How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

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Windows 8’s new Start screen has been hotly debated since the operating system launched in preview mode earlier this year. Acknowledged by some as a bold step into the tablet market, and criticized by many others who prefer the familiar desktop experience, the new ‘Modern UI Style’ home is here to stay. But beyond not offering a way to bypass this screen (not without the help of third-party utilities), surprisingly Microsoft is also limiting your options when it comes to customizing the Start screen’s appearance. You can choose from a couple color schemes and 10 stock background images, but that’s about it.

We’ve seen some workarounds before but they require firing up the HEX editor to modify system files, and you are still limited to 256-color background images in a handful of specific sizes. That’s more work than most people are probably willing to bother with and as you can imagine the results are not quite optimal.

Enter Decor8. Stardock’s latest Windows 8 customization app removes this limitation by giving users the ability to pick any picture they want, regardless of size or color range, as the Start screen background.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

The program is pretty straightforward to use. Upon launching Decor8, you’ll be presented with a set of background images to choose from, including the start screen and desktop background images that Windows 8 ships with and also a set of wallpapers that Stardock ships with the app. You get the usual fill, fit, tile and center options available in the classic desktop, and the program will automatically create a color scheme to match each of your background images — or you can manually customize the color scheme if you’re so inclined.

You can add folders to the program to use your own photos and images as background. There’s also the option to select multiple background images by holding down the Ctrl key, and have them rotate on a set time interval, as well as the option to fade background images against the start screen color for a subtle effect.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Sadly, Decor8 is not free. Stardock offers a free 30-day trial but otherwise asks a modest $4.99 for the app. It’s a little unnerving to pay for such basic functionality but if you wish to customize the Windows 8 Start screen beyond what Microsoft offers this is the easiest-to-use tool we’ve found. It does one thing and it does it well.

Other useful Windows 8 tweaks

While we are at it, you may want to revisit other ways to customize and tweak Windows 8 to your liking.

  • Bring back the classic start menu. Another common complaint about Windows 8 is the lack of the old and trustworthy Start menu button on the desktop. Fortunately there are a handful of replacements available from third-parties, including the open source Classic Shell, Stardock’s Start8, and Pokki.
  • Simplify search. Windows search isn’t perfect. Some of us would argue it’s been getting worse. Although you can’t do much about this you can make results less cluttered by excluding some apps you don’t intend to use. Go to Win + I > Change PC Settings > Search to manage the search list.
  • Restart Explorer. If Explorer locks up for some reason, there’s no need to close the process any more. Just hit press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager, select Explorer in the list, and click Restart on the bottom-right corner of the window (or through the right-click contextual menu).
  • Keyboard shortcuts and more. Even before Windows 8 was finalized we were getting our hands dirty discovering what the new OS had to offer. Check out our shortlist of Windows 8 tricks and keyboard shortcuts.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

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Generic Company Place Holder Start Screen Animations Tweaker

There are any number of products promising to restore the start menu to Windows 8, but there are not so many to help you customize the tiles that have replaced it. You can give the animations on the Windows 8 grid menu a bit more zip with Start Screen Animations Tweaker. This nice little free portable piece of software allows you to dictate the speed of the animations and the background wallpaper to have it exactly the way you want it.

The portable free Start Screen Animations Tweaker is a neat little tool which adds a bit of liveliness to your Windows 8 animations in the start menu grid.

It may seem like a small insignificant thing to accomplish, but if you are looking the grid and using it all day long, making it go faster will matter. It makes the screen load faster, which enables you to open programs faster. It may only amount to a gain of a few seconds, but add those seconds up over the course of a day or a week, and you will start to see why using this app may prove beneficial. And it’s also quite entertaining, pressing the WIN key and watching the tiles fly across the screen.

It’s less entertaining when File Explorer crashes after repeated WIN key presses. The developer claims this is not a bug of the software, but a bug from Windows 8.

Since this is a portable app, no installation is required. Just unzip the contents of the downloaded zip file into its own folder. It is worth pointing out that the download link on the website is a bit camouflaged. The gray “download” button sits next to a green “download” button. The gray one is the one to click. The green one is a Google Adsense advert. Whether this is an honest error from the developer or an underhanded way to make some Adsense money is unclear. But nevertheless you should be careful and click the correct button: gray, not green.

It is possible to slow down the scrolling of the background wallpaper. This is called the Parallax effect. This setting can either speed it up or slow it down.

