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A Windows 8 Start screen and Charms Bar features is the newest feature added to it prior to the earlier versions of Windows. The traditional Start menu is replaced by Start Screen in Windows 8. The Windows 8 start screen features the programs and Apps in the form of live tiles. But, the start screen customization options are limited. For instance, the Windows 8 start screen backgrounds are limited to only 20 designs, which were unlimited for other Windows OS along with limited color schemes. Here is the tutorial how you can customize your Windows 8 Start screen along with the Charms Bar.
Charms Bar in Windows 8 can be shown upon hovering the mouse cursor to top-right corner or bottom-right corner of screen. You can also access it by pressing Win+C keys together. It displays a sidebar style panel in right-side of screen containing some useful system shortcuts such as Search, Share, Devices, PC Settings, etc.
The Charms Bar is not customizable at all. The background color, icons, location, etc can’t be changed nor even disable it.
Windows 8 users can however change its Start Screen background images by simply modifying a system file imageres.dll present in Windows\System32 folder using Resource Hacker. The .dll file contains all the existing Start Screen background images. The images can be replaced with images of your own. But, before modifying, you have to take ownership of the file.
Windows 8 Start screen and Charms Bar can be customized using Decor8. Stardock has developed Decor8 who previously created Start8 a Windows 8 Start menu program. This software provides you the option change the appearance of Windows 8. In addition to this, the program provides two major features, first is the ability to pick any picture and set as the Start screen background and the second one is to select a custom color scheme, along with several minor features that allow you to customize the start screen.
Decor8 presents an ultimate Windows 8 Start Screen tweaking and customization utility which allows activities such as change background image of Start Screen, set wallpaper as you desire on the Start Screen background, personalize the start screen along with tiles color scheme, changing the tiles quantity in the start screen, Disable automatic background image scrolling feature, Customize the Windows 8 Charms Bar background color scheme, etc.
Firstly, install the software and then run it. This will display the screen where you can change the background image of Start Screen. You can either select images from the given background images or add your own desired wallpaper using Select folders button and many more effects to your Windows start screen. You can modify the colors of the start screen, tiles color, and text color under Colors tab.
You can add or remove tiles at the start screen under Options tab. You can increase or decrease number of rows in Start Screen using the slider. This feature utilizes a built-in Registry tweak. You can manually do it under Windows Registry Editor. To do so go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell\Grid key and in right-side pane change the value of Layout_MaximumRowCount DWORD to your desired number basing upon the screen resolution.
There are various features that can be enabled or disable in Windows 8 using Decor8. If you are fond of customizing your Start screen and charms bar, then Decor8 is essential.