Want to make your Windows 7 PC even more unique and personalized?  Then check out this easy guide on how to change your start orb in Windows 7.

Getting Started

First, download the free Windows 7 Start Button Changer (link below), and extract the contents of the folder.  It contains the app along with a selection of alternate start button orbs you can try out.


Before changing the start button, we advise creating a system restore point in case anything goes wrong.  Enter System Restore in your Start menu search, and select “Create a restore point”.

Please note:  We tested this on both the 32 bit and 64 bit editions of Windows 7, and didn’t encounter any problems or stability issues.  That said, it is always prudent to make a restore point just in case a problem did happen.

Click the Create button…

Then enter a name for the restore point, and click Create.

Changing the Start Orb.

Once this is finished, run the Windows 7 Start Button Changer as administrator by right-clicking on it and selecting “Run as administrator”.  Accept the UAC prompt that will appear.

If you don’t run it as an administrator, you may see the following warning.  Click Quit, and then run again as administrator.

You should now see the Windows 7 Start Button Changer.  On the left it shows what your current (default) start orb looks like inactive, when hovered over, and when selected.  Click the orb on the right to select a new start button.

Here we browsed to the sample orbs folder, and selected one of them.  Let’s give Windows the Media Center orb for a start orb.  Click the orb you want, and then select open.

When you click Open, your screen will momentarily freeze and your taskbar will disappear.  When it reappears, your computer will have gone from having the old, default Start orb style…

…to your new, exciting Start orb!  Here it is default, and glowing when hovered over.

Now, the Windows 7 Start Orb Changer will change, and show your new Start orb on the left side.  If you would like to revert to the default orb, simply click the folder icon to restore it.  Or, if you would like to change the orb again, restore the original first and then select a new one.

The orbs don’t have to be round; here’s a fancy Windows 7 logo as the start button.

The start orb change will work in the Aero and Aero basic (which Windows 7 Start uses) themes, but will not show up in the classic, Windows 2000 style themes.  Here’s how the new start button looks with the Aero Classic theme:

There are tons of orbs available, including this cute smiley, so choose one that you like to make your computer uniquely yours.


This is a cute way to make your desktop unique, and can be a great way to make a truly personalized theme.  Let us know your favorite Start orb!


Download the Windows 7 Start Button Changer

Find more Start orbs at deviantART

Matthew Guay
Matthew Guay is a veteran app reviewer and technology tip writer. His work has appeared on Zapier's blog, AppStorm, Envato Tuts+, and his own blog, Techinch.
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