Once you have the unzipped portable program in its new folder, open it up and you will see four sliders: two for username and picture animation, and two for tiles animation. The purpose of the four sliders is to determine how fast or slow you want those elements to go when you activate the grid start menu. The developer provides recommended settings, and those were good enough for me. If you want, though, you can easily play around with the sliders and see what you prefer. If you don’t like it, hit the “reset to defaults” button and what you’ve just done will be reversed. So nothing is permanent and everything can be put back the way it was. So don’t worry, you won’t break anything.

The other feature is the “Parallax effect”. In a nutshell, this involves either speeding up or slowing down the scrolling effect of the grid menu background wallpaper. Normally, when you have tiles that go off the screen, you need to scroll to get to them. In this instance, you may notice that the wallpaper moves a bit faster than the tiles. With Start Screen Animations Tweaker, you can now slow it down—or speed it up even more if you want.

Simply click “tune up the Parallax effect” and move the slider back and forth (and again, there is a reset button you can use if necessary). If you try both ends of the slider, you’ll see what I am talking about with the speed of the wallpaper scrolling. It’s one of those things you need to do yourself to understand exactly what I mean.

As I said, little tweaks like this may just seem like playing and not really “useful”. But the speed with which you can open apps is entirely dependent on how fast certain elements of the PC react. If the grid menu takes time to open up, that affects how long it will take to then open a program. It is worth giving Start Screen Animations Tweaker a go and seeing if you can tweak your Windows 8 grid menu to go that little bit faster and smoother.

Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor’s site, where you can download the latest version of the software.

– Last updated on October 14, 2012 by VG

We all know about the new Start Screen present in Microsoft’s latest OS Windows 8 . Its a replacement of the good old Start Menu of Windows OS. It shows tiles of installed and built-in programs with live previews.

When you boot into Windows 8 and login using your username and password, the Start Screen appears with a smooth animation but this animation is shown only once i.e. at first login. After that if you switch to Start Screen from Desktop or from any other app, the animation is not shown by Windows.

But there is a simple Registry tweak available which can be used to force Windows to show the animation each time you access Start Screen. There are also Registry tweaks available to customize this animation such as user picture, username and tile offset.

Following is a preview of the animation which you’ll get after following this tutorial:

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

If you want to enable this secret animation in Windows 8 Start Screen, follow these simple steps:

A. Registry Tweak to Enable Animation in Start Screen

1. Press “WIN+R” key combination to launch RUN dialog box then type regedit and press Enter. It’ll open Registry Editor.

2. Now go to following key:

3. In right-side pane, create a new DWORD Launcher_SessionLoginAnimation_OnShow and set its value to 1

4. That’s it. It’ll immediately enable the animation in Start Screen.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

5. You can also customize this animation settings with the help of following additional DWORDs:

Launcher_SessionLogin_Icon_Offset – You can create this DWORD to set the offset for user picture shown at Start Screen. You can set its value to 1000.

Launcher_SessionLogin_IconText_Offset – You can create this DWORD to set the offset for user name shown at Start Screen. You can set its value to 2000.

Launcher_SessionLogin_IndividualTower_Offset – You can create this DWORD to control the “far” left corner of Start Screen from where Tiles will fly during animation. You can set its value to 1000.

Launcher_SessionLogin_Tower_Offset – You can create this DWORD to control the right position from where Tiles slides to their regular positions. You can set its value to 100.

The above DWORDs will also be created in the same place as mentioned in step 2.

PS: If you don’t like the changes or face problems, you can restore default settings by simply deleting the new DWORDs created in steps 3 and 5.

B. Freeware to Enable Animation in Start Screen

You can also try following free portable utility to do the task automatically:

Start Screen Animations Tweaker” is a free software for Windows 8 which allows you to enable the hidden secret animation in Start Screen. You just need to enable and customize the given options and then apply the changes.

It also comes with an option “Recommended settings” which contains predefined optimal settings that can be used as a starting point. It also allows you to restore default settings if you don’t like the new changes.

The utility works fine in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8. You can download it using following link:

Download Link

UPDATE: Many people have faced various problems like Explorer crash, Metro apps not opening, etc after using this tool so we have decided to remove the download link.

About the author: Vishal Gupta (also known as VG) has been awarded with Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award. He holds Masters degree in Computer Applications (MCA). He has written several tech articles for popular newspapers and magazines and has also appeared in tech shows on various TV channels.


NOTE: Older comments have been removed to reduce database overhead.

It’s full of bugs…apps are not opening properly after enabling this animation

i use 64 bit windows 8. should the DWORD value be of 64 bit .

