Important! The Windows 10 operating system has several editions, each of which differs in its feature set and the use of certain components. There is a possibility that you may need to install a different version of the distribution to improve the appearance of the graphical shell. Therefore, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with all editions of the Microsoft system in advance, using the following link to find the corresponding material.
Option 1: Manual desktop environment customization
Improving the appearance of the operating system involves changing the settings of the work environment, which is responsible for rendering the graphic component. Accordingly, some manipulations for it are done directly in the Windows 10 settings, but the special effects can only be achieved using third-party software.
What follows is not a clear instruction on how to improve your graphics, but a description of the tools that will help you achieve it on your own. Once you master the basics of shell editing, you'll be able to create your own layout.
The operating system allows you to change the size of the icons that appear on the desktop. This is often necessary when creating your own style of environment. Our website has detailed instructions on how to do this, each step accompanied by a screenshot. If necessary, we recommend that you read the material offered there.
Read more: Resize desktop icons in Windows 10
Folder icons can also be edited, which can be placed not only on the desktop but also directly in the “Explorer” file manager. In addition to its size, you can change its visual appearance. If necessary, you can even choose an icon from the internal memory of the computer. In another article, the author has described in detail all the steps necessary to achieve this goal, so we recommend that you read it.
Read more: How to change the folder icon in Windows 10
If a user is signed in to their Microsoft account, OneDrive cloud storage is turned on by default. This is accompanied by the synchronization of files in predefined directories. To understand what data has been placed in the store, there is a corresponding indicator next to its icons: a green check mark or blue arrows. If necessary, they can be removed so as not to break the unified style of the operating system interface. Some articles on our website explain how to do this.
Read More: How to remove green checkmarks / blue arrows from files in Windows 10
The mouse cursor is an element of the graphical interface that is almost always left in view. Therefore, improving the appearance of your operating system often means changing this icon as well. In Windows 10 settings, there is a separate menu that provides such an option. But it should be noted that third-party programs contain more features and allow a more drastic change in the visual appearance of the cursor. There is a post on our website that details how to do it.
Read more: Change the look of the cursor in Windows 10
The visual style of the operating system is dramatically affected by the presence of desktop gadgets, previously only found in Windows 7. These components are not present by default in the tenth version of the system, but can be added by installing third-party software. The basic set includes computer load indicators, a weather monitor, and the like, but the list can be expanded by adding additional gadgets. A separate article describes in detail how to install the necessary software and gives instructions on how to use it.
Read more: Install gadgets in Windows 10
Attention! Various types of problems can occur due to the interference of other applications with the operating system. One of them is the disappearance of the desktop. It is not critical and can be fixed by restarting the Windows 10 shell. To know how to do this, please refer to the article on our website.
Read more: Solve no desktop in Windows 10
Unlike Windows 7, the tenth version of Microsoft's operating system does not have the Aero effect that provided transparency to windows. This can be solved by installing a special application distributed under a free license. If you need to make changes to the visual style of your windows, we recommend that you refer to another article on our website, which details how to set this effect.
Read more: How to make windows transparent in Windows 10 with Aero Glass
Attention! The manipulation of a third-party program in the operating system can cause a number of problems, which are related to the correct display of the image on the monitor. In the event of such a problem, please refer to the corresponding article on our website, where another author discusses it in detail.
Read More: How to Fix Image Disappearing on Monitor in Windows 10
Some users are confused by the appearance of pop-up notifications on the Windows 10 desktop, and displaying the number of missed notifications left after they are displayed may compromise the integrity of the unified style of the system. In this case, it is recommended to disable this function. All actions are performed directly in the operating system settings, so there is no need to install additional software. There is an article on this topic on our website.
Read more: Turn off notifications in Windows 10
To set up a beautiful Windows 10 design, it is important to set the appropriate screen resolution for your monitor model. Often the operating system will automatically detect your computer's configuration and set the correct settings, but if it doesn't, see the other material on our site for help.
