Customize Your Surface through PC Settings - dummies

Customize Your Surface through PC Settings

By Andy Rathbone

When tweaking an app on your Surface doesn’t do the trick, call in the big guns. The Start screen’s control panel, called the PC Settings screen, lets you tweak different parts of your Surface in surprising detail.

The PC Settings screen contains two columns. The pane on the left lists the categories of settings; tap a category, and that category’s options spill out toward the right.


Follow these steps to open the PC Settings screen and begin tweaking your Surface:

  1. From any screen, slide your finger inward from the right edge to fetch the Charms bar and then tap the Settings icon.

  2. When the Settings pane appears, tap the words Change PC Settings at the bottom edge.

    The PC Settings screen opens to show one of two possible views:

    • Personalize: This view offers shortcuts to settings that customize three things: the Lock screen that appears when you turn on or wake up your Surface, your account photo, and a picture password.

    • Recent: This view lists shortcuts to your most recently accessed settings, which is handy when your last switch flip made a situation even worse. (Your most recently changed setting appears atop the list.)

    To toggle between the Personalize and Recent opening views, scroll to the opening screen’s bottom edge. There, you can find a link to fetch the alternative screen.

Any changes you make to the PC Settings, usually by tapping a toggle switch, take place immediately.

  • When you tap the Charms bar’s Settings icon, the Settings pane appears, which lists your six most commonly accessed settings along the bottom: Wi-Fi, Volume, Screen, Notifications, Power, and Keyboard.

  • Settings that deal primarily with the Windows desktop can be found in the Desktop app’s Control Panel. To visit there, open the PC Settings area and tap the Control Panel link from the bottom left of the PC Settings pane.

  • The PC Settings area is chock-full of mundane settings, so there may be a ton to wade through.