^^ No. Create normal DWORD.

Worked fine here while testing.

Makes explorer crash for me. Also makes metro apps not work.

During opening apps explorer restarts always

i dont hav windows 8 on my PC but, DAMN… animation looks sorta glitchy.

During opening apps explorer restarts always..why this is happen.

Windows 8 Explorer crashes repeatedly. It comes a day after applying this patch. Whenever any metro app is opened it restarts the explorer.

Da Win+Tab shortcut won’t work after this…

for me it already look like that (in faster) without modify anything

The reg tweak worked fine on my Surface RT. The software of course, doesn’t.

When I used the first trick to make animaton, it worked but Soluto showed me a small report about windows explorer crashing.

The 64 bit menu voice you are talking about, is *Q*WORD, not *D*WORD.

dont try this! even it is good but makes the os lagging and some of the things like store,etc. dont even open.really bad

Metro apps from Windows Store not working properly

The apps did not open properly. I had to delete all the keys created.

after tweaking my regedit, this action destroyed my start menu animation. now i’m having a hard time reverting back.

^^ You can simply delete the DWORDS created in the tutorial to revert back to default settings.

No more animation effects or nothing after changing all you said. Why.? not even after restarting.

What it made my computer so frickn slow but good thinking

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations


How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

A Windows 8 Start képernyő. A Microsoft operációs rendszerének legfrissebb változatának nagyon megkülönböztető jellemzője, és a széleskörű diszkrimináció a megjelenés és a működés szempontjából azt mutatja, hogy a szerszámok szinte azonnal felgyorsultak. Ha nem vagy elégedett a Start képernyő működésével, rengeteg mód van a testreszabására, és itt megnézzük a legjobb eszközöket.

Már megvizsgáltuk azokat a beépített lehetőségeket, amelyek a Start képernyő testreszabásához állnak rendelkezésre, beleértve azt is, hogyan csoportosítsuk össze a csempeit az Ön számára. Ha ez túl sok, sokféleképpen lehet visszaállítani a Start menüt.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

De azt gondoltuk, hogy megnézzük a harmadik fél eszközeit, amelyek rendelkezésre állnak, hogy segítsen neked elkészíteni a kezdőképernyőt, néhány beállítást és néhány kellemetlenséget kivágni.


A nagy névvel (Stardock) készült eszköz elindításával a Decor8 nem egy ingyenes segédprogram, de van egy próbaverzió is, így tesztelheti.

Kezdetben megbocsátottak neked, mert úgy gondolod, hogy még mindig a Windows 8 beépített beállításait használtad – a megjelenés nagyon hasonló. A dolgok meglehetősen egyszerűen kezdenek elindulni, de amellett, hogy képesek lesznek új háttérképet választani, lehetőség van arra, hogy véletlenszerű képeket használjon egy háttérben lévő mappából.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

A Háttér szakasz legördülő menüjében különböző animációs effektusok közül választhatunk, amelyek a kezdőképernyőn való görgetést kísérik, de az érdekes beállítások megváltoztathatók a Beállítások részhez történő lépéshez.

Itt nemcsak beállíthatja a megjelenített ikonok számát, és további változtatásokat végezhet a görgetési effektusokban (feltéve, hogy a parallax görgetés engedélyezett), de kihasználhatja az óra hasznos hozzáadását a Start képernyőre és úgy dönt, hogy ugyanazt a színsémát használja a Charms sávon, mint a Start képernyőn.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

A 4,99 dollárnál a Decor8 alig fogja megtörni a bankot, és remekül találja meg, hogy léteznek eszközök a megalapozott játékosok számára, de sok ingyenes lehetőség közül választhat, ha inkább a készpénzt akarod tartani.

Kezdõfelület animációk Tweaker

A név mindent itt mond. Ez a segédprogram kizárólag a Start képernyő animációs hatásainak módosítására vonatkozik, és semmi mást nem. Kezdeti képernyő animációk A Tweaker ingyenesen letölthető, bár előkészített egy kissé zavaró oldalra, több letöltési gombbal – csak győződjön meg arról, hogy a szürke gombokat használja.)

