How to Customize Your Windows Laptop's Display - dummies

How to Customize Your Windows Laptop’s Display

By Nancy C. Muir

Customize your Windows laptop’s display by changing the Windows screen resolution, desktop background, window appearance, or screen saver. Customizing the appearance of your Windows laptop not only makes it more fun, but sometimes, it may even make it easier to use.

When you take your laptop out of the box, Windows comes with certain preset, or default, settings that determine the appearance of the desktop and the color scheme of 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:

  • As you work with your laptop, you might find that changing the appearance of various elements on your screen not only makes it more pleasant to look at, but also helps you see the text and images more easily. For example, you can make text larger, and the desktop background more plain if you’re having trouble seeing your desktop icons.

  • On the other hand, you can personalize the desktop by adding a seasonal background or even your own picture.

  • You can adjust your screen resolution, which affects the crispness of images on your screen. Lower resolutions display items with less crispness but larger on your screen, which could help you if you have visual challenges or a smaller laptop screen.

  • Windows has built-in 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 laptop looks in some way — for example, by changing the color scheme — that change overrides the setting in the theme you last applied.

  • Screen savers are animations that appear after your laptop has remained inactive for a time. In the early days of personal computers, screen savers helped to keep your monitor 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 pictures. Note, however, that if you are running your laptop off the battery, you might want to disable the screen saver so it doesn’t use up your power.

  • Windows Aero Glass is an effect that makes the borders of your windows transparent so you can see other windows layered underneath the active window. You might love it, or hate it, but you should know how to turn the effect on or off.