(Revised 11-12-01 to note changes in XP)

LINKS

Windows
Cleanup
Customizing
Shortcuts
Utilities

Hardware
Purchasing

Software
Installing
Deleting
Freeware
Shareware

Internet
E-Mail
ISP's
Downloading
Bookmarks
Favorites

Browsers

Office
Wordprocessing

FMS
About FMS

Services

How to print this page

 

Customizing the Windows Desktop
Applies to Windows 9X, ME & XP
Principles apply to Vista, but look different

Barrettism:
Always Back up your data before doing any maintenance

First be sure you understand what the Desktop is.
Click here for the classic 95/98/Me desktop.
Click here for the XP desktop.

Look on line for deatails on Windows 8 & 10.

Then check the page on Customizing Windows for some elementary settings.

The simplest change to make to your desktop is to change colors. To do this, right click on a blank area of the desktop and choose Properties. (Or use Control Panel, Display) In the resulting dialog box, select the Appearance tab. (The second figure shows how XP looks. It adds "Themes" to the list. Note that the wallpaper is in the Background" tab for 9x and renamed to Desktop" for XP. The settings are different, so just play with them)

Then drop the list under Scheme and choose a different scheme. This changes a group of elements all at once. If you don't find a combination you like, you can change individual elements and save your own scheme. Find a scheme with some elements you like and apply it. Then drop the Item list and choose the element you want to change. Depending on the element, you can change Size and or Colors. Using the second Color choice provides gradient color change from one part of the element to another. After you have made your selections, apply them to verify that they are satisfactory and then use Save as to save the scheme under any name you choose.

A word of caution: You can make a real mess here, so be careful. If you follow my advice to have Go Back installed before you play here, correcting serious errors is easy. Without Go Back, you may mess Windows up so badly that it is almost impossible to back out of and may require reloading Windows. Also see my disclaimer page. I am not responsible for any errors made by following the suggestions on these pages. You attempt them at your own risk. That's why Go Back is so valuable. You can make all the mistakes you want and recover in a matter of minutes.

NOTE: USE CAUTION USING GO BACK WITH WINDOWS XP. IT MAY CRASH WINDOWS AND YOU MAY HAVE TO RESTORE THE SYSTEM. Be sure to use a new version or download the update.

Note: this site is provided free. Donations are accepted to help support the work. Click here for instructions.


2000-2016, FMS All Rights Reserved. All original material on this site is copyrighted.
Copyrighted material from other sources and/or trademarked
material is the property of the respective owner.
If anyone feels any material on this site violates these rights, please
E-Mail me using the link above