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How To Personalize Windows 7 Starter

Microsoft removed many of the personalization options in Windows 7 Starter, the cheap edition for netbooks.  There is still a lot of stuff you can customize, though some of it is hidden, so here we’ll show you how to make your netbook your very own.

In all other editions of Windows 7, you can easily personalize your computer by simply right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Personalize.  This gives you a wide range of options to change, including themes, background, sounds, screensaver, mouse pointers, and desktop icons.

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This Personalization panel not available Windows 7 Starter, however.  If you right-click on the desktop, all you will see are options to change your resolution and add Desktop Gadgets.

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With a few quick Start Menu searches, though, you can rediscover many of the personalization settings.  Here’s how to change your window theme, screensaver, sounds, and more in Windows 7 Starter.  All of these options are in the normal Personalization panel in other editions of Windows 7, but here we’ll show you how to find them in Starter.

Sounds

It can be both useful and enjoyable to change your default sounds.  Anyone who’s booted a laptop during a meeting knows how annoying computer sounds can be.  Or, if you just want to make your PC sound different than the default settings, Windows 7 includes several very nice sound schemes.

Simply enter “change sounds” in your start menu search, and then select “Change system sounds”.

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Here you can change or remove any of the sounds or even turn on or off the Windows boot sound.

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You can even choose one of the other sound schemes; 7 Starter still includes all of the new sound schemes!

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Screensaver

Most netbooks will have no screensaver enabled by default, and instead will have the screen turn off when idle to conserve power.  If you would like your netbook to have a screensaver, Windows 7 Starter does still include all the default Windows 7 screensavers.  Simply type “screensaver” in your start menu search, and choose “Change screen saver”.

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This will open the same screensaver option dialog you’re used to.  Choose the screensaver and settings you want.

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Theme

By default, Windows 7 Starter uses the Aero Classic theme.  This is similar to the default Aero Glass theme on other editions of Windows 7, but without the transparency.

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If you prefer the classic Windows look (from Windows 95/98/2000/ME), or need to use a high contrast theme, you can still revert to this.  Type “theme” in the start menu search, and click the “Change the color scheme” link.

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This opens the classic theme selector.  Choose the them you want, and click OK.

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Here’s the Windows Classic theme on Windows 7 Starter.

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You can change your theme options in the Windows Classic theme, including the desktop background color.  Simply click Advanced in the previous dialog, click on the background color in the picture, and then choose the color you want from the box.

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Background Picture

Windows 7 Starter does not allow you to directly change the background.  One of the best ways around this is the Slide Show desktop gadget.  To add this, right-click on your desktop, and click Gadgets.

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Now, double-click on the Slide Show gadget, or click and drag it to your desktop.

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By default the gadget is small.  To make it larger, hover your mouse over the right hand side of the gadget, and click on the middle button with the arrow.

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Now the gadget will show a 320×240 image.

 image

This actually looks fairly nice for a background, especially on the standard 1024×600 resolution screens on netbooks.

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Desktop Icons

To change the icons for common items such as My Computer and the Recycle Bin, enter “icons” in the start menu search and select the “Show or hide common icons on the desktop” link.

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Here you can show or hide icons, or can also change the icons for these items.

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Select the item you wish to change, and click Change Icon.  You can select from icons included with Windows, or others you may have on your computer.

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Mouse Pointers

If you’d like to customize your mouse pointers, enter “cursors” in the start menu search, and choose the “Change how the mouse pointer looks” link.

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This will open the classic mouse properties dialog, where you can choose mouse pointer schemes and change individual cursors.

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Conclusion

Windows 7 Starter still has a lot of customization options, but they’re not as apparent as they are in other editions of Windows 7.  With these tips, you should be able to customize your netbook more than you originally thought possible.  And these all work without installing any 3rd party software!

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 02/24/10

Comments (122)

  1. Col

    My favourite way to personalize Win7 basic is to boot from an Ubuntu CD/USB live and use the entire hard drive for a clean install.

  2. Michael Itzoe

    I don’t have Starter, but does Windows Explorer still have the option to set an image as the background? Seems a bit easier and less resource-intensive than using a gadget.

