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How To Personalize Your PC



What makes your home your home? Is it the furniture? Art? Some favorite collectibles on the shelves? Your PC does not have to be different. If you're new to Windows 10, we'll show you how to customize your PC to feel good your .

From the moment you turn on your PC for the first time, you'll be asked how you want to manage your privacy and security. Once you've completed this brief process, the fun begins: you can select wallpapers, configure your Start menu, and select apps and shortcuts. Consider this story as a supplement to our previous tutorial on how to set up your new PC efficiently and effectively. That's the fun.

The Windows 10 Out-of-the-Box Experience

When you buy a new PC, you will most likely go through what Microsoft calls an "out-of-the-box experience" OOBE. While the OOBE is simply a series of setup screens told by Cortana's voice, Jen Taylor, they can differ a little from PC to PC and be influenced by your decisions. In general, you can handle most questions without any intervention. You will be prompted for the preferred language and keyboard layout to connect to the wireless network, and so on.

  Windows 10 personalization name Mark Hachman / IDG

Personalization begins with your name. [19659008] Your key decisions can be summarized as follows: Whether you enter or create a Microsoft password, whether Cortana is activated, and how to choose your privacy settings. When you enter (or create) a Microsoft account, you can "follow" your settings from PC to PC, create a OneDrive Cloud storage account, and more. It is recommended to create an account, although you can use a local account and password instead.

  Windows 10 Personalization oobe windows hello Mark Hachman / IDG

If Windows Hello is enabled on your PC, you have an account chance to set it up in the OOBE. Do this! It literally takes only a few seconds.

It's also up to you if you want to enable Cortana, even though the icon on your desktop still lurks over the search box after setup is complete. You can work with the privacy settings, but you can also change them within Windows. We will talk about it later.

  Windows 10 personalization oobe privacy Mark Hachman / IDG

You can configure these privacy settings as you like, but you can also take the time to customize them later.

After a few minutes, the setup process finishes and you see the desktop of Windows 10.

Start Personalizing Your PC with Themes

. Assuming you have never logged in to a Microsoft account, you will see the default desktop wallpaper. It's time to make this PC yours! The easiest way is to right-click anywhere on the desktop and select Personalize .

. Personalize Windows 10 shortcuts Mark Hachman / IDG

Right-click on the desktop, click Personalize and off you go!

This opens the Windows 10 Preferences menu, Settings> Personalization> Wallpaper. You will see a list of wallpapers and an example of what it will look like. If that's good enough for you, fine. But it should not be so – there is so much more! To do so, navigate in the menu options on the left rail to Themes .

  Windows 10 personalization background Mark Hachman / IDG

We start in personalization settings.

Windows 10 themes are a collection of wallpapers that use virtually all the sounds and the mouse pointer that comes with Windows. But the reason why we are here is to click on the link in the middle of the page: Get more themes in the Microsoft Store .

  Windows 10 personalization designs Mark Hachman / IDG

If you already have existing themes, you can select them on this page.

Clicking on the link opens the store and the available themes – and there are literally dozens, the vast majority of them free. There is a tremendous focus on architecture, wildlife and nature photography, as well as a marked lack of (copyrighted) sports and pop art. Strangely enough, some themes of Microsoft's video game themes have not been released to the store, but appear in this list of themes that come with custom sounds like Halo: Reach, Angry Birds Eerie Fall, or the Côte d & # 39; azure.

  Windows 10 personalization theme store Mark Hachman / IDG

If you're a photography fan, there's a wealth of free backgrounds to choose from in the Microsoft Store theme area. A special feature: You must access these topics via the Settings menu. They are not currently available through the Store app.

Downloading designs from the store adds them to the list of themes. To download the themes with sounds from the second page, you must download them and then click on the downloaded file to install them. Note that you can click the Sounds icon on the Themes page of Settings, which opens the Control Panel. This is useful if you want to use one of the themes with custom sounds, but eventually get tired and switch to traditional Windows sounds instead.

You can download any number of themes and then select theme that can be used in menu Settings> Themes . Under Settings> Background you can choose how often the individual backgrounds in the themes are traversed. I prefer one per day, but you can refresh it as many times as one per minute.

  Dark Mode for Windows 10 Personalization Mark Hachman / IDG

The Settings> Colors menu has an option for a dark topic.

Your next stop should be ] Settings> Colors Setting that looks like an option for selecting accent colors. Boring, right? Well, no, the reason for the exploration is below where you can pick a dark or light theme. Try both! Some people really prefer less light from their laptops and monitors. Unfortunately, this is not universal: In Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, for example, you have to set a dark mode separately. But it is a start.

Although the "Fonts" setting in Personalization does not have much to offer, it's worth configuring the "Lock Screen" screen. This screen appears when your PC locks itself after a long time. For example, by adding your calendar information to the lock screen, Windows may display your next calendar when you return to your PC. This is a great way to mentally reset and plan the next step.

  Windows 10 personalization lock screen Mark Hachman / IDG

Allows you to set different apps to view updates from the lock screen, which will be displayed when they appear. You're away from your PC for a while away.

How to Organize Your Start Menu and Taskbar

Windows offers many different ways to do the same – in this case, launch apps. The Start menu is a compilation of the list of Windows 7 apps and the Windows 8 tiled user interface. Next to it is the search box, where you can type an app name to launch it. Next to is the taskbar to which you can attach frequently used apps.

  Start Menu for Windows 10 Personalization Mark Hachman / IDG

The Start menu in the bottom left-hand corner of all your apps.

