Over time, it has been pointed out that Windows 8 has been one of Microsoft’s operating systems that has given the most to talk about. Taking into account that, beyond its controversial changes, it stands out for being an OS that has a more efficient operation (even on computers with few hardware features). In addition, it presents compatibility with next-generation external devices .
In addition to this, it includes its own antivirus and antimalware program that guarantees the highest possible security for its users. It also has support for touch screen, cloud synchronization and different applications available in the Windows Store. Whereas, W8 was the first version of the operating system to provide a bundled app store .
But besides all this, one of the most interesting aspects of Windows 8, resides on your desktop . That is why, in this post, we will define what the Windows 8 Desktop consists of and what it is for, as well as how it differs from other versions and how it can be fully customized . In order to do so, acquire an optimal user experience.
What is the Windows 8 desktop and what is this section of the operating system for?
Generally speaking, the Windows desktop is defined as the main screen that can be seen when initializing the system . Therefore, the Windows 8 desktop refers to that software interface that has been created in order to generate a space with easy access to programs, comfortable and optimized to carry out the various operations available in this version of the OS. .
In this sense, the W8 desktop consists of a section of the operating system that is used to manage the different tools or utilities that the PC contains . Thus, it allows to have a wallpaper, file numbers, folders, icons, accesses, programs, etc. Valuing that, all these elements can be organized, freely, by each user depending on their specific requirements.
Now, in short, the desktop based on this version of Microsoft Windows corresponds to a graphical interface that is displayed as the first screen when turning on the computer . Thanks to this, mainly, it is characterized by its simplicity of access to the various software or applications available.
For its part, it should be noted that there are two different methods to make the particular W8 desktop appear ; Well, this presents certain divergences around version 7 and 10 of Windows. The first of these methods is based on going to the start screen of the system to locate the tile that says “Windows Desktop” and clicking on it . As for the other method, we point out that it consists of using the keyboard shortcut “Windows + D” and with it, the desktop will start automatically.
What are all the sections that make up the Windows 8 desktop?
Among other features, we mention that the Windows 8 desktop is made up of several sections . Through which, it manages to provide an optimal user experience, guaranteeing the greatest possible efficiency and simplicity to execute the various actions that the system supports. As a consequence, you may wonder what all those sections are, since W8 does not have the classic Windows family desktop .
Therefore, in this section of the post, we will mention each of them in detail:
- Desktop Background : Refers to the image that is used as the wallpaper . Which, mainly, deals with providing a more personalized look to the W8 desktop because it allows users to insert the one they want without any limitation.
- Taskbar : It consists of a horizontal strip that is located at the bottom of the desktop screen (next to the start button) and is considered useful for ordering all the windows. In addition, it has some device icons, presents the names of open programs, contains all Windows tools, etc.
- Icons : They are small graphic representations of the shortcuts to programs and other elements of Windows 8. In this way, they identify all software, applications and files among themselves, they also help daily work in Windows and can be viewed in the desktop via shortcuts.
- Notification area : As its name implies, it is responsible for notifying system messages and also presents messages from the programs that have been installed in W8. Thus, its main functionality is based on alerting different situations that arise in the equipment and manage to match the user’s needs, since they can be configured.
- Windows Sidebar and gadgets : This is a long vertical bar that is located on the side of the desktop. In this way, it shows mini programs that are known as “gadgets” and facilitates their access, as well as quick information from the desktop.
- The right panel : It is the Charms bar and is considered a useful tool that presents the buttons to shut down and restart the computer, as well as to log out. Thus, it has several options: Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings. Added to that, it provides the option of being able to access the most used folders and files .
- Search box : By default, this tool that is part of the Windows 8 desktop is considered useful to perform a search on something specific . Be it files, folders and programs on storage devices and the PC in general.
How is the Windows 8 desktop different from other versions of the OS?
One of the main peculiarities of the Windows 8 desktop is that it managed to radically change its appearance with respect to what had been shown in all other predecessor versions of Microsoft’s operating system . For that reason, it is interesting to know the most important differences between the W8, W7 and W10 desktop .