  3. mick monroe

    great post thanks a lot

  4. oneshot719

    @Michael Itzoe

    Nope, tried that and it didn’t work. A way to do it from what i remember is navigating down to a certain directory and taking ownership of the wallpaper.bmp file and then you find the new one you want and overwrite the old.

  5. Samsung210

    Thanks – I’m getting my samsung210 tomorrow. I was going to move to ubuntu – but I’ll keep windows 7 – thanks to you.

  6. Matthew Guay

    Nice … I actually have a Samsung N150 with Windows 7 Starter, which is very similar to the Samsung N210, and I love it. I actually wrote this article from it! :)

  7. Kev

    Thanks a lot – that was a great post.

  8. Blancheys

    Absolutely helpful!

  9. b0rek

    To change wallpaper you can do the following:
    1. Open regedit (aka registry editor; you can access it from the star menu by typing “regedit” in the search box…)
    2. Go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\” folder and click on it
    3. On the right hand side find there are a bunch of entries. Find the key named “Wallpaper” and double click on it and put the path of the picture you want as your new wallpaper (example path is “C:\Users\Bob\Pictures\new_wallpaper.jpg”)
    4. Right-click on the “Desktop” folder in regedit that you found in step 2 and click Permissions.
    5. Click “Advanced”
    6. Go to “Owner” tab, highlight your name in the box that says ʽChange owner toʼ ( There are only two choices the other is Administrator )… once your user name is highlighted click “OK”
    7. Click on “Advanced” again
    8. Uncheck the button that reads “Include inheritable permissions from the objectʼs parent”… click “Remove” when prompted
    9. Click “Add”
    10. Type “Everyone” and click “OK”
    11. Check Allow “Read Control” and click “OK”
    12. Click “OK” again
    13. Highlight “Everyone” and check to Allow “Read” and click “OK”
    14. Restart Computer and enjoy new Wallpaper

  10. Yes

    i think, we should use Oceanis change background, it easy to change wallpaper. regedit so long & complicated.

  11. denis_popov

    When you will have install BolgenOS you have lost the need to change the wallpapers

  12. himan83gr

    Xaxaxa. The first comment is awesome!!xaxaxa I couldn’t stop laughing. Anyway is it possible somehow to add more themes similar to the windows basic but in different colors(without the aero effect). ie: a green theme or an orange?

  13. jude

    got window 7 starter installed on my computer as well.. and was reaaly having a hard time thinking on how to change my desktop background…so I downloaded Oceanis… and it’s working perfectly fine now..
    you can try it too guys…=)

  14. Threshie

    A very useful post–thank you, I actually wouldn’t have thought to just type it into the search bar, LOL.

    @ himan83gr: Yes, you can change the colors of the Windows Classic view by going to the dialogue box where you switch from Aero to Classic and then hitting the “Advanced” button. There will be a preview of what the windows look like and two drop-down bars; the top selects which item to change the color of, and the bottom lets you change what font is displayed in that part (if it’s something that shows text, like buttons.)

    Hope that helps! =) I used to love customizing my Windows XP, and was bummed at how limited Vista seemed. When I got Windows 7 Starter on my little ASUS EEE PC, it looked even more limited, which of course led me to looking up this article. Thanks a bunch, now I feel like my little netbook is tricked out. =)

    ~Threshie <3

  15. Miss Andrea Borman.

    Yes I have tried what you said to change my Windows 7 starter desktop color and yes it WORKS. It only works it you select Windows classic option in settings,then I was able to chhose my own color from the color wheel for my desktop. Now my destop theme color is pale pink,my task bar and menu bar is also now lemon and no longer at the bottom of my screen. It is on the left hand side which gives me more room to view web pages. Thank you so much for this useful imformation. andrea Borman.

  16. maria jesus

    please tell me how to do it.
    i have just bought the netbook samsung with windows 7 starter.. and I cant change nothing.
    i-ll like to change the theme but i cant, please explain me how!
    ill really apreciatte it!
    there-s my mail

    jechu.manzano at gmail.com, please anwer me!
    thanks =)

  17. panida

    just buy new netbook sony wio. with windows 7
    but can’t change anything try to do many time.
    how can i do with this?