Read more: Change screen resolution in Windows 10
If the desired resolution of the monitor connected to your computer has not been detected in the system settings, there are a number of steps to take to rectify the problem. Installing the latest GPU drivers is often enough, but this does not always solve the problem. In the event of such a problem, please refer to another author's article detailing how to proceed in these situations.
Read More: Solve Windows 10 Screen Resolution Issue
Attention! Changing the resolution may cause graphical artifacts such as blurry images. This problem and how to fix it is discussed in detail in another article on this site.
Read More: Resolving Blurred Images in Windows 10
With the help of additional utilities, you can also change the drag and drop behavior of windows. This will not only improve the graphical design of the operating system, but will also add additional features that will make it easier to interact with the interface. There is another article on our website where these same applications are described in detail in the second part.
The visual perception of the entire system is greatly influenced by the stylistic design of the taskbar, since it is the element that is almost always in view. It should be noted that most of the design enhancement manipulation is done with standard tools. In another article on our website, we'll take a closer look at the section of system settings that deals with customizing the taskbar.
Read more: Customizing the taskbar in Windows 10
To customize the look of Windows 10, you can change the color of the taskbar. This is also done without the use of third party software, through the customization options. This section of the settings has many additional menus, so we recommend that you look for help in an article on our website.
A concise style does not tolerate bulkiness, so to create a nice visual design of the operating system, it is common to reduce the size of the taskbar. To do this, it is enough to change a single setting in the Windows 10 settings. This is covered in detail in another article on our website.
Read more: Shrink the taskbar in Windows 10
Among other things, there is an option to make the taskbar transparent. Tools built into the operating system don't quite achieve the desired effect, but third-party software offers an impressive set of options. You can read all this in another article on our website.
In the process of configuring the taskbar display, errors may occur that cause this interface element to display incorrectly on your operating system. If this problem has appeared or initially occurred, please refer to the corresponding article on our website, which details all the possible causes of the fault and the solutions.
Read More: Solve Windows 10 Taskbar Display Issue
Important! If the problems found with the taskbar are not related to the way it is displayed, the cause of the failure may be a corrupt system file. This is a complex error that requires a serious approach, with measures to identify such components and restore their functionality. This is explained in detail in the corresponding article on our website.
Read More: Windows 10 Taskbar Troubleshooting
The Start menu is a separate component of the operating system, so when creating the overall look of Windows 10, you need to make changes to the visual appearance of this interface element as well. Factory tools do not allow radical changes, but a set of special utilities from third-party developers can help create a unique design. There is an article on this topic on our website, which we encourage you to consult.
The Start menu has undergone a drastic change since version eight of Microsoft's operating system and has become something very different from what was used in Windows 7. If necessary, you can go back to the previous design, but you will have to use a third-party software to do so. A selection of these applications with detailed instructions for their use is in another publication on this site.
Read More: How to Bring Windows 7 Start Menu Back to Windows 10
To customize the graphical layout of the Windows 10 shell, there is a special section in the system settings that allows you to make changes to the main interface elements. There are quite a few options, so we recommend that you first consult the article on our website by clicking on the following link.
Read more: Personalization options in Windows 10
Attention! If the operating system has not been activated after installation on your computer, all customization tools will not be available. This problem can be remedied, as described in another article on our website.
Read more: How to fix “You need to activate Windows 10 to personalize your PC” error
By default, the operating system has a limited number of background images that can be set as the desktop background. These are selected and changed in the customization settings. But it is also possible to set your own image, previously downloaded from the Internet, as screensaver. How to do it is explained in a related article written by another author.
Read More: Change Windows 10 Wallpaper
After installing Windows 10, the standard application window header theme is applied by default. Improving the visual style of the operating system, this interface element needs a different nuance. This can be done through the settings, and how to do this is explained in the relevant post on our website.
