How to change Windows 8.1 Start screen colors and patterns

Windows 8.1 Start screen bigger and smaller tiles

Although Windows 8.1 is just an update, it might also feel like a new operating system to some users, because Microsoft has added, improved, and relocated many features. One of these changes includes how to personalize the Start screen.

Before users needed to go to the PC Settings, but now these settings has been relocated to the Settings menu. This means that to change patterns, background, and accent colors on the Start screen in Windows 8.1, now requires to go to Start, use the Windows 8 Key +I keyboard shortcut, and click or tap Personalize.

New option to personalize the Start screen in Windows 8.1 462_wide

The settings location isn’t the only thing that has changed with Windows 8.1, you can also notice that in this new update, Microsoft has included new options that let users to choose from virtually any color and now there are new patterns to select from. One option missing from this menu, perhaps one important, is the ability to set the desktop background on Start, which is located in the Taskbar and Navigation properties.

It actually makes more sense the new placement, but not to get confused, the Settings menu is location oriented, meaning that you have to be on the Start screen to do this. From other locations it will not work, such as from the desktop you’ll see the Personalization option, but this is to change aspects of the desktop, and from other apps you won’t see these new options.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.