  18. Matthew Guay

    @panida – If you’re running Starter edition, the tips in this article should help you get it more customized. And, if you want to change your full background picture and get more customization, check out this article on how to do it with the Starter Background Changer – http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16041/change-the-wallpaper-and-customization-settings-in-windows-7-starter-edition/

    Alternately, if you’d like to upgrade to a higher edition of Windows 7, you can easily do this with Windows Anytime Upgrade. Only thing is, it costs more, depending on the edition you choose. The above tips really make it work great for free, but if you want the higher features, here’s how you can use Anytime Upgrade on your netbook – http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/14943/how-to-upgrade-your-netbook-to-windows-7-home-premium/

  19. Hey!

    If you don’t have a problem with installing third party software, check out “Oceanis Change Background W7″. It works, it’s free, and even better, virus FREE! ^^

  20. Brian

    the Oceans solution did not work for me on an Acer Aspire One. The taskbar disappeared and the program would not run properly. After installing it required reboot. Once rebooted after trying to click the desktop icon it created I got the same message telling me to reboot for the program to work. After a few attempts of installing, uninstalling and reinstalling the app I decided the app was broken. To the user who suggested Linux in place of Windows 7… That was my choice as well but it should be noted that installing another OS may void any warranty on the hardware windows 7 was installed on. In my case Acer refuses to honor their warranty if Linux is installed.

  21. rickyy

    your all ediots ‘b0rek’ your a genious mate i can just right click anything now and it works strate away thank you mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn much love !

  22. mariya

    verrrrry helpful, but all the extra junk at the top of that page was a bit annoying

  23. Akash

    I cant apply any customized theme in my widows 7 home edition..Its saying “This edition of windows doesn’t support themes”. Can anyone suggest anything. ??

  24. ahmed

    very good post
    many thanks

  25. Renee

    I followed borek’s instructions but missed out points 13 and 14 by accident. Now when the computer starts the screen is black and you can only see the mouse pointer. Task Manager worked for a little while but has now stopped working. I’ve lost all permissions and I can’t turn them back on again. I only got my computer 3 days ago and now I broke it. Can anyone help me?

  26. Spartan

    Renee the same happened to me. Do a System Restore. Start/All Programs/Accessories/System Tools/ System Restore. Then restore toa previous date.
    Hope it helps :)

  27. Neil

    Is there a way to make imported screensaver software (such as style7’s a-clock-7) work with Starter7? I’ve installed the software and ‘a-clock 7′ comes up on the screensaver control panel as an option. It even previews. But when I choose it and apply it, the screensaver reverts to bubbles.

    Any suggestions?

  28. Josiah White

    Damn b0rek thanks man

  29. Meromaxmoxy

    Thanks……….

  30. Woehoe

    Thanks,
    this really helps!!! ;)

  31. Milod

    This is good,but i have found a way to change the theme completely,if you are an advanced user and know a little bit about registry editing email me i will happily guide you through.
    :D I did not find anything on the internet so i decided to DIY. and i am happy happy happy.
    Cheers guys

  32. Milod

    I will try to write a program for it so every body could use this.

  33. Milod

    oh forgot my E-mail hmopcs at gmail dot com

  34. Bob

    Thanks for the info! It’s very helpfull.

  35. pallab biswas

    there is no personalize option when i click right mouse button on dekstop………..
    i use windows 7………or in control panel…….
    wht can i do???????????

  36. KRISTIN

    Thank you for the helo!! Great website you guys have here:)

  37. Nick

    ALL I WANT IS TO KNOW HOW TO CHANGE THE COLOR OF THE TASKBAR! IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK? I KNOW WINDOWS 7 STARTER IS CRAPPY BUT I’LL HAVE TO MAKE DUE WITHOUT UNTIL MY PARENTS GET ME A REAL LAPTOP. JUST PLEASE SOMEONE TELL ME HOW TO CHAGE THE TASKBAR COLOR TO BLACK ON WINDOWS 7 STARTER ADDITION.

  38. Berettone

    Great!
    Thank you!