Read More: Change Window Color in Windows 10
Initially, users are prompted in the personalization settings to choose a design theme for the entire graphics shell of the system, but there aren't many options. If necessary, you can extend this list by installing additional themes on your computer. This can be done through the built-in Microsoft Store or through third-party software. The latter offers an even larger set of OS customization tools.
There is a separate article on our website, in which the author has described in detail all the ways to install additional design themes in Windows 10.
Read more: How to install a theme in Windows 10
When talking about how to make Windows 10 more beautiful, live wallpapers are often mentioned. They differ from the standard ones in that they are not a static image, but a looping video that plays endlessly in the desktop background. The tools built into the operating system cannot achieve this effect, so you will have to use special software. In another post on our website, the author talks about three such applications with a detailed description of how to create a “live” wallpaper.
Read more: Installing Live Wallpapers in Windows 10
Attention! The operation of the live wallpaper is a demanding process for your computer resources, since the continuous playback of the streaming video consumes a lot of RAM and also puts a strain on the CPU. If you experience operating system instability after installing them, we recommend that you perform a performance improvement procedure. This is described in detail in another article on our website, available at the following link.
Read more: Increase computer performance in Windows 10
To create an original workplace with a unique graphic design, you may need to change the orientation of the screen: instead of the usual horizontal configuration, make the screen vertical. Despite the specificity of the task, it can be done using the system's built-in tools, only a single setting in the display settings needs to be changed. If you find this procedure difficult, please refer to the relevant material on our website for help.
Read more: Change screen orientation in Windows 10
To fine-tune the visual layout, you also have to take into account the display of the color palette, which each monitor conveys differently. For best results, you should perform a calibration. Ideally, you should do this with a separately purchased calibrator, but if you don't have one, you can use special software or a tool built into your operating system. An article on our website details the process of calibrating the color of your monitor, so we recommend that you consult it.
Read more: Calibrate monitor colors in Windows 10
There are many factors that affect the final visual style of Windows 10, including the presence or absence of a screen saver. It is enabled by default on your computer, but you can disable it if necessary. This is covered in another article on our website.
The standard font of Windows 10 may not be to everyone's liking, and if necessary, any other font can be selected as the default. To do this, you will need to make changes directly to the operating system's configuration files. The procedure requires skill, and to do it yourself, we recommend that you ask for help in the topical article on our website.
Read more: Change the font in Windows 10
There is a possibility that after installing a new font, it will not work correctly, that is, it will not display Cyrillic characters, replacing them with unreadable ones. This is a known issue, so a separate article on our website contains all the ways to fix it.
Read more: Fixing a problem with the display of Russian letters in Windows 10
When configuring custom fonts, there can be many problems, most of them non-critical, but they can ruin the visual style of the entire operating system. The antialiasing option is usually turned off, which makes each of the characters look ugly. This is quite easy to fix using a special utility in Windows 10. Its location and how to use it is explained in another post on this site.
Read More: Enabling Font Antialiasing in Windows 10
A fairly similar problem can be the appearance of some blurring in the text. Often this only applies to characters displayed in applications. To fix it, you'll need to make changes to the corresponding system settings. The way to do it is explained in another article on this website, consult it if necessary.
Read more: How to fix blurry fonts in Windows 10
The file manager "File Explorer" is part of the shell of the operating system. This application is used quite often while working on the computer, so when you create a nice graphic design, you should also change its design.
A dark theme has been added to Windows 10, and you can turn it on for Explorer if needed. There are many additional options in the corresponding section of the system settings, so we recommend exploring this topic by referring to the corresponding article on our website.
Read more: Activate the dark theme of the Explorer in Windows 10
Adding extra features to your operating system can give it a special touch. For example, you can use third-party software to enable additional tabs in Explorer, which will not only make the interface visually laconic when using the file manager, but also make it easier to manage disk space.
In another article on our website, the author talks about four applications that allow you to add this function to Explorer. We recommend that you read them if necessary.
