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Windows 7 - How to Customize Your Desktop

Windows 7 provides numerous ways of customizing your desktop and making your computer truly feel like your own. Customizing your computer is a great way to add a personalized touch and optimize it for your use. Easy ways to customize your Windows 7 desktop include changing the desktop background, changing the visual theme, adding desktop gadgets, changing the taskbar and even the start button orb. Follow the steps below to completely overhaul the appearance of your Windows 7 desktop.

1 – Change the Desktop Background and Theme
Changing the desktop background is the easiest and most popular customization to make. Ideally, you're going to want to choose a background that is suitable for the type of monitor you have. For example, if you have a widescreen monitor, you'll be best off with a widescreen image. Ideally, you should also choose an image of the same resolution of your monitor, although larger ones are also suitable since they will scale appropriately.
To change your desktop background theme, right-click anywhere on the desktop and select "Personalize." Click the "Desktop Background" link in the bottom of the window that appears. Here you can choose from a variety of preinstalled themes which are already optimized for your computer. Most of them are slideshow themes containing large numbers of pictures which change at specified intervals. This is ideal, since you'll never have to look at the same background constantly!
If you just want to have the same picture as your background, simply navigate to the location of the image you want to use, right-click on it and click "Set as desktop background."
If you're wondering where the animated desktop backgrounds (Windows Vista Ultimate DreamScene) from Windows Vista have gone, they are no longer present in Windows 7.
Back to the personalization window, you can also change the colour theme, customize or turn off the sound scheme and choose a screensaver.

2 – Adding Desktop Gadgets
In case you're wondering where the Sidebar from Windows Vista disappeared to, Windows 7 no longer includes this feature. Instead, Windows 7 provides a similar feature called desktop gadgets which is rather more customizable than the old Windows Vista Sidebar.
To access the list of preinstalled gadgets on your computer, right-click anywhere on the desktop and select gadgets. Only a few basic gadgets are included in Windows 7 by default, but you can download more from Microsoft's website by clicking "Get more gadgets online" at the bottom-right of the window.
To choose a gadget that you like, all you need to do is click on it and drag it out onto the desktop. You can place it anywhere you want on the desktop.
Most gadgets have a large number of customization options of their own. You can increase the size of any gadget by moving your mouse over it and clicking the small arrow button which appears under the cross button to the right. Clicking it again will return it to a smaller size. Some gadgets also have a spanner icon which allows you to access additional options, such as location information for the weather reporting gadget.

3 – Changing the Start Button Orb
A rather rarer and more unique customization is to change the start button orb appearance. Windows 7 does not provide any standard way of doing this, but it can easily be done by using "Windows 7 Start Button Changer," a small, free third-party program which you can download from the Internet.
The program provides ten sample start button sets which you can use with just a couple of clicks of the mouse. When you select your preferred start button design, Windows Explorer will quickly restart and the orb will be changed. You do not need to restart your computer or log off.


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