  39. Mark

    Milod,

    so put together a how-to, we’re all waiting :-)

  40. Mark

    incidentally re B0rek’s instructions, in case for instance you need to change the screensaver afterwards, from the screensaver control panel applet you found from the instructions in the main article, you’ll need to revert the permissions temporarily – recheck ‘inherit permissions’ from the ‘Desktop’ registry folder’s advanced permissions; remember to reimplement his changes afterwards, for the desktop background to persist after a reboot

    an alternative would be to modify the screensaver registry key directly, look in %windows%\system32\*.scr for screensavers

  41. Khan

    I will say that Window 7 STARTER cannot change Your background in any case.

  42. Rino

    Can windows 7 starter use aero glass like windows 7 ultimate?
    Tx for the tutorial

  43. jatinmalik

    i have buyed an sony vaio net book but i cant change any thing bcos its windows 7 starter can i change this window to the best windows xp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Rajiv soni Satna

    i have got very importent information from here , i things this is too much good

  45. matheus oliveira soares

    valu pelas dicas meu chará

  46. raafik

    if we do not have personilization,

    what we have to do,because if i right_click my computer does not have personilization

  47. akulahsamseng

    good…very helpful..mcm taik..huahahah

  48. Drea

    I’m having trouble changing my screen saver! Help! I was able to click apply and save to change from the defult saver to photos. But now it will not change to anything else! Was I only allowed to change the screen saver one time, with Starter’s limited capabilities?! All your other infor is fantastic, thanks for all the tips!

  49. setlion

    no toqueis los componentes de starter en cambio probar starterbackgroundchanger funciona mejor que llevarte un susto saludos

  50. jangaboo

    my netbook came with windows 7 starter but i found a way to change background, google search = personalizations russian starter

  51. Kirra

    thats soooooo getting around it. why cant you put a background on a windows 7 starter netbook? i have a netbook and it bugs the crap outta me that i cant have a background.

  52. Winter

    Kirra try this:

    1. Click start and type regedit in the search box or run
    2. Go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\” folder and click on it
    3. On the right hand side you will find a bunch of entries. Find the key named “Wallpaper” and double click on it and put the path of the picture you want as your new wallpaper (example path is “C:\Users\Light\Pictures\new wallpaper.jpg”)
    4. Right-click on the “Desktop” folder in left pane click Permissions.
    5. Click “Advanced”
    6. Go to “Owner” tab, highlight your name in the box that says ‘Change owner to’ ( There are only two choices the other is Administrator )… once your user name is highlighted click “OK”
    7. Click on “Advanced” again
    8. Uncheck the button that reads “Include inheritable permissions from the object’s parent”… click “Remove” when prompted
    9. Click “Add”
    10. Type “Everyone” and click “OK”
    11. Check Allow “Read Control” and click “OK”
    12. Click “OK” again
    13. Highlight “Everyone” and check to Allow “Read” and click “OK”
    14. Restart Computer

  53. ConceS

    Probably it has been mentioned before somewhere is this text, but there is another option. Instead of using the search option:

    1. Rightklik (wherever) and Choose to Create a new folder.
    2. The name of the folder should be: .{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
    (Just replace for a name of choice)
    The string .{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} should stay like written here!

    3. Now you can manage your Windows much easier, including adjusting sounds, screensavers etc etc

  54. ConceS

    Somehow my text has been editted. The foldername should be:
    Name.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

    Replace Name for your own chosen name.

  55. Shirish

    Gooooooooooooooooooood experience…………………
    It’s very usefulllllllllllll !

  56. zack

    thanks…

  57. sammi

    thanks matt guay that worked like a charm

  58. RaMi

    Thank you very much
    i could not change my screensaver and know i can (because of you)
    i realy thank you

  59. Jesse

    Ok guys I have a Aspire one Netbook and i Cant change the screen saver. I just found out how to do it guys. Go to your Computer /C/Windows/system32 and find that stupped Acer.scr file. Del that mother and find the other .scr fils and what ever one you want, replace the name with the one you delted(ex bubbles.scr Now is Acer.scr )your makeing the computer think it is the other screensaver. Man im so glad i found this out hope it works for you guys….

