Guide to Customize Windows 11 Look and Feel

Microsoft’s Windows 11 is gradually becoming popular because of its unique features and designs. It brings a lot of new customization options for users to play around with, which is why many people love it. 

However, not everyone is happy with how it looks right out of the box. If you want to customize the look and feel of Windows 11, this guide is for you.

In this guide, we will show you how to customize the look and feel of your Windows 11 to make it truly yours. We will cover everything from changing the desktop background to tweaking the taskbar settings, themes, wallpapers, icons, and more.

Let’s get started.

  Windows 11 Tips and Tricks

How to Change Desktop Background on Windows 11?

Changing the desktop background is the best and quickest way to get a new feel on Windows 11. This will instantly give a new look to your default system. On Windows 11, there are various ways you can customize your desktop.

Set a Picture as the Desktop Background

Here are the steps to change the desktop background on Windows 11:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.open windows 11 settings
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Background on the right.windows-11-personalization
  3. Expand the drop-down menu next to Personalize your background, and choose the Picture option from the list.persoanlize-background
  4. Now you have to select the picture. For that, you can either select one of the default pictures available or click on Browse photos to choose a background photo of your choice.choose-photo-for-background
  5. The selected picture will be set as the desktop background.
  How to Change Desktop Background in Windows 10

Set Slideshow on the Desktop Background

Windows 11 also allow you to set a slideshow on the desktop background. The slideshow lets you put a bunch of photos as a background that changes periodically. 

To set a slideshow on the Windows 11 desktop, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Background on the right.
  3. Expand the drop-down menu next to Personalize your background, and choose the Slideshow option from the list.windows-11-slideshow
  4. Now click on Browse to choose a folder containing all the slideshow images. There is a default folder for that, but if you want custom pictures in the slideshow, collect them all, put them in a folder, and select that folder.browse-pictures-for-slideshow
  5. Next, apply more configuration:
    • Change duration of how much time a picture is displayed.
    • Turn ON/OFF Shuffle the picture order
    • Enable/disable slideshow even on battery powered
    • Choose a Fit for the picture.configure-slideshow

Set a Solid Color as Desktop Background

If you don’t want any picture or a slideshow as the desktop background and want to give a minimalistic look to your desktop, you can just set a solid color as the desktop background.

To do that, follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Background on the right.
  3. Expand the drop-down menu next to Personalize your background, and choose the Solid color option from the list.set-solid-color
  4. Choose the background color from the given option.choose-background-color
  5. You can also select a custom color by clicking on the View colors button.pick-a-background-color

Change Background of Virtual Desktops

On Windows 11, you can create virtual desktops for your different works. To distinguish these virtual desktops, Windows 11 allows you to set a different background for each of them.

To change the background of the virtual desktops, follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Background on the right.
  3. Expand the drop-down menu next to Personalize your background, and choose the Picture option from the list.
  4. Right-click on the selected picture, hover the mouse pointer over the Set for desktop, and choose the desktop on which you want to put this picture as background.set-background-for-desktop

Change Background of Monitors

If you use multiple monitors for work or gaming, Windows 11 gives you an option to choose a different desktop background for each connected monitor. For that, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Background on the right.
  3. Expand the drop-down menu next to Personalize your background, and choose the Picture option from the list.
  4. Right-click on the selected picture, hover the mouse pointer over the Set on Monitor 1 and choose the desktop on which you want to put this picture as background.

How to change Windows 11 Colors?

When it comes to colors, Windows 11 provides vast options to configure. You can select the overall Dark or Light Mode, change accent color for Start menu, Taskbar, Notification Center and Quick Settings, title bars, borders, and apps. 

Enable Light or Dark Mode on Windows 11

On Windows 11, you can easily switch between dark or light mode as per your preference. Here are the instructions to do that:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Colors on the right.windows-11-color-settings
  3. Under the Colors settings page, expand the drop-down sub-menu and choose Dark or Light mode from the list.color-mode
  4. You can also choose Custom from the list that will allow you to select the Default Windows Mode and Default Apps mode separately.default-mode

Configure Transparency Effect

You can enable or disable the transparency effects on Windows 11 elements such as Start Menu, taskbar, app windows, Notifications Centre, and others. Follow these steps to configure Transparency Effect:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Colors on the right.
  3. Toggle the button to turn ON or OFF the transparency effects.transparency-effects