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Valószínűleg észrevette, hogy kissé eltérő animáció van, amikor a Start képernyő betöltődik bejelentkezéskor. A fő csempe animálásán kívül a felhasználónév és a felhasználói kép is megjelenik.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Ez megváltoztatható, így minden animáció minden alkalommal megjelenik a kezdőképernyőn, és négy csúszka használható az egyes animált elemek kezdőpontjának csípéséhez. Nyomja meg a “Javítás a Parallax effektusban” gombot, és finomhangolhatja a háttérképen használt parallax görgetés hatását, miközben átkapcsol a Start képernyőn. A 90-es évek játékosai valószínűleg ehhez a hatáshoz társítják a Mario-t a SNES-en.

Az egyéb azonnali hatást kiváltó animációs hatásokkal ellentétben, ha módosítja a parallax görgetési sebességet, újra kell indítani az Explorer-t. Mindössze annyit kell tennie, hogy kattintson a Parallax párbeszédpanel Alkalmazása parancsára, és előfordulhat, hogy kis késéssel és némi villogás jelenik meg, miközben a Start Screen Animations Tweaker mágiáját használja.

Windows 8 indító képernyő testreszabása

Néhány további lehetőség eléréséhez, beleértve a kezdőképernyő egészének és a csempék opacitásának beállítását, nézze meg a Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer programot. Van egyfajta crossover a többi Start képernyő tweakers, de képesek állítani az átlátszó szintek segít könnyíteni az átváltás asztali és Start képernyőn.

Vegye figyelembe, hogy ahhoz, hogy ez az alkalmazás működjön, ki kell töltenie a 7-zip használatával, módosítania kell a fájl kiterjesztését .exe-re, majd futtatni rendszergazdaként.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

A kezdőképernyőt az igényekhez igazítva módosíthatja a csempék megjelenítéséhez használt sorok számát. Ez egy jó lehetőség, ha egy kisebb képernyővel dolgozik, de ez is nagyszerű ahhoz, hogy a lehető legtöbb gyorsbillentyűvel összezsugorodjon.

Metro Scaler

Ha a kezdőképernyőn megjelenített sorok számának megváltoztatására törekszik, de nem érdekli a többi csípés, a Metro Scaler egy olyan célt szolgáló alkalmazás, amely csak az, amit keres .

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

A dolgok nagyon egyszerűek itt: csak használja a csúszkát, hogy jelezze a képernyő méretét, és a Metro Scaler ennek megfelelően módosítja a sorok számát. Természetesen mindig hazudhatsz, ha nem értesz egyet azzal, amit az alkalmazás úgy gondolja, hogy az optimális számú sor.

Természetesen ezeknek a csípéseknek a nagy részét a rendszerleíró adatbázis szerkesztésével lehet alkalmazni, de a csípéses alkalmazással a dolgok sokkal könnyebbé és gyorsabbá válnak. Mi a kedvenc csípés a Start képernyőhöz? Ossza meg gondolatait az alábbi megjegyzésekben.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations


How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

“Windows 8” paleidimo ekranas. Tai labai nenuosekli naujausios “Microsoft” operacinės sistemos versijos funkcija, o plačiai nemėgsta, kaip ji atrodo ir veikia, rodo didžiulį įrankių skaičių, kurį galima pagreitinti, kad iškilo beveik iš karto. Jei nesate patenkintas tuo, kaip veikia “Start” ekranas, yra daugybė būdų, kaip jį pritaikyti, ir čia apžvelgsime keletą geriausių įrankių.

Mes jau pažvelgėme į pastatytas parinktis, kurias galima pritaikyti “Start” ekranui, įskaitant tai, kaip grupuoti plyteles kartu, kad jums tinka. Jei viskas per daug, yra daug būdų, kuriais galite grąžinti meniu Pradėti.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Tačiau mes manėme, kad norėtume pažvelgti į kai kurias trečiųjų šalių įrankius, kurie padės jums sukurti savo ekraną “Pradėti”, keisti keletą nustatymų ir ištaisyti kai kuriuos nepatogumus.


Pradedant naudoti įrankį iš didelio vardo (“Stardock”), “Decor8” nėra nemokamas įrankis, tačiau yra bandomosios versijos, todėl galite ją išbandyti.

Iš pradžių jums bus atleista galvoti, kad vis dar naudojate “Windows 8” įdiegtus nustatymus – išvaizda yra labai panaši. Iš pradžių atrodo gana paprasta, bet be galimybės pasirinkti naują fono vaizdą, taip pat yra galimybė naudoti atsitiktinius vaizdus iš aplanko, kuriame yra visi fonai.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Išplečiamojo meniu “Fono” skyriuje galite naudoti skirtingus animacijos efektus, kad galėtumėte slinkti per “Pradžios” ekraną, bet daugiau įdomių nustatymų galite pakeisti persijungdami į skyrių Parinktys.

