20 best desktop customization software to customize your desktop

5. Best-Of: Instant Customization

5.1 Best-Of List

While you may want to go for a system that really fits you, I understand that sometimes you just want it to look a bit better than the default themes and skins that Windows 10 has to offer.  Here is a list of tools you’ll want to use if you want a custom-to-order desktop. They’re reliable, largely free, and will create fantastic results.

  1. UltraUXThemePatcher: Without this, you’d be hard-pressed to find a custom theme for Windows 10 that actually works.
  2. Rainmeter: This is the widget king. The extent to which you can modify this is astounding, and there is no end to the tutorials and guides that can help you make Rainmeter fit.
  3. Fences: Fences is beyond helpful in organizing clutter and making your desktop a bit more pretty. You can change the colors of the fences how you wish, label them, and drop in all the files that we know are cluttering your desktop. Section 5.2 can tell you how to use it.
  4. VLC Player: There’s always going to be a debate on what’s the best media player, and for here I’ve decided that VLC will take the pedestal. Along with the vast customization options, it offers a wealth of other abilities, from playing some videos to actually streaming YouTube videos and playlists within the VLC application.
  5. F.lux: It’s very unhealthy to stare at a screen at night. The blues in the light simulate sunlight, and it means that getting to sleep can be a lot harder. Flux solves this problem, by reducing the blue hues as day turns to night. It takes a while to get used to it, but you’ll sleep better, and it reduces strain on the eyes.
  6. Classic Shell: Many who switched to Windows 8 instantly disliked it for a lot of reasons, but especially the death of the start menu. This problem is (partially) solved with the 8.1 update, but this application should let you get back that beloved windows button – and its menu.

With these pieces of software, you’ll be able to turn Windows 10 (and most other modern Windows versions) into a personalized command console.

Custom Desktop Logo 2.0 (795KB)

Create Custom Static and Animated Desktop Logos.

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1.

Windows 8.1 Update Rollup — August 2016

Easily install the latest updates and fixes for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

2922

2.

Free and open source Linux distribution.

5377

3.

Dock panels to the edge of the screen or arrange them anywhere on the desktop.

20399

4.

Context menu extension to copy the path of a file to the clipboard.

3815

5.

Console is a Windows console window enhancement.

5215

6.

Creates a color-and-opacity configurable tinted overlay.

11645

7.

Give old programs look of Windows XP.

5268

8.

Easily access recently modified files in any directory you select.

4140

9.

Shell extension that allows the user to copy the file/folder path in various formats.

10780

10.

Free software that allows end-users to run applications written in Java.

17581

11.

Add XP styles effects to Windows 98SE.

11363

12.

A freeware program that will run your Linux LiveCD on Windows.

6474

13.

Provides full access to God Mode administration in Windows.

5529

14.

The 64-Bit version of the powerful Fedora Linux-based operating system.

106185

15.

Custom Desktop Logo 2.0 Free Download Page

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Create Custom Static and Animated Desktop Logos.

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External Download Link 1

Note: If you experience problems downloading Custom Desktop Logo 2.0, please download the file without using your download manager and check your firewall settings.

Related Software
DOWNLOADS

1.

Windows 8.1 Update Rollup — August 2016

Easily install the latest updates and fixes for Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

2922

2.

Free and open source Linux distribution.

5377

3.

Dock panels to the edge of the screen or arrange them anywhere on the desktop.

20399

4.

Context menu extension to copy the path of a file to the clipboard.

3815

5.

Console is a Windows console window enhancement.

5215

6.

Creates a color-and-opacity configurable tinted overlay.

11645

7.

Give old programs look of Windows XP.

5268

8.

Easily access recently modified files in any directory you select.

4140

9.

Shell extension that allows the user to copy the file/folder path in various formats.

10780

10.

Free software that allows end-users to run applications written in Java.

17581

11.

Add XP styles effects to Windows 98SE.

11363

12.

A freeware program that will run your Linux LiveCD on Windows.

6474

13.

Provides full access to God Mode administration in Windows.

5529

14.

The 64-Bit version of the powerful Fedora Linux-based operating system.

106185

15.

An elegant and powerful task management utility for Windows OS.