Set Accent Color

The accent color is the one you will see everywhere on your windows. On Windows 11, you can set accent color on auto mode or as per your choice. Here are the instructions for that:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Colors on the right.
  3. Expand the drop-down sub-menu next to the Accent color and choose Automatic or Manual as per your preference.set-accent-color
  4. If you choose Automatic, the accent color will automatically change on every startup.
  5. If you choose Manual, you will have a choice to select an accent color from the given set.manual-accent-color
  6. Windows 11 currently provides you with 48 colors to set as Accent color, but if you still want a color of your choice, you can do that by clicking on View colors. custom-accent-color

Show Accent Color on Start, Taskbar, and other Elements

After setting up the accent color, you can show it on the Windows Start Menu, Taskbar, Title bars, borders, and other elements.

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Colors on the right.
  3. Under Accent Color toggle buttons to turn ON or OFF these options:
    • Show accent color on Start and taskbar
    • Show accent color on title bars and windows bordersshow-accent-color

Note: The option to Show accent color on Start and taskbar will be greyed out if your Windows is in Light Mode. That option is only applicable on the Dark Mode.


How to customize Windows 11 Themes?

Changing the theme will also instantly give your Windows 11 system a newer look altogether. If you change your theme, other elements such as wallpaper, accent color, the mouse pointer, and in some cases, even the Windows sound also changes.

Change Windows 11 Theme

To change the theme on your Windows 11 operating system, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Themes on the right.change-windows-11-theme
  3. On the Themes settings page, under the Current theme, select the theme that you like from the available options.change-theme

Download Custom Windows 11 Themes

If you don’t like any of the available themes, you can download the custom Windows 11 themes as per your choice. Here are the steps for downloading and using the custom themes:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Themes on the right.
  3. On the Theme settings page, click on the Browse themes button next to Get more themes from Microsoft Store.browse-themes-for-Windows-11
  4. On the Microsoft Store, choose any of the themes you like to reach its installation page.choose-the-theme
  5. Click on the Get button to begin installing the theme.get-windows-11-theme
  6. After installing it, click on Open, you will reach the Windows Theme Settings page.
  7. Choose your downloaded theme to enable it on your computer.custom-theme

Set Contrast Themes on Windows 11

There are many options available for you to configure themes on Windows 11. In addition to that, Windows 11 allows users to apply the Contrast themes for the users with low vision. This is part of the Windows accessibility experience.

To enable the Contrast Themes on Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Accessibility tab on the left and select Contrast themes on the right.contrast-themes
  3. On the Contrast themes page, you can check the preview of all available four Contrast themes on Windows 11:
    • Aquatic.
    • Desert.
    • Dusk.
    • Night sky.set-contrast-themes
  4. To set one of the above Contrast themes, expand the drop-down menu next to the Contrast themes option and select one of the themes you prefer.apply-contrast-themes
  5. After selecting the preferred Contrast theme, click on Apply.apply-contrast-theme

How to customize Windows 11 Lock Screen?

Lock Screen is the one that appears whenever you initiate signing in to your Windows 11 system. Though you probably don’t spend much time on the lock screen, still customizing it will give you a new feel of your operating system.

On Windows 11, there are various options to customize your lock screen.

Set a Custom Image as Lock Screen Background

You can easily set a picture of your choice as a background on the Windows 11 Lock Screen. This way, you will only see what you like whenever you start your device.

Here are the steps to set a custom image as Lock Screen Background:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Lock screen on the right.windows-11-lock-screen
  3. Under the Lock screen settings, expand the drop-down menu next to Personalize your lock screen and click on the Picture option from the list.select-picture
  4. Now you can either select one of the available photos as the lock screen background, or you can set a picture of your choice by clicking on the Browse photo button.select-picture-for-lock-screen

Set a Slideshow on the Lock Screen Background

Similar to your desktop background, you can also set a slideshow on the lock screen background.

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Lock screen on the right.
  3. Under the Lock screen settings, expand the drop-down menu next to Personalize your lock screen and click on the Slideshow option from the list.lock-screen-slideshow
  4. Now click on Browse to choose a folder containing all the slideshow images. There is a default folder for that, but if you want custom pictures in the slideshow, collect them all, put them in a folder, and select that folder.browse-folder-for-slideshow
  5. After selecting the slideshow folder, you can scroll down and configure the Advanced slideshow settings.advance-slideshow-settings

Set Windows Spotlight as Lock Screen Background

The Windows Spotlight feature pics up the latest pictures from Bing and shows them on the lock screen background. If you want to set it as a lock screen background, follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Lock screen on the right.
  3. Under the Lock screen settings, expand the drop-down menu next to Personalize your lock screen and click on the Windows Spotlight option from the list.set-windows-spotlight
  4. Now you will see the latest pictures from Bing on your lock screen that changes periodically.