Čia galite ne tik koreguoti rodomų piktogramų eilučių skaičių ir toliau keisti sparčiuosius efektus (darant prielaidą, kad įjungtas paralakso slinkimas), bet taip pat galite pasinaudoti naudingu papildomu laikrodžiu prie “Pradžios” ekrano, taip pat pasirenkama naudoti tą pačią spalvų schemą “Charms” juostoje, kaip ir pradinio ekrano.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Už 4,99 dolerio “Decor8” vargu ar ketina pertraukti banką, ir labai malonu sužinoti, kad yra tam tikrų veikiančių žaidėjų įrankių, tačiau taip pat yra daug laisvų pasirinkimų, jei norite pakabinti savo pinigus.

Pradėti ekrano animacijos Tweaker

Pavadinimas sako viską čia. Šis įrankis yra susijęs tik su “Start” ekrano animacijos efektų koregavimais ir nieko kito. Pradžios ekrano animacijos “Tweaker” galima atsisiųsti nemokamai, nors jūs turėtumėte būti pasirengę šiek tiek painiojantį puslapį su keliomis atsisiuntimo mygtukomis – tik būtinai naudokite pilkus mygtukus).

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Jūs tikriausiai pastebėjote, kad yra šiek tiek kitokia animacija, naudojama, kai pradinis ekranas įkeltas prisijungiant. Be pagrindinių plytelių animacijos, jūsų vartotojo vardas ir vartotojo įvaizdis taip pat perteikia vaizdą.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Tai gali būti pakeista, taigi visos animacijos naudojamos kiekvieną kartą, kai rodomas pradinis ekranas, o keturi slankmačiai gali būti naudojami norint nustatyti kiekvieno animacinio elemento pradinį tašką. Paspauskite mygtuką “Tune-up Parallax effect” (“Tune-up parallax effect”), ir jūs galite tiksliai nustatyti paralakso slinkties efektą, kuris naudojamas jūsų fono paveikslėlyje, kai peržiūrėsite pradžios ekrano plytelę. 90s žaidėjai tikriausiai susieja šį poveikį su “Mario” SNES.

Skirtingai nuo kitų animacijos efektų, kurie iškart ima veikti, jei jūs pakeisite parolakso slinkimo greitį, “Explorer” reikia paleisti iš naujo. Viskas, ką jums reikia padaryti, spustelėkite “Taikyti” paralelinio dialogo lange, ir jūs galite pastebėti, kad yra nedidelis delsimas ir tam tikras ekrano mirgėjimas, o “Start Screen Animations Tweaker” veikia savo magija.

“Windows 8” pradžios ekrano pritaikymo priemonė

Jei norite pasiekti keletą kitų parinkčių, įskaitant viso ekrano pradžios ir plytelių nelygumo nustatymą, peržiūrėkite “Windows 8” pradžios ekrano pritaikymą. Su kitais “Start” ekrano trikdikliais yra kryžminio lygio, tačiau gebėjimas reguliuoti skaidrumo lygį padeda palengvinti perėjimą tarp darbalaukio ir “Start” ekrano.

Atkreipkite dėmesį, kad norint, kad ši programa veiktų, turėsite išgauti naudodami 7-zip, pakeisti failo plėtinį į .exe, tada paleisti kaip administratorius.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Taip pat galite pritaikyti “Start” ekraną pagal savo poreikius, koreguodami plytelių rodymo eilučių skaičių. Tai yra geras pasirinkimas, jei dirbate su mažesniu ekranu, tačiau taip pat puiku, jei įmanoma, kad būtų galima įvesti kuo daugiau nuorodų.

Metro skaleris

Jei ieškote būdų, kaip pakeisti paleidimo ekrane rodomų eilučių skaičių, tačiau jus nesidomi jokie kiti tweaks, “Metro Scaler” yra vienintelė paskirtis, kuri gali būti tik tai, ko ieškote. .

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Čia labai paprasta: naudokite slankiklį, norėdami parodyti ekrane naudojamą ekraną, o “Metro Scaler” atitinkamai sureguliuos eilučių skaičių. Žinoma, visada galite meluoti, jei nesutinkate su tuo, ką programa laiko optimalia eilučių skaičiumi.

Žinoma, daugelis šių tweaks gali būti pritaikomi redaguojant registrą, tačiau dirbant su “tweaking” programa, dalykai tampa daug lengviau ir greičiau. Kokie yra jūsų mėgstamiausių “Start” ekrano tweaks? Pasidalykite savo mintimis toliau pateiktose pastabose.

