- Swap Out the Wallpaper
No, not that dated stuff on the walls of your basement. We’re talking about the wallpaper on your desktop— the image that you see spread across the screen once you get into Windows. Your desktop can be any image you like— that amazing sunset from the other night, a photo of your family, an inspirational quotation, or an image from your favorite computer game. The point is to make it your own, so that you see something you enjoy every time you turn on the computer.
Not sure how to change it? Go to Control Panel. Depending on which version of Windows you have, you may see a phrase like “Appearance and Personalization” and under that, “Change desktop background.” If you upgraded to Windows 10, right-click somewhere on the desktop and then select “Personalize.” There will be an option there to change the background. You can also go into your photos and right-click on one that you want to use. Just select “Set as desktop background.”
- Download a Dock
What else can you do? Well, if you want something other than the default Windows taskbar, find and download a dock for your desktop. Customize the way your icons appear and choose which ones should stay dominant. Choose a dock that looks cool to you and also offers the unique functionality that you need for your cyber lifestyle.
- Clear the Clutter
Maybe you’ve already swapped the standard desktop background for something more interesting, but you can’t see it because of all the clutter on your desktop. Photos, shortcuts, random documents, games, programs, and a spreadsheet or two fill your vision every time you log in. It’s distracting, and it makes using your computer a frustrating experience instead of a pleasant one.
You could organize everything yourself by creating folders on the desktop, or you could install an app that helps you do that more effectively. Try Desktop Groups or Fences. Make sure that you stick with your clutter-free program, deleting the unnecessary items and filing the others where they belong.
- Change Your Skin
Want to really change up your system’s look? Try out a skin. These apps make your entire Windows experience look different. The Shine skin turns items transparent, while the Mavericks Transformation Pack gives your Windows machine an OS X makeover. Before you select a skin, make sure that it comes from a reputable sources and has good user reviews.