Configure App Notifications on Lock Screen

Windows 11 allows you to access the notifications of one of the following apps on your lock screen: Calendar, Mail, and Weather.

To enable or disable the app notifications on the lock screen, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Lock screen on the right.
  3. Under the Lock screen settings, expand the drop-down menu next to Lock screen status and choose the app you want notifications on the lock screen. You can also select None to disable any notifications.lock-screen-status

How to customize Windows 11 Start Menu?

Windows OS Start Menu is one of the main components users use most regularly. It allows you to access the installed apps and navigate to the settings. Using Start Menu, you can find almost everything on your system. There are plenty of options to customize the Windows 11 Start Menu.

Customize the Start Settings

For basic customization of the Start menu, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Start on the right.windows-11-start
  3. Under the Start settings page, toggle the button to enable or disable the following settings:
    • Show recently added apps
    • Most used apps
    • Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorerpersonalize-the-start

Add or Remove Folders on Start Menu

You can add or remove common folders such as Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Music, etc., to the Start Menu for quick access. Here is how to do that:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Start on the right.
  3. Under the Start settings page, click on the Folders option.add-folders-start-menu
  4. On the Folders page, toggle the button to enable or disable the folders on the Windows Start Menu.enable-or-disable-folders-on-start
  5. The enabled Folders will appear on Start next to the Power button.folders-in-start

Pin and Unpin Apps to Start

On your Windows 11 Start Menu, you can pin apps for quick access. It is pretty straightforward to do that.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Start and search for the app that you want to pin.
  2. Under the app’s icon, click on the Pin to Start.pin-to-start
  3. The app will be pinned to the Start.app-pinned
  4. If the app is placed at the bottom, you can move that app icon to the top. Right-click on it, and choose Move to top.move-to-top

To unpin apps from Start, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the Start and look for the App that you want to unpin.
  2. Right-click on the app icon and select Unpin from Start.unpin

How to customize Windows 11 Taskbar?

One of the biggest changes in the Windows 11 was the new taskbar. It is totally different from what we experience in Windows 10. Though the taskbar in Windows 11 is not as customizable as Windows 10, you will still apply some configuration to get a new feel.

Show/Hide Taskbar items

Windows 11 allows you to add a few buttons to the taskbar. You can easily switch ON/OFF the Taskbar items. Here are the steps for that:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Taskbar on the right.taskbar-settings
  3. Under the Taskbar items heading, toggle the button to switch ON/OFF the Search, Task view, Widgets, and Chat item.taskbar-items
  4. The enabled items will be added to the taskbar as shown.added-icons
  How to reposition Windows 11 Taskbar?

Show/Hide Taskbar corner icons

On your Windows 11 taskbar, you can add or remove corner icons at your convenience. To do that, follow these:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Taskbar on the right.
  3. Under the Taskbar corner icons, toggle the button to switch ON/OFF the Pen menu, Touch keyboard, and Virtual touchpad.taskbar-corner-icons
  4. The enabled icons will be added to the corner of the taskbar.corner-icon-added

Adjust Corner Overflow Settings

You can add or remove the icons from the Taskbar corner overflow. Follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Taskbar on the right.
  3. Under the Taskbar settings page, expand the Taskbar corner overflow.taskbar-corner-overflow
  4. Turn ON/OFF the corner overflow icons.enable-or-disable-taskbar-corner-overflow
  5. The enabled icons will be available in the overflow section as seen.overflow-icons

Change Taskbar Icon Alignment

On Windows 11, the Start icons and other pinned icons are aligned at the center of the taskbar, unlike other Windows versions. However, if you don’t like your icons to be placed at the center, you can change the alignment from the Settings.

Follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Taskbar on the right.
  3. Under the Taskbar settings page, expand the Taskbar behaviors.adjust-taskbar-behaviors
  4. Now you can configure the taskbar alignment from center to the left. change-taskbar-alignment

Adjust Other Taskbar Behaviors

You can also adjust the other Taskbar behavior for a new feel, like hiding the taskbar, showing badges, and more.