5960

Contact Us:

CATEGORIES

How-To’s / Top 5’s

Antivirus

Audio/Video

Business / Organize

Desktop Enhancements

Developer Tools

Drivers

Essential Software

Games

Graphics / Design

Home / Education

Internet

Mobile / Smartphone Tools

Network

Programming

Screensavers

Security / Privacy

Utilities

1. Introduction to Desktop Customization

1.1 Why Should I Customize My Desktop?

Others have grown to love the thrill of customization. First, you begin customizing your Start Menu tiles. Then, program icons. Next thing you know, you’re simulating whole operating systems within your Windows 10 environment.

Think of your PC like a desk. Now imagine working at an empty desk every day. No matter your PC knowledge — whether you consider yourself an amateur or a pro — no one has to settle for a boring desktop. Let your personality flow through your screen. Read on to go from drab and default to outstanding in minutes!

1.2 How This Guide Is Written

This guide is best read from beginning to end. Since desktop customization often requires both prior knowledge and multiple programs, it’s best to start off with simple feature changes. Slowly but surely — as you gain experience dealing with different parts of the Windows 10 UI — you’ll learn how to customize more and more.

If you’d like a simple one-click solution, though, feel free to jump ahead to the Themes section.

Custom Desktop Logo 2.0 Free Download Page

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Create Custom Static and Animated Desktop Logos.

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External Download Link 1

Note: If you experience problems downloading Custom Desktop Logo 2.0, please download the file without using your download manager and check your firewall settings.

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DOWNLOADS

1.

Add, remove and customize context menus items of file objects.

33778

2.

Reorder taskbar buttons in-place.

6649

3.

Allows you to use un-signed custom visual styles in Windows Vista.

17888

4.

Allows users to add a cascading menu to their right click context menu.

8741

5.

Play games, run apps, and enjoy a full Android experience on your PC.

72927

6.

Transform your Windows user interface to a great new stlye.

12287

7.

Vize is a GUI enhancer for Windows Vista.

4288

8.

Allows users to change their Windows 2000 and Windows XP boot screens.

6915

9.

Brings the MacOS X feature of previewing files without opening their associated applications to Windows.

2021

10.

Enable Windows XP styles for ANY application!

37924

11.

Free and open source Linux distribution.

5377

12.

A safe way to change the look and feel of your Windows desktop.

6035

13.

Completely change the look of Windows XP with new GUI, icons, avis, bmps.

7378

14.

Dock panels to the edge of the screen or arrange them anywhere on the desktop.

20399

15.

Free server software for easy-to-use IT operations and management of user identities and rights.

5784

Contact Us:

CATEGORIES

How-To’s / Top 5’s

Antivirus

Audio/Video

Business / Organize

Desktop Enhancements

Developer Tools

Drivers

Essential Software

Games

Graphics / Design

Home / Education

Internet

Mobile / Smartphone Tools

Network

Programming

Screensavers

Security / Privacy

Utilities

6. Wrapping Up

6.1 Making It All Come Together

Your desktop is just that — your desktop. You can turn it into anything. Change colors, change icons, change themes — within only a few minutes, you can create a desktop environment that will have friends and coworkers giving your screen a second look.

For example, the desktop presented above only requires a GIF and a few Rainmeter skins to create. Just like that, you have a desktop with a distinct color palette and looping movement using free software and a little know-how.

Keep in mind that your desktop will only be as good as the time you put into it. While a proper, beautiful desktop may take minutes to set up, it may take hours of skin scavenging and option changing to configure your desktop exactly.

6.2 Best Practices

There are a few things I absolutely have to mention before you go crazy customizing every aspect of your Windows 10 UI.

Always create a system restore point before editing your desktop and UI. Always. Whether you’ve been customizing Windows since XP, or just started, you can still run into problems at every step. In fact, developers will often make this fact as clear as possible.

Additionally, less is more when it comes to Windows customization. Most seek to stack as much functionality as humanly possible into their desktop, only to see it once a day. That is, before shutdown. Even if you only install Fences onto your desktop, you’ve shed the load of a cluttered desktop. Stick with one or two desktop customization programs at a time.

