How to Make Your Own Windows 10 Theme

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themes

Want to change how your desktop and windows look in Windows 10 and share that design with friends? Windows 10 lets you create your own theme with a custom desktop background, windows border and Start menu accent color. You can save these settings as a new theme file to use over and over or send to others.

1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.

windows10 theme 1settings

2. Choose Personalization from the settings screen.
windows10 theme 2personalization

3. Change one or more of the following:

  • Desktop background: Select picture, solid color, or slideshow. In addition to some default photos, you can click the Browse button to select a background picture. If you choose slideshow, the default album for the slideshow will be the Photos folder, but you can browse to a different folder and also set how often you want the picture to change on your desktop.
    windows10 theme 3background
  • Colors: You can either have Windows automatically pick an accent color from your background or select a color for the Start menu tiles background and the thin border around windows. This will also change the color of the Windows icon in the taskbar when you hover over it. Optionally, you can also have that color shown on the taskbar and Windows 10's action center by checking those checkboxes.
    windows10 theme 4colors

You can also change the Lock screen background image and Start menu settings here, but these aren't saved with your theme.

4. Click Themes in the Personalization window, then Theme settings.

windows10 theme 5themes

This will open up the personalization settings in the Control Panel.
windows10 theme 6controlpanel

5. Right-click on the Unsaved Theme and select Save theme. The Unsaved Theme appears in the My Themes section and contains the the settings you just adjusted. 
windows10 theme 7savetheme

6. Give your theme a name in the window dialog box and hit OK.

windows10 theme 8nametheme

Your new theme will be saved and you can switch between it and other themes easily by going to the personalization options in the Control Panel. Once your theme is saved, you can also right-click on it and save the theme for sharing as a .deskthemepack file.

Microsoft doesn't offer a built-in way to create more complex themes than this (e.g., changing app icons or default sounds), but there's an app in the Windows App Store called Theme Creator that promises to let create a complete Windows theme package. The app crashed on me when I tried it, but you might have better luck.

Also, Microsoft offers many Windows theme packs you can download for free here.

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2 comments
  • Paul Hamilakis Says:

    Good and easy to follow instructions. You made life a little easier for me. I'm hoping that someday you'll find a way to customize the Windows background so that Word, Excel, and Outlook documents and Menus can be changed from the awful white color. The win7 color pallet is very much missed.

  • GraveDigger27 Says:

    The latest version of Windows 10 (the fall update) includes some adjustments to the desktop theme that weren't available in the earliest release. You can now change the desktop themes and change the settings of the desktop theme that weren't available in the initial release (but were in Windows 7 and 8/8.1) If you go to www.devianart.com you can find some new desktop themes that I created in Windows 8.1 for use by Windows 10 users. Just search for Windows 10 Desktop Themes and you should find them...

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