Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Personalizing your computer

You can add a personal touch to your computer by changing the computer's theme, color, sounds, desktop background, screen saver, font size, and user account picture. You can also select specific gadgets for your desktop.


A theme includes a desktop background, a screen saver, a window border color, sounds, and sometimes icons and mouse pointers. You can choose from several Aero themes. Use the whole theme or create your own customized theme by changing the pictures, colors, and sounds individually. You can also find more themes online at the Windowswebsite. For more information, see What is a theme?

Picture of the components of a themeComponents of a theme


Aero is the premium visual experience of this version of Windows. It features a transparent glass design with subtle window animations, a new Start menu, a new taskbar, and new window border colors. For more information, see What is the Aero desktop experience?

Picture of window border colorsWindow border colors that are available with Aero

To learn how to change colors in Windows, see Change the colors on your computer.


You can change the sounds your computer makes when, for example, you receive e‑mail, start Windows, or shut down your computer. For more information, see Change computer sounds.

Desktop background

The desktop background, also called wallpaper, is a picture, color, or design on the desktop. It provides a backdrop to your open windows. You can choose one picture to be your desktop background or you can display a slide show of pictures. For more information, see Create a desktop background slide show and Change your desktop background (wallpaper).

Picture of desktop backgrounds that come with WindowsSome of the desktop background choices in Windows

Screen saver

A screen saver is a picture or animation that appears on the screen when you haven't used the mouse or keyboard for a set period of time. You can choose from a variety ofWindows screen savers. For more information, see Change your screen saver.

Font size

You can make the text, icons, and other items on your screen larger by increasing the dots per inch (DPI) scale. You can also decrease the DPI scale to make text and other items on your screen smaller, to fit more on the screen. For more information, see Make the text on your screen larger or smaller.

User account picture

A user account picture helps identify your account on a computer. The picture is displayed on the Welcome screen and on the Start menu. You can change your user account picture to one of the pictures included with Windows, or you can use your own. For more information, see Choose a picture for your user account and Start menu.

Desktop gadgets

Desktop gadgets are customizable mini-programs that can display information, such as continuously updated headlines or a picture slide show, without having to open a new window. For more information, see Desktop gadgets: frequently asked questions andCustomize desktop gadgets.

Picture of gadgets on a desktopGadgets on a desktop

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