Skip to main content

Best ways to spice up your Windows 10 desktop

Your PC background is more than just a home screen. It's a chance to express yourself and make your PC your own. From dynamically changing wallpapers to making your PC look like it's from a Windows device demo, here are the best ways to personalize your desktop.

Live wallpapers

While you can have excellent images as your desktop background, using a live wallpaper lets you set your PC in motion. You can upload your own videos or use the web to show looping backgrounds on your PC.

To get this to work you'll need a program like Plastuer that can show a video as your background. Plastuer works with web URLs, your own videos, and a gallery of videos that are installed with it. It's a "pay what you want" program, though the minimum purchase price is $2 to cover PayPal fees.

Plastuer can be resource intensive depending on how you use it. You can create a playlist of YouTube videos to play on your desktop which can take up processing power and memory on your PC. When I ordered Plastuer, the download link showed up in my junk folder so be aware that it might not show up in your normal inbox.

$2+ at Plastuer

WinDynamic Desktop

One of the prettier features to come with the latest MacOS update is the ability to have a wallpaper change dynamically depending on the time of day. WinDynamic Desktop brings that same functionality to Windows 10. You can even use it with the same dessert photos that are used to show of the feature for MacOS.

You tell the app your location and then it dynamically adjusts your desktop throughout the day. I'd like the option to add custom photos in the future but even as it is, WinDynamic Desktop is nice to use. It's worth pointing out that you just type in your location, so you don't have to grant the app access to your device's location and you could choose to have it change based on any region you'd like.

Free at Microsoft (opens in new tab)

WallpaperHub

WallpaperHub is collection of official Microsoft Wallpapers and wallpapers inspired by Microsoft's most popular images. You can download wallpapers from the growing Windows Insider ninja cat collection or grab wallpapers that ship with devices like the Surface Pro 6.

In addition to being an excellent place to get wallpapers, WallpaperHub is also a beautiful designed PWA. It has a light and dark theme as well as transparency elements and hover effects. It's rare to see websites fully embrace both being a PWA and having Fluent Design so it's great to see WallpaperHub does both.

All of the wallpapers on the website are free to download.

Free at WallpaperHub

Windows themes

Windows themes arrived in the Microsoft Store a while ago and are an easy way to change the look and feel of your device. Selecting a theme can change your PCs sounds for different actions, its accent color, and your wallpaper. The Microsoft Store has an ever-growing number of themes and many additions are specific to times of the year. For example, Autumn in Sweden (opens in new tab) changes your accent color to an autumnal orange and has lovely photos of Sweden in the Fall including a boat by a river and a moose in the wild.

Windows themes can be downloaded through the Microsoft Store from the themes collection which is located towards the bottom of the store.

Over to you

How do you personalize your desktop? Let us know in the comments below so people can see how you express yourself through your PC.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

13 Comments
  • Is rainmeter still a thing ? Haven't had time to customize my desktop on ages.
    Also stardocks object desktop. I feel like I've dated myself with this post lol
  • I use Rainmeter on all of my setups
  • Damb I used to use rainmeter too
  • Really like DailyPic 👍 New, great background every single day with the option to save them in high res. Should definitely be added to the list 👍
  • No mention of Bing desktop. :(
    I haven't installed it on my Win10 box yet - mostly because it feels like it should be built-in. Is it?
  • It is not built in, but I agree that it should be! There are apps in the MS Store that do the same thing but you have to pay to cycle through the daily pictures.
  • Bing desktop app changes my wallpaper everyday.
  • I made a UWP app that does something similar to the Dynamic Wallpaper feature on Mac OS Mojave- I called it Active Wallpaper .. www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9PHJQCWK58V4?ocid=badge
    Sure you can make your own them but I made some and you can get them on GitHub.
    I also added a feature for Weather based dynamic wallpaper, and a flat wallpaper that you can select its colors (with a dynamic color that also changes based on the time of the day) check it out and let me know !
  • TranslucentTB is super cool!
  • I recommend Spotbright.
  • If you really want to spice up your desktop, I recommend X-rated wallpapers.
  • Dynamic Theme for Bing daily pictures.
  • DreamScene was an integral part of MS Vista Ultimate. It worked flawlessly on my workstation. Translucent etc. it was all there... Never understood why they have abandoned this and did not build-in this functionality in W8 or W10. I was resource intensive I know but on a powerful PC it worked fine and you could disable it if needed.
    PS I think there still is Stardock DeskScapes around https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MZyRoJv-U8