Read More: Create Tabs in Windows 10 Explorer
If you have previously activated the display of hidden directories, they will be visible at all times. This can be annoying, especially when you need to sort your custom folders. You can optionally remove hidden directories. Exactly how to do this is explained in another article on our website.
Read more: How to hide hidden folders in Windows 10
Many users try to structure all the data in Explorer by placing the files in the proper folders. But in some cases, certain directories may give an error when trying to rename or delete. To do this, you need to investigate the cause of the problem and then change the system settings. This is an extensive topic, covered in detail in another post on our website. If the problem described above occurs when you create your own Windows 10 graphic design, see the following article for help.
Read More: Uninstall Unrecoverable Folder in Windows 10
Option 2: Instructions to change the appearance
Earlier in the article we described the overwhelming number of tools that allow you to change the look of the Windows 10 operating system, below we will provide detailed instructions on how to use them with an example of creating a minimalist design for the desktop and related applications.
Important! The following is just one of many variants of the OS layout. This is done to demonstrate the practical use of the previously announced programs and tools.
The first thing to do is to prepare the necessary files and install the software to create your own OS design. They can be downloaded from Yandex.Disk by clicking on the following link.
You should also install a special program called Rainmeter on your computer, which allows you to place additional widgets on your desktop and change the visual appearance of some interface elements. The app is available for free.
After installing the software in the system directory «Documents» a folder will appear "Pluviometer"which will contain the directory "Skins". Move the content of the previously downloaded skins file to this folder. There should be five folders in the final directory: "@Vault", "fromjupiter", Illustro, "rain gauge spring" и "Visualizer".
Change the visual design
Once you have installed the necessary program and placed all the supporting files in the appropriate directory, you can proceed directly to changing the visual style of your operating system.
- Close all desktop items that were automatically added after installing the Rainmeter app. To do this, right-click on each of them and select the option "closed skin".
- Set your desktop wallpaper to the image titled «forest.jpg».located in the root directory of the downloaded file. To do this, right-click on the file and select from the list "Set as Wallpaper"..
- Delete all desktop objects. To do this, simply right-click on any free space and, in the context menu, hover over the option "Watch".and uncheck the option "Show desktop icons" option..
Attention! All the files will still be on your computer, they just won't be accessible through the desktop anymore. You can also use the file manager "File Browser".opening the directory "Desk"., located in the sidebar on the left side.
- Open the Rainmeter app window. To do this, expand the system tray by clicking the arrow to the right of the taskbar and hit the drop icon.
- Place the current date widget on the desktop. To do this, first press the button "Update all" button.for the software to read the data previously added to the directory «Documents» skins. Next, using the directory tree structure, navigate to the folder "fromjupiter" → "Date".. Click the file "Date.ini" click the left mouse button to highlight and then click "Load"..
- Immediately after, change the position of the widget by selecting a value from the dropdown list of the same name "Behind"..
- Similarly, add the time widget, which is located in the folder "fromjupiter" → "Weather" and bears the title "Time.ini". Remember also to define your position "On the desk"..
- Click the left mouse button to change the location of the two widgets to the one you prefer. In this case, they will be placed in the center of the desktop.
- Use Rainmeter to place a dock with a list of pre-installed apps on the screen. To do this, in the main menu of the program, open the folder "rain gauge spring", highlight the file “Rainmeter Dock.ini” and click on the button "Download"..
- Move the classic taskbar to one side of the screen and activate its automatic minimization. This is done directly in the system settings. Right-click on the panel and select "Taskbar Settings".. Then, in the menu that appears, activate the option "Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode."and then in the dropdown list "Position of the taskbar on the screen" select a value "On the left". o "On the right"..
- Click the left mouse button to move the dock bar previously added to the desktop to the bottom of the screen, placed in the center.
This has managed to create a minimalist design for the Windows 10 operating system, making it more visually appealing. It is worth noting that not all of the graphical conversion tools discussed in the first part of this article have been used in these instructions. But if necessary, you can use them to create a unique author style.
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