  60. some person

    Download STARTER BACKGROUND CHANGER, it works great and it has all those things – wallpaper, sounds, screensaver etc. at one place. when u install it, it will be available with right-click on the desktop as a PERSONALIZE button. it has the win 7 UI and it also allows a background slideshow.

  61. Bill Hoebler

    OK how do I change bottom taskbar to SOLID BLACK [i.e. without making unwanted changes in other programs]???? I have standard Windows 7 Home Premium; I think their wavy translucent taskbar options are tacky looking. It also seems like computer software is designed to do a billion complex, specialized (and mostly USELESS) things, but it can’t do 3 or 4 basic USEFUL things! THANKS for any help you can provide.

  62. DUSHYANT

    IF ANYONE WANTS TO CHANGE THEME OR WALLPAPER SIMPLY DOWNLOAD STARTER WALLPAPER CHANGER FROM INTERNET AND YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR WALLS ACCORDING TO YOU ,AS SIMPLE

  63. inekemout

    to have another wallpaper I use “oceanis change background windows 7″ and it works!!

  64. Zach

    The easiest way is to change theme in Windows 7 Starter is just to download & install WindowBlinds.
    :)

  65. wap-tek

    you need to provide a tutorial of WHERE the control pannel items are
    not assume it will be honest,
    “search” results will NEVER work when the operating system is hiding them
    and starter ALWAYS LIES TO THE USER ,

    WARNING this tutorial does NOT WORK

  66. wap-tek

    how to change the screensaver
    goto c:\windows\system32\ double click desk.cpl
    click “make text and other items larger or smaller”
    on left side look for “change screen saver”

  67. Sarah

    b0rek and Winter:
    your comments of how to personalize windows 7? you can carve them in stonehenge as long as you place them deep in your ass afterwards.
    Because I tried it. I actually tried it. I’m no geek. I’m was a normal, nice person without a lot of info on computeres, who just wanted to change her stupid computer image to an actual image, instead of a windows-cock-sucker image. So I followed your previously considered as precious instructions.
    And guess what. IT DIDN’T WORK. My computer screen went black, you MORONS, and I had to restaure my system to a previous point so it WORKED AGAIN.
    Even my GRANDMOTHER could be more helpful in how to change my screen image than you two, because you two should dedicate the rest of your life DOING LAUNDRY.
    All others, ignore the existence of the two idiots I dedicated my rant to.

    OCEANIS works.

    Sweetly,
    Sarah.

  68. Sarah

    [correcting some typos]

    b0rek and Winter:
    your comments of how to personalize windows 7? you can carve them in stonehenge as long as you place them deep in your ass afterwards.
    Because I tried it. I actually tried it. I’m no geek. I was a normal, nice person without a lot of info on computers, who just wanted to change her stupid computer image to an actual image, instead of a windows-cock-sucker image. So I followed your previously considered as precious instructions.
    And guess what. IT DIDN’T WORK. My computer screen went black, you MORONS, and I had to restaure my system to a previous point so it WORKED AGAIN.
    Even my GRANDMOTHER could be more helpful in how to change my screen image than you two, because you two should dedicate the rest of your life DOING LAUNDRY.

    ALL OTHERS:
    Ignore the existence of the two idiots I dedicated my rant to, and know this:

    Installing OCEANIS works. Google search Oceanis Windows 7. It worked for me.

    Sweetly,
    Sarah.

  69. rcb2418

    I have an HP netbook which came with Windows 7 starter and it also came with a program called Stardock My Colors. It’s free. I was even able to download this program into my sister’s laptop and works great. It comes with 2 free themes and you are able to change the desktop wallpaper if you don’t want to change themes. Feel free to download it here: http://www.stardock.com/products/mycolors/hp/downloads.asp . It doesn’t contain viruses and it’s approved by HP.

  70. ProfJodie

    Any chance anyone knows how to change the size of the scroll bars on the Windows 7 Starter edition? Some of my scroll bars are missing for an online application and I’ve been told this has to do with my scroll bar size. I know how to change it on my desktop, but I’d love to also change it on my netbook.