Here is how you can do that:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Taskbar on the right.
  3. Under the Taskbar settings page, expand the Taskbar behaviors.
  4. Now you can configure the following behaviors of the taskbar:
    • Automatically hide the taskbar
    • Show badges on taskbar apps
    • Show my taskbar on all displays
    • Select the far corner of the taskbar to show the desktopconfigure-taskbar-behavior
  How to Resize the Taskbar in Windows 11?

Configure the Quick Settings Flyout

Windows 11 have a quick settings flyout. You can easily access and configure it from the taskbar. For that, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Network, Volume, and Battery batch icon to open the settings flyout.quick-settings-flyout
  2. Now click on the pencil icon to edit the quick settings flyout.edit-flyout
  3. To unpin the icon from the flyout, click the unpin icon.unpin-icon-from-flyout
  4. To add the icon into the quick settings flyout, click Add and select the app icon from the list.add-icon-to-the-flyout

Pin and Unpin Apps to Taskbar

On your Windows 11 Taskbar, you can pin apps for quick access. It is pretty straightforward to do that.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Start and search for the app you want to pin to the taskbar.
  2. Right-click on the app icon, hover the mouse over more and click on the Pin to taskbar.add-icons-to-taskbar
  3. The app will be pinned to the Taskbar.

To unpin apps from the taskbar, follow these instructions:

  1. On the taskbar look for the App that you want to unpin.
  2. Right-click on the app icon and select Unpin from taskbar.unpin-from-taskbar

How to change Windows 11 Icons?

If you are bored with the current icons on your Windows 11 system, you can change the current one and assign the new one. You can change the Desktop icons and Folder icons.

Change the Desktop Icons

To change the Desktop icons such as Recycle Bin, Network, and others, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Personalization tab on the left and select Themes on the right.
  3. Scroll down and click on Desktop icon settings.desktop-icon-settings
  4. Under the new window, select the icon you want to change and click on the Change Icon.change-desktop-icon
  5. Select a new icon from the available ones.choose-the-icon

Change the Folder Icons

On Windows 11, you can easily change any folder icon. Here are the steps to do that:

  1. Right-click on the folder whose icon you want to change and select Properties.folder-properties
  2. Switch to Customize tab and click on the Change Icon button.change-icon
  3. Select the new icon for your folder from the available options.change-folder-icon

Change Desktop Shortcut Icons

Like Folder icons, you can also change the icons of the app’s shortcuts. Follow these instructions:

  1. Right-click on the shortcut whose icon you want to change and select Properties.app-icon-properties
  2. Under the Shortcut tab, click on the Change icon.change-shortcut-icon
  3. Select a new icon from the available ones.select-new-icon

How to Customize Mouse Pointer Windows 11?

On Windows 11, if you are finding it difficult to see the mouse pointer, you can customize it easily and make it larger, change its color, and more.

Change the Mouse Pointer Style

To change the mouse pointer style, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Accessibility tab on the left and select Mouse Pointer and Touch on the right.
  3. Under the Mouse pointer style, choose the style you like.mouse-pointer-style
  4. Click on Custom if you want a custom style.custom-mouse-pointer
  5. Now, choose one of the recommended colors or click on the Choose another color to select a color of your choice.choose-recommended-colors

Change Mouse Pointer Size

If the current size of the mouse pointer is too small or too big, you can adjust it as per your preference and comfort. Follow these instructions to do so:

  1. Click on the Start button and open Windows 11 settings.
  2. Switch to the Accessibility tab on the left and select Mouse Pointer and Touch on the right.
  3. Under the Mouse pointer style, adjust the mouse pointer size as per your comfort.change-mouse-pointer-size
  How to Change Mouse Pointer Color and Size in Windows 10

Summing Up

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to customize the look and feel of Windows 11. It’s up to you to decide which settings you want to change and how far you want to go with it. If you want to make your computer truly yours, these are the steps you need to take. Have fun!

How do I make Windows 11 more aesthetic?

To make Windows 11 more aesthetic, you can download and install custom themes, set minimalistic background picture, and change app and folder icons. Follow this guide to know how to personalize Windows 11 and make it aesthetic.

Can you change the App icon on Windows 11?

Yes, Windows 11 gives you the option to change the app and folder icon. For some apps there are a few icons available, for others, you need to download icons and install them separately.

Leave a Comment