How you organize your things is determined by your preferences. However, here are some suggestions to help you get started:

  • If you prefer a list of apps, navigate to Settings> Personalization> Start, and then turn on . Show Most Used Applications . This will make your most-used apps appear at the top of the list, so you will not have to scroll through them.
  Windows 10 Personalization Launches Popular Apps Mark Hachman / IDG

When you select it from the list of presets, Windows groups your most-used apps at the top of the stack.

  • If you're not using the list of apps, just the tiles, you can remove the list entirely from the same menu. You can even open the Start menu in Windows 8.1 full-screen mode.
  • Each of the tiles appears in one of the three folders (Productivity, Play, and Browse, by default) that you can right-click. If you right-click a tile, you can resize it. This is useful for apps that update information such as e-mail, calendar, or messages.
  Windows 10 customization customization tiles begin Mark Hachman / IDG

The Mail tile has been resized to be the largest available size. If there were unread emails, the tile would display the most recent entry.

  • If you hate the tiled user interface, you can manually "resolve" each tile to completely remove it. You can also uninstall some apps through this interface.
  • If you right-click a tile and attach it to More > To taskbar you can create a shortcut icon that comes to life in the series of icons in the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Remember, the more icons you pin, the less space you have for linking to active windows. Hovering over the taskbar icons will display a pop-up of the active windows under this app.
  • The taskbar can be completely disabled ( Settings> Personalization> Taskbar) or moved on the screen, such as . B. above or on the page. You can also create more room by turning off unused options such as "people" via the toggle switches.
      Windows 10 Personalization Taskbar Right Larger Mark Hachman / IDG

    A taskbar to the right? Unconventional, but sure, it is possible.

The Search Box and Cortana

If you have not turned it off, a search box should appear next to the Start icon. Here Cortana has united her consciousness with the general Windows search.

  Search box, larger 2 Mark Hachman / IDG

The search box appears at the bottom of the screen next to the Start menu icon. [19659008] At one point Cortana would monitor all your interests and surface messages as well as relevant information. Today she serves three purposes: as an assistant to answer questions, set reminders and create lists. If you click in the search box, you can ask a question ("What is the Eiffel Tower size?") And Bing will report the result. However, it is easier to go to Settings> Cortana and activate the trigger word "Hey Cortana". If your PC has a built-in microphone, you can ask Cortana these questions even if your PC is locked. You can also set reminders ("remind me to call the father at 8pm") or create a shopping list. Cortana ” width=”700″ height=”587″ data-imageid=”100780568″ data-license=”IDG”/> Mark Hachman / IDG

Cortana does not have the high profile she has. Earlier, but she's there to answer questions, set reminders, and more.

To better understand you, Cortana needs to know your information. In Settings> Cortana> Permissions & History enabling permission to allow access to your search log through the cloud and various devices makes it easier to find a document or other file through the search box. You can use File Explorer (the small folder icon in the system tray) to scan a file. You can also use the search box to search for it and get a list of suggestions.

  Personalization Search Results on Windows 10 Mark Hachman / IDG

Because of this, it is helpful to allow Windows to access your search history as we will teach you in the privacy section below.

The Microsoft Store App

As you may already know, the easiest way to configure your PC is to use the apps you want to download, and a simple link is the Microsoft Store. While you can access the store from the Start menu, simply enter the desired app in the Start menu and search for the corresponding store listing. Try something like "Facebook" or "Spotify".

  Microsoft Store Mark Hachman / IDG

From apps through games to videos, the Microsoft Store app is the Microsoft iTunes app.

Which apps your download is yours – and not all apps are available through the Microsoft Store! However, if you are looking for suggestions for free, free apps, here is our list.

The Action Center

Despite its name, the Action Center, located in the lower-right corner of the screen, can be a quiet corner of PC operations. The Action Center archives all the notifications you receive (new e-mail, calendar reminders, etc.) and displays them on the left side of the screen. In the lower third there are the quick actions where you can quickly customize things to your liking: adjust the brightness of our screen, enable sharing nearby, turn Wi-Fi on and off, and much more. You can always make these settings in the Settings menu (or sometimes even on your laptop keyboard), but they are designed to be easily accessible.

  Personalization Action Center in Windows 10 edit Mark Hachman / IDG

The Action Center hides from detailed notifications to shortcuts at the bottom of the screen.

In the October 2018 update of Windows 10, you have the option to move these little icons and organize them as you see fit.

A Brief Note on Privacy

Remember how we encouraged you to click through the OOBE and go beyond the privacy rules? Now is the time to think about what data Microsoft should provide through the menu Settings> Privacy .

  Windows 10 Privacy Mark Hachman / IDG

Truly Understanding Windows data protection options require some work, and Microsoft still has difficulty explaining to consumers what they are doing. Granting Microsoft access to your data has some advantages, but it's just the basics.

You can freely decide what data Microsoft receives from you. The trade-off, however, is that Microsoft wants you to believe that the more data you provide, the better your experience. There is something in it. For example, if you allow access to your search history and cloud documents, your searches should be more effective. However, ads will continue to appear. Therefore, it is really not necessary to create a "unique advertising ID". We therefore recommend that you deactivate this option under Settings> Privacy> Options. You can also set the Privacy> Diagnostics & Feedback data to Basic without any consequences. Would you like to delve deeper into Windows privacy? Have a look at our tutorial.

There are certainly other aspects that you can use to customize your PC: you can add a second monitor to enlarge your virtual workspace, uninstall bloatware like Candy Crush, or simply add a familiar old keyboard and mouse. Remember, it's just about making your PC … Your PC.


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