  71. zeor

    Hi
    I have problem with personalization I have downloaded some themes that I want to get rid of them and I don’t know how to delete it from personalization window and it is just bugging me that it is there
    I hope someone can help me (oh btw I have deleted the themes from the folder that they were downloaded in)
    please and thank you

  72. Miss. Andrea Borman.

    I used Windows 7 Starter for 6 months before I upgraded and yes you can change both the desktop color theme and taskbar by selecting Windows classic and using the color wheel. And even though I now have Windows 7 Ultimate,I still use this method.As I find the wallpapers too jazzy and so windows classic with the color wheel .Andrea Borman.

  73. Jayson Gunayan

    Hi. I am using Windows 7 Starter and I’ve got a really big problem. My theme before was Windows Basic. But after trying some tweaks to make my laptop perform well, my theme witched to Windows Classic which is really really bothersome. I kind of don’t like the look. So I tried changing it to Windows Basic, but when I checked the “change color scheme” feature, Windows Basic is not included in the options. I can’t find it. What should I do? I also tried applications saying that it would enable themes and wallpaper on Windows 7 Starter, but then nothing really worked. help. Email me please. I badly want to fix this. Thak you. :D

  74. Luis

    this comment is for sweet lil sarah. I actually followed the instructions correctly from b0rek and it worked perfectly fine. in your first post you openly admited that you forgot 2 steps, so if anyone is an idiot it would be you for forgeting that you admited you forgot a couple of steps and posting it up and then ranting on another post about 2 users who actually posted up the correct steps for changing your backround without having to download a program that has to be running consistantly taking up random access memory for the backround to stay. Im pretty sure that everyone agrees with me here that insulting people when that actual mistake was made by YOU just shows your true mental status.

  75. Michael E. Melvyn

    I dont use Windows 7 Starter Edition I have seen this OS it sucks
    I have a COMPAQ CQ5300F
    with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
    and I upgrade to Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
    Nice try I dont think so for Windows 7 Starter Edition 32 Bit
    I preferred the Professional Edition or Home Premium personally

  76. Silvia

    very useful post, thanks! I really don’t like to download unknown programs, so I prefer to use your tips and they work fine… :)

  77. felix

    if you want themes for windows 7 starter download mycolors…..

  78. calucha

    this is lame, and your computer will look shittier than it already does,
    this served for nothing. Its an absolute waste of time, and waste everything just reading through this lame ass page

  79. millie

    Hi
    i am also having problems with the background changing, ive had my net book since july 2010 since then it has crashed and the hard drive has been replaced. i have used oceanis to change the background before but this time around i cannot find the same program without a virus, ive attempted searching for registry editor but i can’t get passed the third step where wallpaper should be selected, but! i can’t even locate that file.. as well my gadgets do not appear when i add them because i have also tried to drag the slide show gadget onto the desktop.. any suggestions would be great :)

  80. Ana

    Can you still download regular themes onto windows 7?

  81. MachineHead

    to change wallpaper using regedit, you must follow the instructions to the letter. if you can’t do that, don’t even bother. it can be quite complicated but it really works.

    as for using oceanis or some other programs, they work but i still wouldn’t bother. changing the wallpaper is just not worth giving up resources to (especially since most win 7 starters are on netbooks)

    don’t blame people for your own ineptitude.

  82. Erik

    I’m interested in seeing how this pans out, if someone would like to take the time and do some more investigating I believe I have found some way to apply themes, or at least partial themes to Win7 Starter. I have the (P)OS on my netbook and spent countless hours trying to figure out how to change the theme, well more the taskbar than anything else but anyway….I believe I may have run across something. I just do not have alot of time to do investigating….so if anyone wants to try this out, I suggest you backup your registry first and and your system files.

    NOTES:
    I was able to change the taskbar, color scheme (including taskbar), fonts and buttons, but not icons. What I did was put a select theme (I’m using dynamic black) in the resources/themes folder. I used Windows X’s theme patcher (just google theme patcher and you can easily find it). I already had “Starter Background Changer” (SBC) installed (dont know if this is making a difference or not).

    WHAT I DID:
    Anyway, I went registry surfing and found a key called “personalization” in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/software/microsoft/windows/CurrentVersion. In there was a DWORD called AllowChangeWallpaper (which I’m guessing was added by SBC. Anyway, I just added AllowChangeColor to see what happens (and marked it as value of Hex-1).

