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Windows 10 include a range of settings that allow you to change the appearance of your computer, including desktop background, colours and default fonts.

Background

This setting allows you to use your own pictures and photos as the screensaver to your computers.  You can choose a single image by going to Settings – Background and choosing ‘Picture’ from the dropdown menu.  Then hit browse where file explorer will open. Navigate to the picture you want in file explorer, click on it and hit ‘Choose Picture’.  Individual picture will be kept on the personalised settings to use in the future.  Below the browse button, choose the best fit from the dropdown menu – fill, fit, stretch etc.   You can also choose a solid colour as a screensaver in the personalisation settings menu by choosing ‘solid colour’ from the dropdown menu. Here you can choose a colour or a variation of one by clicking on ‘custom colour’.

If you prefer to see slideshows in your display, maybe recent holidays or children’s pictures, set up a folder in file explorer and add the photos you want to display in the slideshow. Go to the personalisation settings menu and choose slideshow from the dropdown menu. Click on browse, which takes you to file explorer. Navigate to the folder you created with the slideshow photos and click on it. Do not worry that you cannot see the photos as the program only asks you for the album. Click on ‘choose this folder’. You should see the name of the album appear in the personalised settings. Underneath you have a dropdown option to change pictures at various intervals between every minute to once a day.  Further below, you can choose a fit such as fill, fit, stretch etc.

Colours

Choose a dark or light as the default for your background app and Window mode in the first dropdown in the ‘Colors’ setting. A little further down the menu, you can also choose your accent colour. Accent colors are to emphasise the colour scheme. You will see the colour on lines under programs in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen change, when you change the accent colour. If you tick the check box ‘Title bars and window borders’, the chosen accent color will be seen across the top of you browser and other title bars and borders.#

Lock Screen

The Lock Screen is the screen you see when you first turn on your computer and you set a password or pin number to get passed this screen. As a result, access to the apps on the device is limited from this screen.

In the ‘Locked Screen’ settings menu, you can use the default picture, change the picture that is displayed, or set up a slideshow here, in the same way as in the ‘Background’ settings.

To access some apps from the Lock Screen, which allows anyone who turns the device on prior to inputting a password or pin, you can do so through this setting. You can also put Cortons, Microsoft’s digital assistant, on the Lock Screen.

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Themes

A theme is a combination of background pictures, window colours and sounds. This little used feature allows you to personalise your Windows 10 device by using a variety of themes available on the Microsoft App store, many of which are free.  Simply access the Microsoft Store through the window icon or search bar to the left of your task bar, search for themes on the store, download and launch.

This setting also gives you the ability to change default sounds and the appearance of the mouse cursor. If you go to the bottom of the screen, you can change icons used for apps by clicking on ‘Desktop icon settings’.

Start

This setting allow you choose which applications and features open on startup.

  • With ‘Show more tiles on start’ you can see the tile column has expanded by the width of on medium sized tile.
  • When ‘Show app list on start menu’ is turned on, you can view the list of apps held on the device in alpha order when you click on the window icon in the task bar on the bottom left of the screen
  • Show recently added apps, on setting, pins recently added apps to the top of the list that appears when you click on the window icon in the bottom left of the screen
  • Turning on ‘Mostly used apps’ pins these app to the top of the list when your click on the window icon in the bottom left of the screen in the taskbar.
  • Show suggestions occasionally in Start shows link suggestions that will open the Windows Store page for the suggested app when they are clicked
  • When ‘Use full start screen’ is turned on, the tiles on the that appear when the window icon (bottom left) is clicked populate the full screen.

Taskbar

You can drag and drop the taskbar to either side or top or bottom of the screen.  ‘Lock the Taskbar’ disables this function. You can also hide the taskbar in desktop and / or tablet mode.

If you have a lot of apps on your taskbar, you may wish to turn on the ‘Use Smaller taskbar buttons’

If you choose to hide the taskbar, you can ‘Use Peek’, which shows you the taskbar when you move the cursor to the bottom of the screen.

As stated earlier, you can drag and drop the taskbar to different areas of the screen.  A second way of moving the taskbar is to use the dropdown in this Taskbar settings menu “Taskbar location on screen”.

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