How to Jazz Up the Windows 8 Desktop's Background - dummies

How to Jazz Up the Windows 8 Desktop’s Background

By Andy Rathbone

To jazz up your desktop, Windows 8 covers it with a pretty picture known as a background. (Many people refer to the background simply as wallpaper.)

When you tire of the built-in scenery, feel free to replace it with a picture stored on your computer:

  1. Right-click a blank part of the desktop, choose Personalize, and click the Desktop Background option in the window’s bottom-left corner.

  2. Click any one of the pictures, and Windows 8 quickly places it onto your desktop’s background.


    Found a keeper? Click the Save Changes button to keep it on your desktop. Or, if you’re still searching, move to the next step.

  3. Click the Browse button to see photos inside your Pictures library or My Pictures folder.

    Most people store their digital photos in their Pictures library or My Pictures folder.

  4. Click different pictures to see how they look as your desktop’s background.

    When you find a background you like, you’re done. Exit the program with a click in its upper-right corner, and your chosen photo drapes across your desktop.

Here are some tips on changing your desktop’s background:

  • Options listed in the Picture Position section let you choose whether the image should be tiled repeatedly across the screen, centered directly in the middle, or stretched to fill the entire screen. The Tile, Fill, and Fit options work best with small photos, such as those taken with cellphones, by repeating or enlarging them to fit the screen’s borders.

  • The desktop’s Internet Explorer web browser can easily borrow any picture found on the Internet for a background. Right-click on the website’s picture and choose Set as Background from the pop-up menu. Microsoft sneakily copies the image onto your desktop as its new background.

  • If a background photograph makes your desktop icons too difficult to see, splash your desktop with a single color instead: After Step 1 of the preceding list, click the Picture Location box’s down arrow. When the drop-down list appears, select Solid Colors. Choose your favorite color to have it fill your desktop.

  • To change the entire look of Windows 8, right-click on the desktop, choose Personalize, and select a theme. Aimed at heavy-duty procrastinators, different themes splash different colors across the various Windows buttons, borders, and boxes.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.