How to Fully Customize your Desktop by Michael Cottier

Customizing your desktop is easy and fun to do. You can change everything from the sounds that your computer makes, to the screensaver that shows up during inactivity. But that's not all that you can customize. Everything from the colors of your windows to the font that displays a program name can also be changed. Your toolbar and icons can even be organized and personalized to your liking. It can truly do wonders for your computer experience.

Before you continue customizing your desktop, make sure that you backup any files that you are going to change, just in case it doesn't work out and you want your old sound(s), wallpaper, icon, and whatever else you decide to change.

Setting your Desktop's Theme

Customizing your desktop theme will liven up your computer, and provide a unique experience every time you use it. It just all depends on how much time and effort they put into making the desktop theme. I have seen some themes so detailed that everything from the icons, to the text are perfectly designed to match the theme. To begin customizing your desktop computer's theme, read below.

1. First, right click on your desktop, and click properties.

2. You should now be under the Themes tab.

3. Now you can choose what Theme you want to use. If you have never added any themes before, then the default Themes should be the only ones there. If you search on the web for "free desktop themes" then you can find more for free. If you really want to get fancy, you should purchase Microsoft Plus!, which has a ton of themes specially made for Windows.

Customizing your Wallpaper

Customizing your desktop's wallpaper is pretty important. Your wallpaper is the color or picture that is currently showing on your desktop right now. Certain operating systems even allow live web content to show up on your desktop, so you can have streaming news, entertainment and whatever else you want. There are tons of free wallpaper's available on the Internet, or you make your own using digital camera photos of your friends and family members. Learn how to change your wallpaper below.

1. First, close all programs and windows that you have open before you begin customizing your desktop wallpaper.

2. Then right-click on your desktop.

3. Select properties from the bottom of the pop-up menu. Then this will bring up the "Display Properties" window.

4. Click on the "Desktop" tab.

5. Then you can choose a background already available on the list, or you can click the "Browse" button and choose an image that you have made or imported from a digital camera.

6. Now, click the position drop down menu, and choose the appropriate setting. Stretch is the best option since it will fit the image to the size of your screen.

7. Then you can click "OK" if all is well.

Organizing and Customizing Your Toolbar

When you install programs, they choose where they go in your start menu. If you are like me, you want your start menu organized and in separate categories so your programs will be easy to find. Well, to do this all you have to do is right-click on your toolbar and click on "Properties". The properties menu will allow you to do whatever you want with your toolbar, and organize it how you like.

Your programs also have toolbars which can be customized, so you will have instant access to your most important options. When you open the program, select the "View" or "Tools" option from the programs toolbar, and look for something that says customize, options, or anything else along those line. It should be easy to figure it out from there on. Some programs are so easy to customize that you just have to drag and drop the options to the position and menu you want.

Changing Event Sounds

Whenever you click on something, delete something, refresh your desktop, or whatever with your mouse and keyboard, it can/will make a sound. Like I said before, every event possible can have any sound clip play when done. Keeping your original sounds like a clicking noise, beeps, and so on is kind of dumb since you really have an unlimited choice.

Also, if your computer needs to accommodate the blind, when an error message comes up you can have a voice that says "Error Message" or something like that. So here is how you can begin customizing your desktop's sounds to what YOU want.

1. Go to your Control Panel in the toolbar.

2. Once you are in the control panel, click on "Sounds and Audio devices".

3. Now click the "Sounds" tab in the window that pops up.

4. You will see sound entries like exclamation, default beep, asterisk, start windows, exit windows and other events that can happen on your computer.

5. Here is the fun part now. Using your sound recorder or browsing the web you can create or find sound files that you want to use. If you have some computer sound recording experience, you should know how to create your own sound files. The sound recorder can usually be found in your start menu, under the "Entertainment" section.

6. With your new sounds that you have created or found, you can return to the Sound and Audio device properties window.

7. Select a sound you would like to change from the list.

8. Click the Browse button, and find the sound file that you want to use for the corresponding event you have chosen.

9. Then just click "Ok" and continue changing the other sounds you want too. You are now done customizing your desktop computer's sounds.

Display Properties

Customizing your desktop computer's display properties can change the look and feel of all your computer programs and desktop. Plus, customizing your desktop computer's display properties is just as easy as changing your wallpaper.

1. Right click on your desktop, and click "Properties".

2. From here, you can change your Theme, Desktop, Screensaver, Appearance, and graphic settings. A theme is the overall look and feel of your computer and its programs. The desktop is the image or color that is displaying on your desktop. Your screensaver can be changed and be configured to come on when you want it to. The Appearance tab allows you to change the color and size of folder/program windows, and the font that displays there title.

3. The Settings tab is the most important in my opinion. You can change your screens resolution, color quality, and all of the options related to your graphics card. Setting the appropriate resolution is very important, and can determine how clear you see your PC's text and graphics.

Customize your Folder Options

Another way of customizing your desktop is by changing your folder options. Your folder options range from the way that your videos and pictures appear, to whether or not hidden files or shown. It is very easy to do, so anyone can.

1. Open you're My documents folder, or any other folder that you want too.

2. Now click on tools.

3. Then go down and click on "Folder Options".

4. In the "Folder Options" box, you will see it is separated into tabs and is easy to navigate through. Change the options that you want too.

Startup Applications

When your computer starts, you might want programs to open and start running right away. This can be good for email programs, anti-virus scanners, sound applications and so forth. So how do you do it? If you click the start button, then go to programs, you will see a folder labeled "Startup". All you have to do is place the programs shortcut in that folder, and it will be started whenever your computer does. Customizing your desktop computer's startup programs will help you get things done faster.

Read more about [ parked domain] at Michael's website that specializes in customizing your entire computer.

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