– Last updated on November 19, 2012 by VG

Now almost everyone is aware of new Start Screen introduced in Windows 8 OS. Its a replacement of the old Start Menu present in Windows OS. It shows live tiles of installed programs as well as built-in system tools. Some people love it but some are not very comfortable with it.

As usual the new Start Screen in Windows 8 is not very customizable. There are a few built-in background images available to choose from and a few built-in color schemes, that’s all. There is no option given to apply your desired wallpaper as background image in Start Screen.

Today in this topic, we are going to share an absolutely free software to tweak and customize Windows 8 Start Screen. “Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer” is a free tool for Windows 8 created by “vhanla” @ DA which allows you to customize Start Screen in Windows 8.

This freeware allows you to:

  • Change Windows 8 Start Screen background image
  • Change number of rows of tiles in Windows 8 Start Screen
  • Customize transparency / opacity of Start Screen and tiles
  • Set current Desktop wallpaper as Start Screen background
  • Set multiple images slideshow as Start Screen background

The best thing of this tool is that it doesn’t modify any system file to change the background image. It just paints the new background over the default background image.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

You can select your desired wallpaper as background image using the “Load Picture” button. You can also select which portion of the wallpaper should be visible on Start Screen by adjusting the image placeholder using your mouse.

Following is a preview of the Windows 8 Start Screen having new modified background image:

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Apart from changing background image, you can also change number of rows of tiles visible at Start Screen. You can increase or decrease the number of tiles. Please keep in mind that maximum number of rows depends upon your screen resolution.

One of the most impressive and interesting feature present in this freeware is the ability to put transparency in Start Screen. You can adjust the opacity of Start Screen and tiles using the sliders. You can make the Start Screen background see through.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

You’ll need to select “Run at startup” option if you want to see your desired wallpaper each time you log into Windows 8.

Interested people can download this free tool using following link:

Download Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer

UPDATE: It seems the software has been removed by the developer. You can try a similar software from Stardock called “Decor8” which also allows you to tweak and customize Windows 8 Start Screen. It can change Start Screen background, number of rows of tiles and a few other things. You can check out the software details at following link:

About the author: Vishal Gupta (also known as VG) has been awarded with Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award. He holds Masters degree in Computer Applications (MCA). He has written several tech articles for popular newspapers and magazines and has also appeared in tech shows on various TV channels.


NOTE: Older comments have been removed to reduce database overhead.

Wow. I love the transparency effect. Thanks VG. 🙂

WOW Transparency Effect is Awsome!!

Thanks for Sharing it VG

. and the Developer.

It does in-memory patching? You had no stability issues?

^^ Nope. I had no issues while testing it. It was flawless.

ive been using stardocks decor8 beta and it has one feature this one doesnt that not only allows you to choose your own pictures for the background,but can select multiple ones and have them changing at different intervals like the desktop wallpaper does.if you can add that,it would be great.thanks.

Time for me to say goodbye to “Start Menu”. Welcome Metro

Thanks for wonderful program

I have one request to unlock the opacity limit below to 0 instead of 100.

I would like to completely make the back ground color transparent

Thank you again !

This is amazing man, it really works. keep it up.

Hey nice but i’ll prefer to use decor8,because having multiple features as compare to this one..

I was looking for an app, after trying decor8, that adds the ability to make the tiles transparent and it seems you have done that. However, either I’m missing it but I don’t seem to be able to change the picture of the lock screen anymore. Adding that in would be great, IMHO!. The other option which jumps out at me in my wish list is the ability to fully customize the size and position of the tiles in addition to changing the number of rows. For example, I would like to be able to place the tiles on the start screen exactly where I want them to be and size them exactly the size I want..

I’m going to donate because I think you have a good thing here. I hope you stick with it.. Thanks!!

Windows 8.1 users can easily move and resize tiles, create and name groups of tiles, change the background image, and pin freshly installed apps on the Start screen.

The Windows 8 Start screen is largely a love-it-or-hate affair. But even those who aren’t too keen on the screen may welcome the new ways you can customize it in the Windows 8.1 Preview.

Right off the bat, Windows 8.1 offers a dedicated Customize button for the Start screen where you can tweak a variety of settings. Right-click anywhere on the Start screen to display the app bar and click on the Customize button. You can also right-click on any tile to open the Customize view.