    Just for kicks I tried installing the theme again by double clicking it; idk why, maybe hoping by some strange luck I could get the color theme to apply…no luck.

    So, I Right clicked on desktop and clicked on the personalization entry that SBC makes. Open up the color menu and it brings up the typical windows color menu that can be found in Starter….except I noticed that there were 2 entries for Win 7…

    I clicked the other one and applied the changes and boom…I have a new look.

    COMMENTS:
    There are some glitches I have noticed so far….the color did not apply to all windows; however, I have not replaced my system files with the system files the theme included either. Anyway, I did a clean windows install and was able to replicate this. I was just wondering if anyone else would be able to do this also…..most of all I’m just hoping this helps someone whos as frusterated at Microsoft as I am.

    ASIDES:
    As for MachineHead’s comment about system resources and netbooks…did you know, and this comes right from the current issue of PCWorld, that most netbooks that run starter are capable of running several other versions of windows, including upgrades to Win7? Those OS use more system resources than a background changer will. Besides, its all in the program you use….there are simple background changers floating around that just makes the minor changes in the registry for you. So before you start calling people inept, please do your own research.

  83. Erik

    Also, as an addition to my earlier post, before you ask I did not: 1) try different themes (I got the result I wanted and stopped – like I said I do not have much time for experimenting). 2) Try this without having Starter Background changer installed. An entry for personalization may need to be created in the registry (see previous post). 3) Investigate the registry further (there are some entries for themes in the registry, some of particular interest might be setting the defaults – one idea might be to just change the default style and theme paths to the theme of your choice (changing from the win7 theme that comes with starter). I have no idea if it will do anything, maybe if I can find some time to mess with it at some point I will. I did notice however that after my “theme” changed that the path in one of the theme registry keys changed from the aero.theme to a custom setting.

    Anyway, have fun and good luck; hopefully you too can squeeze another inch in before microsoft cracks the whip again.

  84. Guy

    @SARAH.

    I think the moron is you and only you. This how-to works for tons of people exept… you. Go back to your kitchen you damn numb. Oh BTW,do you know to run a toaster?

  85. Hi

    Hey, just download and install “Oceanis Change Backround Windows 7 Starter. You can use any picture you have as your backround picture.

  86. dev

    @ threshy, i have ASUS EEE Notebook too. Same probs. I hate it.

  87. mark

    for great background images/wallpapers,,, you can download oceanis background software free from the internet..
    and if you don’t like the classic look of tabs,, download free from the internet for “Object Docks”…
    just type the right keyword ,, and you can download it free…

  88. Lele47231

    Okaii, So I download Oceanis and i crapps up my netbook, I delete Oceanis and I now cannot change my background using anyother programme,,,,,,,,,,,,HelpMe????…………………Anyone?????, x

  89. khanh nguyen

    before on my computer when i wanted to change the window color it would let me change it but now it just pops something different up! help?!

  90. ashley

    @micheal itzoe you cant do this on windows 7 starter it does nothing

  91. NP27

    Guys, there is a great way to change wallpaper, and sounds, just search, “change background in Windows 7 Starter Edition” in the How-To-Geek search bar and I think it’s the top hit. This program hacks into Registry, so then when you right click there is the little “personalize” option. It works great, and you can choose many different options like Slide Show, tiles and adjust
    NP27

  92. share pit

    that fuckin’ oceanis do not work. i suggest personalisation panel. macam taik pukimak

  93. Ryan

    thanks… i’ve got my compaq presario cq42 cute… thanx…

  94. share pit

    it okey hope u try the software

  95. Ajmer Grewal

    hey friends i also have asus eeepc
    i m using windows7 starter
    use personalisation panel for windows 7 starter available at winreview.ru
    very useful..

  96. Timothy Matias

    @Col: lol!

  97. kaps

    Hi Frnds
    You can also change the wallpaper in HP MINI laptops which has windows 7 stater ..
    by downloading the Stardock Software from hp.com you just have to know ur P/N (product number) and select the stardock..
    You have to install and ready to go…
    THANKU GEEKS i had collected lots of info frm this web site..

