How to Spruce Up Your Windows Desktop Screen

How to Spruce Up Your Windows Desktop Screen

Range Govindan
Sep 19, 2011

Q: Hi, I really enjoyed this article by Range. I have an XP machine that could really use a facelift and I REALLY like the visual style in the first picture displayed in the article. I would like to know the name of that visual style, as well as find out where it is at so I can spruce up the guest's PC. Make 'em feel like they're working in class.... or in the future.

A: Hi Chris, the quick answer is to use Stardock's Windowblinds software, but we'll tell you more about how to do this and what other options you might have.

To get the exact or something very similar to what we featured in this post on your own computer, you'll have to do a few things. The first thing would be to upgrade to Windows 7 on all of your machines. Granted, Windows Vista was pretty bad, but Windows 7 works very well and it will allow you to run the latest version of Windowblinds. Windowblinds costs $19.95 to purchase, but if you tend to want something pretty slick that will amaze you every time you use it, it's probably worth the money.

Another option would be to simply change the theme of your Windows machine. You can access the theme submenu through the Control Panel through here:

Control Panel -> Appearance & Personalization -> Change Theme

There are a lot of different themes available, and to get the latest ones you'll need Windows 7. If you plan on keeping Windows XP, then you might have to explore a few different ways of finding themes, through ThemeXP for example, to find what you are looking for. Microsoft still offers some Windows XP themes, but they aren't as clean as the newer ones that come for Windows 7. The Windowblinds software is able to customize Windows XP, so when you purchase the latest version, you'll be able to skin your current version of Windows with no problems.

There are some alternatives to Windowblinds, but it's the program that will allow you to customize the most aspects of your Windows OS, so it might be the way to go if you want to get the look that we showcased before. Naturally, you'll have to experiment with the different settings of Windowblinds, in order to get exactly what you want.

CustoPack Tools is a free alternative to Windowblinds. It will allow you to easily customize the appearance of your Windows OS through the installation of different packs. It works with Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

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(Image: Flickr member Stijn Vogels licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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