The Windows 8 Start Screen has been the topic of discussion for a long time now. The Start Screen is the main workspace for the users of Windows 8. Instead of downloading and installing the applications in desktop mode, the Windows Store will contain all the apps that you can get on your Windows 8 device, just like the Android and iOS platforms. Since the Start Screen is the main interface that you will be looking at whenever Windows starts or whenever you exit an app, customizing it to your own taste seems like a good idea. The default Windows options for the Start Screen lets you change the background color and apply themes; however, a much-needed option i.e. the ability to set a custom wallpaper is still missing from PC Settings. Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer is a tool for Windows 8 (and 8.1) that lets you change the Start Screen background to any image of your choice (update: unlike the built-in options in Windows 8.1, it also lets you choose GIF images), choose the number of app rows to show, and tweak the opacity settings for Start Screen and app tiles. Moreover, you can choose a large number of images and set the background to change after a specified time interval.
The app will be downloaded as a zip file. When you unzip it, you will notice that the extension of the extracted executable file is ‘ex_’. In order to make it work, just rename the extension to “exe”. Now, double-clicking the file will start the app. This might seem unusual but we’re guessing the server used by the developer has a restriction on uploading files with .exe extension, even in compressed archives.
The application is designed to be quite user-friendly and all the options are available on the main interface. From the left side, you can change the color of the Start Screen and apply the default themes, as well as set the maximum number of rows to appear on your Start Screen (the minimum number is automatically chosen by Windows 8 according to your resolution), and increase/ decrease the Start Screen Opacity and Tiles Opacity. The right side lets you apply a custom wallpaper to the Start Screen. Just click Load Picture to choose an image, and press the Apply and Save button to apply it.
You can also choose to automatically change the Start Screen background after a specified time interval by selecting a number of images. Choose the Select Pictures option at the bottom, select the desired images and check the Slideshow box.
The images will automatically change on the Start Screen.
Even though the application works perfectly on smaller resolutions, it tends to be buggy when dealing with higher ones. In our testing, the application worked fine on 1366 x 768 resolution, but failed to work on 1920 x 1080.
Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer supports both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8.