  98. ronnie solo
  99. reorkey

    You can use “GodMode” instead!

    To use it:

    1. Create a new folder.
    2. GodMode windowRename the folder to

    GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

    (note that you can change the “GodMode” text, but the following period and code number are essential).
    3. The folder icon will change — double click it to show the GodMode window:

  100. Alan Navarro

    Thanks a lot!..

  101. michae

    i downloaded personalization panel from softpedia and its working well

  102. Eth

    I had to find a workaround to get rid of that annoying elevator music screensaver.

    Basically whenever I switched the screensaver through the control panel, I would re-open the panel to find that my changes were not saved.

    Thus, I had to hunt for the screensaver file itself. After digging in Regedit I found the location:

    C:\windows\system32\Eee PC 1005P Series.SCR

    You can either rename the file, move it, or delete it. This will get rid of that annoying screensaver forever.

  103. prasad

    am nt able to set backgroud image in my system……. it shows an internal error is occured..
    how to rectify this..

  104. kaushik

    very very………….. much thanks…………………….. for my defaultthmes in w7

  105. unknown

    you can’t change the text color of unselected desktop icons

  106. mysterious

    u don’t need none of that junk! to change a background, search starter background changer. free background. careful though- instructions are in french!

  107. 21fdsfgd

    super super tips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks

  108. lia salinas

    I wanted to know how to set a background for the full page not just the center

  109. mustafa

    it really worked thanks alot

  110. orichienal101

    all want to kno is to change the task bar colour waaaaa thats all i ask

  111. freelyman

    thanks alot

  112. miko

    Hi guys
    Is it recommended to replace the Explorer to Chrome.
    Just got the Packerd-Bell dot se2.

  113. Lāsma

    Big thanks for this!!! (rock) ;)

  114. sarah is dumb

    Why would you want to install some dodgy, probably malware, program like oceanis or this when you can do same thing without program? I dunno, some people are dumb.

  115. recca

    i also have the same problem on my windows. i hope one of the suggested posts above works on my laptop (acer aspire-windows 7 starter). lets spread peace on earth.

  116. recca

    OH MY GOD ! this is sooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOO great !!!
    i just replaced my oh so ever blue desktop by my customized pics !

    just google “STARTER BACKGROUND CHANGER” and then clicked on the 4th entry “Starter Background Changer: Download”. then click download. the software’s language is not translated into english but just click the center button until installation is finished. right click your desktop then click personalise. ENJOY ! im just a 17 yr old girl but trust me, it works. just explore, Explore, EXPLORE !

  117. katie

    I figured out how to change the background of my desktop on my mini to different solid colors one at a time of course. So I had my desktop black and somehow it got changed back to the default color when some one else was using it. I cant figure out how to get it back to how I had it. If you can help please send me a tip? and is there any way to keep others out of my control panel?

  118. Miss.Andrea Borman.

    Yes,the above method works on Windows 7 Starter. Also, to add wallpaper to Windows 7 Starter you can install Personalization Panel.Which changes the wallpaper on Windows 7 Starter,even on Windows Classic theme setting. Unlike Oceanis,which only works on Aero theme(Windows 7 Basic) theme mode. But Personalization Panel works both on Windows 7 Basic and Windows Classic theme setting. Andrea Borman.

  119. Sandunsiri Malaka

    Thank You

  120. Jase

    Got a stone stylus touchscreen netbook for my sister, and spending ages to remove junk. Can’t wait for official windows 8 to come out as I got win8 on acer one netbook, a little less powerful atom, and have got full transparency and it works one million times better than this basic. Long time to boot comparing to xp and windows 8.

    Hate windows 7. Ok it’s better than vista, but still hate it. Only two windows like is xp/windows 8.

    Anything else, linux.

    Not forgetting Mac! But hopefully my sister will benefit due to the stylus touchscreen.

  121. ahmed

    thx for this clear explanation but how can i put an image stored in any location to make it a wallpaper of my disktop although no presonalize icon when i make right click on my disktop

  122. a randomhuman

    I have an hp laptop anyone know how to change the back and forward buttons on the internet page

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