to' Menu in Windows
  • How to Customize Your Default Apps in Windows 10
  • How to Customize, Control the Command Prompt in Windows 10

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