Xbox One to add custom backgrounds, themes and screenshot support

Microsoft has been great about adding new features to the Xbox One via system updates on a regular basis since its launch a year ago, and that will apparently continue in the near future as Xbox leader Phil Spencer has revealed the console will be adding support for custom backgrounds and themes, along with the ability to take screenshots, in the future.

Spencer revealed the news near the end of an interview on the Inner Circle Podcast today, stating, "Themes and background pics are something we are working on, and screenshots; I know people beat me up on screenshots ... I know people like to customize the look of the dash .. we are going to deliver on them." He didn't state when exactly this new support will be added to the Xbox One.

This piece of news will likely please long time Xbox fans, especially owners of the Xbox 360, which has supported changing the background and themes of the dashboard via free and paid themes. Are you happy this kind of feature will be added to the Xbox One?

Source: The Inner Circle Podcast via XboxMAD.Net; Thanks, Jez, for the tip!

John Callaham
  • At long last.
  • Is anybody getting a diffrent profile picture each time the profile page at is refreshed? Mine keeps on changing each time and I'm scared my account is being compromised. Can someone please confirm this for me? :(
  • Don't worry. Happening to me as well.
  • Thanks a lot
  • Same here, so it looks like a glitch in the system.
  • Fucking Matrix.
  • ...hahahaha... :)
  • Aaww soo glad it's a general problem. Thanks a lot guys ,got freaking scared for a while :)
  • Really happy about screenshot support.
  • We do, but sadly only to send feedback to the Xbox team...
  • Yeah, this will be screenshots in general. We will now be able to capture images of scenic or awesome moments like PS4 users can. Even being able to save a frame of a recording to image would be nice, but direct screenshots would be much higher quality.
  • God, I am loving this console.
  • Absolutely!!
  • MS dropped the ball on some of the hardware but they sure are bringing us the best console features they can. Their support so far has been awesome. Frequent updates with fixes, tweaks, and new features. Sony is not doing the same with the PS4.
  • At least ps4 got stability updates! A lot of them lol
  • So your saying the system was unstable, did they ever fix the wobble the system had lol
  • Yeah, Sony sent furniture wedge wobble stoppers to their customers.
  • To be honest I don't think they dropped the ball on the hardware. It makes barely any difference to the result, but a huge difference in hardware availability. It was just perceived badly by the media; they always have to have something sensational to talk about, so they inflate the small details.
  • I'd like custom gamerpics too.
  • Would never happen due to people posting u know pictures
  • Probably work the way it does on the 360 a gamer pic for friends & a gamer pic from marketplace for public/followers
  • 360 had it.
  • But it required a Xbox live cam. Only photos where allowed.
  • That's his point. He's saying people will post a pic of goatse.
  • Well maybe unlockable gamerpics. I still have an old one from Risen 2. I just don't like any of the new ones. But if I could pick one from a game I've played then I'd probably be able to pick one I could relate to.
  • That's gonna be sweet! I'd like the theme/color to sync between all my devices just like WP and Windows 8/10
  • That would be the Ultimate!!! ...Best Idea I read today so far... you should hit "Xbox Feedback" and bring this to the table... I salute ya... :)
  • I've been wondering if that'll be part of Windows 10, seeing as it'll be coming to Xbox One. Complete theme syncing across PC, tablet, phone, and Xbox would be so awesome!
  • Would be super cool, and yeh I also noticed Xbox one running Windows 10 in the image provided, wonder when that's to come
  • Haha, yeh! I'll do that actually, and send it on Windows 10 feedback app. Maybe they'll listen :)
  • Where is the October update release already
  • Maybe update tuesday, (14.Oct.)
  • Seems Xbox needs more stability!!
  • I've had an x1 for awhile and I haven't seen a need for that yet. I am a preview member though...
  • Just PS4 thing, that was the joke ;)
    The last few updates are only stability ! Stability !
  • It's been pretty stable for me, for the most part. I've had to unplug and replug due to internet issues and uninstall and install one app. But this is pretty common with all devices it seems. What stability issues are you having?
  • The only thing that is unstable for me is the Live TV. I have had a number of issues with the TV stuff since I've had it. When I first turn on the One Guide after a while away from the Xbox One, I will start scrolling throiugh the channels and the after I scroll for a while (say from channel 1002 to channel 1250 or so) the One Guide will just disappear and I'll have to hit the button again to bring it back up. Occasionally, I'll wake the XB1 and it will say that it has lost the connectioin to my cable box. Sometimes it returns within a minute or two and sometimes I have to reboot the XB1 to make it work. Sometimes I will scroll using the One Guide and find a channel I want to watch and select it and the channel number will change at the top, but it will stay on the same original channel and never change. Closing the TV app and opening it again corrects this.
