6 Easy Windows 10 Tweaks That’ll Make Your PC Feel Like Home
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Do you need some simple Windows 10 tweaks to enhance productivity? Are you sick of limited customization options? Want to make it look amazing?

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By using built-in functions and third-party tools, you can make Windows 10 look truly unique, while taking nothing away from your productivity.

1. Windows 10 Tweaks for the Start Menu

As the most important element of the Windows desktop, the Start menu is your gateway to the Windows experience. Restored in Windows 10 following a brief exit in Windows 8, the Start menu gives you access to Cortana and has a built-in search tool.

While the Start menu is perfectly functional as it is, and can be rearranged and re-ordered, this level of customization might not be enough for you.

This is where third party tweaks come into play. So, what’s on offer?

  • StartIsBack++: restores the look of the Windows 7 Start menu, arguably the most popular version of Windows to date.
  • Start10: produced by Stardock, who know a thing or two about tweaking desktops, Start10 also restores the Windows 7 feel to the Windows 10 Start menu.
  • Start Menu Reviver: takes things in the other direction with an overhauled look for the Windows 10 Start menu

These are just a few of the tweaks that are available for the Windows 10 Start menu. Check our guide to the Windows 10 Start menu tweaks 6 Tools to Tweak the Windows 10 Start Menu 6 Tools to Tweak the Windows 10 Start Menu The Windows 10 Start Menu combines the best features of Windows 7 with Windows 8 live tiles. If you'd prefer a different look and long for a major overhaul, here are the tools you'll need. Read More to find out what else is on offer.

2. Don’t Be Bogged Down by Windows 10 Notifications

Windows 10 notifications tell you what’s going on. Everything from social networks and emails to cloud accounts and media players can send alerts to your desktop.

It’s like having mobile style notifications on a standard computer.

But if you wanted to configure the notifications—for instance, to disable them— you wouldn’t view the notifications themselves. Instead, you’ll need to dip a bit further into the Settings screen.

Here, you’ll find options to configure how notifications appear in Windows 10. Some of these are more suited to touchscreen devices (hybrids and tablets), but they all determine how notifications will appear in Windows 10. This is ideal if you don’t like notifications or find them irritating.

Follow these instructions to adjust and disable Windows 10 notifications How to Selectively Disable App Notifications in Windows 10 How to Selectively Disable App Notifications in Windows 10 If one particular app is excessive with its notifications, you can turn off alerts for that specific app. Read More from particularly annoying or irrelevant apps.

3. Windows 10 Taskbar Tweaks

The Windows 10 desktop is full of useful, hidden menus, such as the Power User menu (found by right-clicking Start) or the jump lists, found by hovering the mouse pointer over an open app’s taskbar icon.

As part of the Windows 10 desktop, the taskbar is an important tool for managing your open apps. It even features the option to pin shortcuts, enabling you to use it as a sort of macOS-style Dock.

The best Windows 10 taskbar tweaks is with an app called 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, available for Windows 7 and later.

With this installed, you can adjust how open apps behave on your Windows taskbar. Tweaks include grouping open items, changing right-click context menu options, and generally tidying up the taskbar.

Once you’ve installed the app, see our guide for details on how to use 7+ Taskbar Tweaker Get More Out Of The Windows Taskbar with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker Get More Out Of The Windows Taskbar with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker Could the Windows Taskbar be more useful? You can quickly add features and keep things simple with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker. Customize your Taskbar to your needs - without the fluff. Read More .

4. Animated Windows 10 Desktop Backgrounds

It isn’t just the functional side of Windows 10’s desktop environment you can tweak. The background can also be customized, with live wallpapers and animated backgrounds.

Three key apps are available to help you with this:

  1. Wallpaper Engine
  2. Stardock DeskScapes
  3. PUSH Video Wallpaper

These handle everything from playing videos as part of your desktop background to live wallpapers that are largely static with some subtle motion.

While this sort of Windows 10 tweak isn’t for everyone, if it is something you’ve been looking for then these tools are ideal. Look at our guide to animated Windows 10 desktop backgrounds How to Set Live Wallpapers & Animated Desktop Backgrounds in Windows 10 How to Set Live Wallpapers & Animated Desktop Backgrounds in Windows 10 Want to liven up your Windows 10 desktop with some animated backgrounds? Here's what you need to do. Read More to learn more.

5. Make Windows 10 Colorful With These Tweaks

Choose an accent color in Windows 10

Finding Windows 10 a bit bland?

When choosing a desktop background, the entire environment changes to stay color coordinated. But what if this isn’t what you want?

To start off, this option can be easily disabled via Settings > Personalization, where you should clear the Automatically pick an accent color from my background checkbox.

After that, a bunch of options are available. You can select from any accent color, although beyond the Windows desktop, this only impacts Universal apps.

Third-party tools can also be used, such as:

  1. Classic Color Panel.
  2. Accent Color Synchronizer

Find out more in our guide to Windows 10 color tweaks 5 Tweaks to Make Windows More Colorful 5 Tweaks to Make Windows More Colorful It's time to give your Windows 10 system a new lick of paint. We'll show you how to do away with all the default colors and make your own color theme entirely. Read More .

6. Productivity-Boosting Gadgets in Windows 10

Add desktop gadgets to Windows 10

Windows 7 (and the earlier Windows Vista) had support for desktop gadgets, which could be used to check the weather, quickly read RSS feeds, get system information, and more.

While these gadgets have been discontinued by Microsoft in Windows 10, they can be manually reinstated thanks to some third-party tools:

  1. Windows Desktop Gadgets
  2. 8GadgetPack
  3. Widgets HD

With these tools, the vulnerabilities that caused Microsoft to abandon desktop gadgets have been dealt with. You get the chance to quickly spot the time, view your calendar, or take quick notes, simply by switching to your desktop.

There’s no need to search the web for the time in your Hong Kong office or waste time launching a new note-taking app.

Everything you need is available in your desktop gadgets. Our guide to adding desktop gadgets to Windows 10 How to Get Windows 10 Gadgets for Your Desktop How to Get Windows 10 Gadgets for Your Desktop Desktop gadgets were taken away in Windows 8. Here's how you can bring widgets back to your Windows 10 desktop. Read More explains more.

Windows 10 Tweaks Make Windows 10 Your Own

By now you should have a good idea of what Windows 10 tweaks are possible. It’s possible to reconfigure the Start menu, adjust notifications, and even tweak the taskbar.

Animated desktop backgrounds are also possible, and if you want, you can even make the desktop more colorful. And then there’s the general boosts you can make to productivity!

Looking for more customization options? Our look at the best ways to tweak Windows 10 The 8 Best Tools to Tweak and Customize Windows 10 The 8 Best Tools to Tweak and Customize Windows 10 Want to give your PC a unique look? Learn how to customize Windows 10 with these powerful tweak tools that cover your every need. Read More is a good place to start.

Explore more about: Windows 10, Windows Customization.

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  1. Cindee
    December 16, 2018 at 2:08 am

    You should have mentioned Rainmeter. It is still around and works with Windows 10. It also has a subreddit r/Rainmeter

    • Ryan
      December 17, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Agreed...I use Rainmeter all the time. It's a great tool.

  2. Alan
    December 14, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Tile Iconifier should be on your list. It allows you full custom control over the Start Menu tiles.