The screen dims slightly. You can now drag and drop any tile to another spot on the screen. Moving a tile by dragging and dropping is nothing new. But in this Customize view, you can’t accidentally open an app by clicking on or tapping its tile.

You can select multiple tiles by clicking on them, and then drag and drop all of your selected tiles en masse to another spot. There’s an array of other options that can be run on multiple tiles.

You can unpin them from the Start screen, uninstall them, resize them, turn off any live tiles, or just clear the selection. You also have more tile sizes from which to choose. Certain tiles offer a choice of small, medium, wide, and large. You can enlarge the tiles for your favorite apps and shrink the ones for apps you rarely use.

If you organize your tiles into distinct groups, you can more easily name them. In the Customize view, simply click on the text box for Name Group and enter a name.

To get out of Customize view, just click or tap on the Customize button on the app bar.

What other tricks will you find in the new Start screen? Less clutter for one.

In Windows 8, any app you install automatically takes up residence on the Start screen, easily turning it into a crowded and disorganized mess. In Windows 8.1, apps don’t make their way to the Start screen unless you pin them there.

After you install a new app, click on the down arrow in the lower left corner of the Start screen. That takes you to the App screen where you’ll see any recently-installed apps highlighted with the word New. Right-click on the tile or tiles of any apps that you wish to appear on the Start screen and click on the Pin to Start button. Windows 8.1 then transports you back to the Start screen to reveal the new tile.

Finally, more choices are available for you to change the color and background of the Start screen.

Hover your mouse over the small dash icon in the lower right corner of the screen to display the Charms bar. From there, click or tap on the Settings charm and then select the Personalize option. You can pick background and accent colors from the on-screen palette or choose a specific background image. Best of all, you can pick the same background image used by your desktop. That option makes the visual trip between the Start screen and desktop less jarring.

The Start screen may still seem like an unnecessary annoyance to many Windows users, especially those working with a non-touch PC. Windows 8 does offer a boot to desktop mode where you can bypass the screen entirely. But the latest tweaks in Windows 8.1 do make the Start screen a bit friendlier and decidedly easier to manage.

We all love customization, don’t we? It is human tendency to get easily bored of the same repetitive and monotonous things. Every human being (let’s not fight over this) wants to be different from another. This is how man invented innovative things. Such greed or hunger to become better made human race the most intelligent creature on the earth.

Even, Microsoft tried to be different from its past alms by completely changing the system from the ground. The resultant is one of the most beautiful OS till date, also known as Windows 8. However, it comes with limited customization capability, and this is the reason why we covered options like Decor8, which lets you personalize Window 8 the way you want.

Decor8 is a very powerful utility, but the only drawback is that it is a paid application. Many people, including me, will refrain from shedding $4.99 from the pocket for such customization related task. In case, if you’re happy with the chopped down free version, then Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer is the best buddy of yours.

Consider, it as a stripped down version of Decor8. It would be imprudent statement to compare them, as they both operate very differently. At the end, you will be able to customize Windows 8 start screen using these applications.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer V1.3 is currently in the beta phase. It will let you change the Windows 8 start screen background picture. On the top, you can add some customization to adjust it to your need. In essence, it will let you choose desktop wallpaper and your favorite wallpapers, which will be automatically configured to replace start screen background on your Windows 8 system. In the past, we did cover some useful applications to tweak Windows 8 settings.

Also Learn Windows 8 through free ebook.

What W8 Start Screen Customizer could do?

Following functions are offered by this Windows 8 customization tool.

  • Set desktop wallpaper as background picture
  • Select pictures from any folder
  • Set as a sequence of background pictures
  • Apply blur effect (not polished function)
  • Change opacity of Start Screen and Tiles
  • Set start screen transparency
  • Set number of rows of tiles to be displayed
  • Set slideshow

As the name implies, it will let you customize start screen of Windows 8. However, you should use this tool with extra precaution. Since, it is in beta phase, it often acts weirdly. There are some known bugs like on screen resolution change and a few more.

Use the device at your own risk. We have had no problem using the tool, but it is always advisable to not to try such tool on your primary system. There is also a provision to revert back to old background.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

How to Use This Tool?

  • Just download the tool
  • Left pane display options to select pre-loaded background. Users can choose them and apply them
  • The bottom option in left pane lets you handle the number of rows and Start Screen and Tiles opacity
  • Right hand pane lets you use desktop wallpaper or select pictures from the folders. There are also several options available like slideshow option etc.