  • I would like my Xbox one profile to mimic the shared desktop colors and such that my Surface and my Windows phones do when I use them. I got the bright green L1520 and set my Start theme accent color to the bright green. Now when I log into the Surface, the same color shows as my accent color there as well. It would be awesome to see the same on my Xbox One. I obviously use the same MS account to log into all of my MS devices.
  • I'm sure this will happen
  • I believe windows 10 will address this issue as Xbox was included in the conference for windows 10
  • That'll probably happen, but maybe not until Windows 10. 
  • It doesn't automatically share, but you can at least easily set the color to match your other devices' colors.  All of the option available for your Windows 8 device are available on the console already.
  • I'm enthused about themes. My 360s have some good ones
  • A dream that comes true
  • Convenient timing just as 3ds/2ds adds a similar feature(that will soon or later be ported to wii U)
  • Great news. Now just add the ability to play burned Blu-Ray discs and then wait for the DLNA server support to come and it'll be damn near perfect for all my entertainment needs.
  • I'm just hoping that they can get Xbox Music to run in the background. I like listening to music while gaming, but I hate losing screen space from the app, so I rarely turn it on (usually listening through my phone when I do).
  • +1
  • +1520
  • Ultimately I'd like the dash to look like the pause menus in Forza Horizon 2. It's a beautiful evolution of the metro theme.
  • It's about time.....
  • Hallelujah!!!!
  • Give me screenshots first please.
    Also ability to make screenshots backgrounds would be nice.
  • I only hope they arent useless themes like on the 360. 80% of whatever theme you bought was covered by the giants squares
  • More Kinect support, por favor, Mr. Spencer.
  • Yay! It's now the Xbox 360!!
  • Please allow my reciever to handle Dolby/DTS digital decoding!!  I soooo want that update. 
  • Wow. Why do I feel like I'm the only one who doesn't want this? I think the dash looks beautiful the way it is now. I get that people want the option, but I feel that the Xbox team nailed the idea of Microsoft's 'Modern' interface. It would be a shame to 'dress it up' with a theme and background image that detracts from the experience rather than compliment it.
  • I get what you are saying but it makes it more personal. 
  • I guess. The only thing I really want is for my preferences to sync between all my Xbox and other Microsoft devices. So that means accent colour, gamer pic, Internet explorer favourites etc.
  • This, times a million. Go to user voice and vote for this feature. Be heard!
  • Arguing against optional customization, that's a new one. :-\
  • I would love it if my Xbox would sync to my other Devices. I have a Laptop, a Surface 2, Desktop, and a Lumia. When I change my highlight color on my Lumia, all my devices match excopt my Xbox. Samge goes for my background. I would love to see the Xbox sync up too
  • Screenshots! That'll be amazing! I'd take screenshots from movies & use em as my wallpaper!
  • It's about time. I want the ability to upload my icon to use as my profile. XBL wetworker . add me.
  • Yea
  • It is odd that xbo and ps4 had these restrictions (or feature lacking) to begin with.
  • Nice! I am glad to see this feature coming to light.
  • Awesome screenshots. The activity feed is cool, but would be a lot cooler with this feature. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • I never cared about customized backgrounds on Windows, don't on Windows Phone.  So I don't care about it on my Xbox One.  The only customization that I have any mind of is the theme of the tiles.  I hate transparent tiles and refuse to use them.
  • I'm more curious as to why there are even tile ordering restrictions on the xbox one to begin with. It's silly that I cant do it right out of the box ala Windows/Phone. Between all three, both Phone and Xbox blow Windows right out of the water in regards to Microsoft's 'Modern' approach.
  • Noice!
  • Maybe it'll be in the Windows 10 update to the Xbox One.
  • Awesome. Give me a killer Halo theme stat.
  • Cant wait for this, always have cool halo backgrounds on my 360. Also, last paragraph "supported chaning backgrounds and themes" changing* :)
  • I hope they give us the translucent tiles to show our backgrounds like our windows phones
  • Yeah I'm happy. I think we all like customizing our digital space whether it's for work or play.
  • Add "Bing image of the day", just like Windows and Windows Phone.
  • I like this, I love being able to personalize my console a bit, currently the home screen feels a little lifeless. I hope I can get a Psychonauts theme to match my 360.
  • great
  • Great stuff, but what I would really love is a child lock on that power button. That shine and little plipple noise just attracts toddlers (and once or twice my dogs cold, wet nose has turned it off) I can switch on and off with the pad or Kinect. My dog/cat/daughter etc cant
  • Good news but how about bringing back custom soundtracks to games again...?
    I remember GTA San Andreas for the original Xbox had a radio station that would play the music you had on your hard drive. It was in game not like how they implemented music on the 360 which drowned out in game sound effects.
    We need that feature back. It's a shame with all the tech now in consoles that we can't have custom soundtracks in games anymore.