Making Tweaks on the Start Screen’s Appearance

Windows used to hold only desktop programs and games in it. Most of us are surely familiar in working and playing with them since Windows XP, Vista and down to Windows 7. However, everything changed in Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8.1. The addition of the Start Screen has made things a lot easier to work with especially in the introduction of the mobile apps which adds more functions to the system itself.

Every Windows 8.1 machine bears two worlds; the Desktop and the Mobile world each represented by the desktop screen and the new Start Screen! The system allows you to switch between desktop programs and mobile apps by moving back and forth between these two worlds. If it is your first time to hear about the Start Screen and the mobile apps in the brand new Windows 8.1 system then you need to learn some tips and tricks in using this awesome feature so you can take your Windows user experience to the next level. Once you learn how the Start Screen works and know the steps in customizing it, you’ll surely forget that there has ever been other Windows versions that existed. Just read on and learn what you can do with this brand new feature in every Windows 8.1 machine.

Ways in Accessing the Start Screen

Just like the other traditional features in any Windows operating system version, there are plenty of ways in accessing the Start Screen which you can choose from. These steps involve clicking, pressing or tapping with the use of some of your computer’s input devices like the mouse, keyboard and the screen if in case you have a laptop that has a touch-enabled screen or a tablet that runs in Windows 8.1. Below are some ways in accessing this very important feature.

1. Mouse Method

All of the features in any Windows operating system version are capable of being accessed using the mouse. In fact, it is one of the most valuable input devices along with the keyboard. Without it, you’ll have a hard time navigating through the system especially in Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 which do not support touchscreen gestures. To access the Start Screen using the mouse, all you need to do is point it to the top or the bottom-right corner of the screen and move it to the opposite direction from where you pointed it. You will then see the Charms bar appear. From this bar, simply click on the one at the middle (the third one) which is labeled “Start” and you will be taken right away to the Start Screen.


Another way of accessing the Start Screen using the mouse is by clicking on the Start Button located at the bottom-left corner of the screen.


2. Keyboard Shortcut Method

Another very easy way in accessing the Start Screen is by using certain keys on your computers physical keyboard. This is done by pressing on the Windows Key located at the left portion of your computer’s keyboard. You can also use the Windows + C keyboard shortcut to access the Charms and from the charms bar, you can click on the one labeled “Start” and you will be taken right away to the Start Screen.


3. Touchscreen Gesture Method

On laptops and tablets having a touch-enabled screen, you can use some touchscreen gestures to access the Start Screen. One very simple thing that you can do is tap on the Start button to access the Start Screen. You can also access this important location from the Charms. To access the charms bar using your fingers, simply do a swiping gesture from the right portion of the screen towards the center or point to the upper or lower-right corner of the screen and move your finger to the opposite direction to summon the charms and click on the Start charm to open the Start Screen.

Customizing the Start Screen Appearance

The Start Screen is capable of being customized. Its appearance right now is not its permanent one. It can be changed to make it look just like how you want it to. To do this, simply open the Start Screen and access the Settings charm by pressing on the “Windows + I” keys. Once the Settings screen appears at the right-edge of the screen, simply click on the “Personalize” link on top to open the section where you can select some Start Screen patterns and change the background color and as well as the accent color.


The “Personalize” screen looks like the screenshot below. To select a new Start Screen background design, simply click  or tap on the one that you want that is available on the screen. At the bottom, you can change the background color and the accent color of the design which you have selected simply by clicking or tapping on the one that you want.


Make Even More Personalizations

The Start Screen’s background design and color are not the only aspects which you can customize, you can also make some tweaks even on its contents. The tiles and shortcuts in Windows 8.1’s Start Screen is also capable of being moved, grouped or even resized so you can easily arrange them in whatever order you’d like and make some of them a lot easier to access. Doing these tweaks are as simple as the one which I have shown in this tutorial but I will dedicate a whole new tutorial for it so that every step will be covered in greater and clearer details. Do you like our tutorials? You can get all of our freshest posts straight to your inbox by joining our email list. You can also recommend this site to your friends so you can spread all our great tips and tricks to your friends who are newbies in using Microsoft’s latest operating system.