That’s sums up all. Have you started customizing your Windows 8 system yet? Which and all tools do you use? Let us know via the comment section below. Also, stay tuned to our Windows tutorials so that you get more such knowledge.

Let’s face it: Windows 8.1 looks a whole lot different than Windows 7 or Windows XP. I mean, the desktop we all know and love is still there (awesome!) but the Start screen can take some time to get used to. And I thought charms were something that Lucky the Leprechaun served me in a bowl back when I was in elementary school (and occasionally now). If you’re new to Windows 8.1 and look back with fond memories of older versions of Windows, here are five things you can do to make it feel more familiar, or just more like yours.

Tweak 1: Boot to desktop

When you turn on a Windows 8.1 PC, you’ll go to your Start screen. If you find yourself always heading straight over to the desktop, you can set up your PC to bypass Start and go to the desktop every time you turn it on.

Go to the Start screen, type taskbar, and then choose Taskbar and Navigation from the search results list.

Then in the dialog box that appears, choose the Navigation tab, and then check the box for When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start. Click OK to save your settings.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Tweak 2: Pin desktop apps to the taskbar

If you use Word a lot (like me), can’t get enough of PowerPoint, or maybe you love doodling in Paint, you can pin your favorite programs to the taskbar on your desktop so you can get to them in one click. It’s easy access to the apps you use most often, and it’ll keep you in the desktop, rather than going to Start or All apps view to open apps.

When you’re using an app while in the desktop, simply right-click (or press and hold) the app’s icon in the taskbar. Select Pin this program to taskbar and you’re done – it’s pinned.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Tweak 3: Use the same background on your desktop as on Start

Some people like having different backgrounds for desktop and Start, and that’s cool, but personally, I like using the same background on both. It makes for a smoother transition when I switch between the two.

The fastest way to change this setting is to go to the Start screen, move your mouse pointer into the lower right corner, and click Settings. Then click Personalize. In the grid at the top you’ll see that one of the choices is your desktop background image. Click it to use the same image on your Start screen.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Tweak 4: Sign in faster with a picture password or a PIN

There are two ways to make signing in to your PC faster.

Picture password

Not only does using a picture password make signing in faster, it also makes your PC feel more “yours” because you get to use whatever photo you want. And, a picture password can actually be more secure than a regular password because there are an almost infinite number of combinations of things you could tap, circle, or draw a line across in any given photo.

There’s a great video of how to do this with a touchscreen on this page. Basically, if you’re using a mouse, move it to the lower right corner of your screen, and click Settings. Click Change PC settings, then Accounts, then Sign-in options. Then click the Add button under Picture password and follow the instructions.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Another option is to create a PIN – a four-digit code, like on your phone or at the ATM machine. To create a PIN, go to the same Sign-in options page as you would for picture password, click Add under PIN, and just follow the instructions.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Tweak 5: Internet Explorer always opens on the desktop

The default setting for Internet Explorer 11 is to open up full-screen, with the controls tucked away until you need them. It’s designed this way so you can see more of the web content you’re browsing. You can learn more about how to use Internet Explorer full screen in this tutorial.

But if you prefer to keep the address bar and other controls visible and to have Internet Explorer open on your desktop every time you click a link, you can change the default setting:

  1. Go to the desktop if you’re not already there.
  2. Open Internet Explorer. (Click the Internet Explorer icon on your taskbar.)
  3. Click the Tools icon, and then click Internet options. Go to the Programs tab, and under Choose how you open links, select Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop.

Tip: If you want to open IE on the desktop even when you tap the IE tile on the Start screen, select the check box for Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop. If you have any websites pinned to your Start screen, they’ll open in your desktop.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

Bonus tweak! Organize your Start screen

I don’t want you to think I’m dissing the Start screen with what I said in Tweak 1. Once you take a little time to move some tiles around and organize your Start screen the way you want it, you might just grow to love it. If you’re skeptical about this, try thinking of the Start screen as one big menu with a bunch of buttons (called tiles) that you can click to open your favorite apps, folders, and files.

I was a bit skeptical about Start at first, but it was pretty fun to pin all of my fave apps and sites on it, organize them into groups, and come up with fun names for my groups. Now, because it’s personalized for me, I use Start a whole bunch.

How to tweak the windows 8 start screen wallpaper tiles and animations

For steps on how to customize your Start screen, see this Start screen tutorial.

If you try out any of these tweaks, I’d love to hear what you think. Or, if you have more ideas on how to make your Windows 8.1 PC less of a stranger and more like an old friend, please share them with the rest of us. Happy tweaking!