How to Customize the Appearance of Windows 10

By Nancy C. Muir

When you take your computer out of the box, Windows 10 comes with certain preset, or default, settings such as the appearance of the desktop and a color scheme for items you see on your screen. Here are some of the things you can change about the Windows environment and why you might want to change them:

  • Desktop and lock screen background: As you work with your computer, you might find that changing the appearance of various elements on your screen not only makes them more pleasant to look at, but also helps you see the text and images more easily. You can change the graphic shown as the desktop background, even displaying your own picture there, and choose from a collection of background images for your lock screen.
  • Screen resolution: You can adjust your screen resolution to not only affect the crispness of images on your screen but also cause the items on your screen to appear larger, which could help you if you have visual challenges.
  • Themes: Windows has built-in desktop themes that you can apply quickly. Themes save sets of elements that include menu appearance, background colors or patterns, screen savers, and even mouse cursors and system sounds. If you choose a theme and then modify the way your computer looks in some way — for example, by changing the color scheme — that change overrides the setting in the theme you last applied.
  • Screen savers: These animations appear after your computer remains inactive for a specified time. In the early days of personal computers, screen savers helped to keep monitors from burning out from constant use. Today, people use screen savers to automatically conceal what they’re doing from passersby or just to enjoy the pretty picture when they take a break.