How To Set Your Desktop Background To Your Windows 8 Start Screen

Windows 8 has some great personalization aspect that can make the experience feel more tuned to you.  While some (okay, most) do not like the Windows 8 Start screen, I’m actually a pretty big fan of it.  Once you get the knack of navigating around it I find it to be just as intuitive as the Start button of Windows past.  And while you can customize this with different color sets in the Settings>Personalize menu, it isn’t quite the same as having a personalized wallpaper on the Start screen just as you do on the desktop.

Buried in Windows 8.1 is a setting that will allow you to add your desktop wallpaper to the Windows 8 Start screen.  To be fair it isn’t exactly easy to find but if you are looking for a more personalized Start screen, follow these easy steps to enable this feature.

This How To assumes that you have installed the latest updates to Windows 8.1 on your PC.

First, go to Desktop mode on your Windows 8.1 PC then right-click the Start button and open up the Control Panel. In Control

Taskbar and Navigation Settings in Windows 8
Taskbar and Navigation Settings in Windows 8

Panel, go to the Appearances and Personalization then click on Taskbar and Navigation.  Finally, click the Navigation tab in the panel. You should be at a panel that looks like the one to the right.

There are a lot of different settings on this panel but the one we are interested in for this How To is the 2nd one in the Start screen settings.  This option is “Show my desktop background on Start”.  Tick that box, click Apply and then close your way out of Control Panel.

It will take a minute or two for your PC to sort itself but you will eventually end up with your Desktop wallpaper as your Start screen wallpaper.  How long this take completely depends on your PC but be patient.

Now if you know me or have been reading by blogs for any amount of time you know that I’m a huge Formula One fan.  While I’m still a big fan of Kimi Raikkonen, I’m not such a huge fan of Ferrari.  However there is another Finn in F1, Valtteri Bottas, and I’m a big fan of both him and his team, Williams Martini Racing.  Therefore, as you would expect, my Windows 8 Start screen appropriately reflects my passion for the sport and for Williams F1.

If you ever want to disable this feature and return to a solid color background on the Start screen, navigate your way back to these Control Panel settings and remove the checkmark in the box you set earlier. Again,

Clinton's Windows 8 Start screen
Clinton’s Windows 8 Start screen

after a few minutes your PC will sort itself and you will be back to the normal (dare I say boring?) Start screen.

For more How To’s, particularly for Windows Phone, be sure to visit my How To’s page.

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