6.3 Interested in More Customization?

If you are interested in some more tutorials and articles on customization, there is a wealth of programs and tutorials right here on MakeUseOf that you can use. Here’s a simple list containing some of our best tutorials for using a few of the programs listed below.

  • Windows 10 Taskbar Customization: The Complete Guide
  • How to Change the Look and Feel of Your Windows 10 Desktop
  • 10 Quick Ways to Customize & Personalize Windows 10
  • 7 Best Tools to Tweak and Customize Windows 10
  • How to Customize Any Icon in Windows
  • 6 Ways to Hack & Customize the Windows 10 Start Menu
  • How to Change the Windows Login Screen Message and Font

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Google offers personalized search results, which is really useful, but you may wish to turn off the feature. Here’s how you can stop it.

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About The Author

Christian Bonilla
(83 Articles Published)

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In this section

These are some common ways to customize your desktop device. You will also find the technical reference for Unattend and WSIM.

Topic Description
Customize the taskbar You can pin up to three additional apps to the taskbar by adding a taskbar layout modification file, for example, TaskbarLayoutModification.xml. You can specify different taskbar configurations based on SKU, device locale, or region.
Customize the Start layout Learn how to customize the Start menu with a group of your own tiles.
Customize OOBE When customers turn on their Windows PCs for the first time, they will see the Windows Out of Box Experience (OOBE). Customize OOBE to determine how much work customers must do to complete the OOBE screens before they can enjoy their PCs running Windows 10.
Customize the Retail Demo Experience (RDX) Showcase your new devices on the retail sales floor with a rich, engaging videos and experiences.
Customize the Windows power slider The Windows Performance Power slider enables end customers to quickly and intelligently trade performance of their system for longer battery life. You can set the default slider mode for both AC and DC, and configure the power settings and PPM options that are engaged in each power slider mode.
Set dark mode This personalization setting for end users allows them to express preference whether to see applications which support the setting in a dark or light mode. You can set the dark mode as the default for apps using Unattend.
Customize the Get Help app The Get Help app empowers customers to self-help with troubleshooters, instant answers, Microsoft support articles, and more, before contacting assisted support. You can customize the Get Help app to surface your support app or support website.
Customize SIM card slot names You can customize the names of SIM card slots on the device to more easily differentiate between them. For example, if the device has both an embedded SIM slot and an external SIM slot, customizing the names will help your customers understand which is which.
Customize a Specific Absorption Rate mapping table You can configure and store a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) table for mobile broadband modems in the registry. When a mobile broadband modem is connected to the Windows device, Windows automatically uses the table to map the mobile country code (MCC) of the modem’s registered mobile operator (MO) to its appropriate SAR back-off index, and configures the modem with it.
Pen and Windows ink You can create an advanced Pen settings app, or link to your own apps, in the Pen and Windows Ink settings.
Windows SIM Technical Reference Settings reference for Windows System Image Manager.
Unattended Windows Setup Reference Settings reference for Unattend.

Custom Desktop Logo 2.0 (795KB)

Create Custom Static and Animated Desktop Logos.

Advertisement

External Download Link 1

Note: If you experience problems downloading Custom Desktop Logo 2.0, please download the file without using your download manager and check your firewall settings.

Related Software
DOWNLOADS

1.

Add, remove and customize context menus items of file objects.

33778

2.

Reorder taskbar buttons in-place.

6649

3.

Allows you to use un-signed custom visual styles in Windows Vista.

17888

4.

Allows users to add a cascading menu to their right click context menu.

8741

5.

Play games, run apps, and enjoy a full Android experience on your PC.

72927

6.

Transform your Windows user interface to a great new stlye.

12287

7.

Vize is a GUI enhancer for Windows Vista.

4288

8.

Allows users to change their Windows 2000 and Windows XP boot screens.

6915

9.

Brings the MacOS X feature of previewing files without opening their associated applications to Windows.

2021

10.

Enable Windows XP styles for ANY application!

37924

11.

Free and open source Linux distribution.

5377

12.

A safe way to change the look and feel of your Windows desktop.

6035

13.

Completely change the look of Windows XP with new GUI, icons, avis, bmps.

7378

14.

Dock panels to the edge of the screen or arrange them anywhere on the desktop.

20399

15.

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