Which, we will specify here:
First of all, it is worth knowing what are the distinctions that were observed on the Windows 8 desktop around that of the predecessor version, that is, Windows 7 . Thus, the first difference is that it is not possible to work with all programs or applications directly from the desktop section . Since, when you open a utility, it will fill the entire screen . In other words, a window will not open on the desktop.
For its part, despite the fact that the Windows 7 taskbar is maintained, in Windows 8 you can now see notifications from the upper right corner . In addition, the file explorer has an interface that leaves the mouse or fingers within reach on a touch screen. Which, before, consisted of a totally hidden function .
All this, because of the new interface of Microsoft Windows 8 based on the Metro 8 font . Which consists of the screen that users take when they turn on their computers, that is, the main screen . This one, unlike previous systems, features bright and colorful icons of different applications.
On the other hand, the successor to Windows 8 introduced a new task view button that is not available in the latter. That being, a button that offers the facility to know which are the specific applications and documents that are running in the software and, in addition, facilitates access to them. Thanks to this, it is estimated that in W10 navigation improves significantly compared to W8 .
In addition to this, while in Windows 8 the Start menu ceased to exist, it returns in Windows 10 taking a great role . In other words, the W10 desktop decides to provide one of the most classic Windows elements for the experience of its users and, therefore, it somewhat resembles the appearance of the Windows 7 desktop .
For further advancement, with the aim of improving the organization of running content, they also decide to introduce the possibility of creating multiple desktops in Windows 10 and this was never possible through Windows 8 . Thanks to this, users of the most recent version of Microsoft’s OS will be able to optimally organize the processes under development through different desktops .
Learn step by step how to fully customize your Windows 8 desktop
As we have pointed out throughout the post, the Windows desktop is considered an ideal area to be able to customize the operating system to the maximum and thus improve its appearance depending on your tastes. However, despite this possibility, many users stop taking advantage of it because they do not know how to proceed in such cases .
Therefore, here we will detail several ideal alternatives to customize your W8 desktop:
One of the most important assets that W8 exhibits is that its Metro interface allows you to customize the icons of the files and folders that are inserted on the desktop of the PC.
Therefore, if you want these icons to look different and improve the appearance of the desktop, you must optimize them in your own way as follows:
- To start, find and select the folder to which you want to change the access graph in the desktop section.
- Next, on the icon, right-click and select the “Properties” option .
- After that, they will show you a new window and in it, you have to enter the “Direct Access” tab .
- Later, in Direct Access, it is time to search and choose the “Change icon” tool located at the bottom.
- Finally, they will provide you with a window through which you can choose the default icons by the system to alter their appearance. But, if you want to ensure a higher level of characterization, W8 also allows you to create a new custom icon using an editing program that can be used with an .ICO extension format (Paint, Photoshop, etc.). When you have it ready, you must upload it using the “Browse …” button .
Change desktop background
You can also choose a new background and another color for the interface of your PC, that is, for the desktop background. Taking into account that, to start this customization process, you have two options available: Access the general OS settings or right-click on an empty place on the desktop and then select the Personalize option .
Here are the other steps to follow:
- After entering the Personalize section , you have to click on another section that says “Home Screen” .
- Once this is done, you will be able to enter the configuration options of the home screen, which is the one that is observed as soon as the system is initialized. There, you can choose a different background wallpaper motif and also change its color .
- In case you prefer to add a photograph that you have taken with your camera as a desktop background, you must click on “Browse” to obtain the File Explorer window and search for the indicated image in order to select it .
- Once you choose the desired appearance, it will be applied immediately and you will be able to see how it looks from the preview of the same screen on which you are located .
Another interesting aspect that can be customized in Windows 8 refers to the taskbar . Especially since it is a section of the desktop that supports different forms of customization that are actually very attractive.
Therefore, below, we explain the different ways available to optimize your taskbar from W8:
Make the taskbar invisible
- Initially, use the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I” to open the settings panel.
- Now, in this panel, click on the “Personalization” option .
- Then, you have to go to the “Colors” function and click on “More options” .
- Now, you will find an alternative that indicates “Transparency effects” and is the one that allows you to make this section of the desktop invisible, so you will have to press it to activate it .
To achieve this, you can also turn to the Classic Shell application . In it, you have to select “Start” and access the Settings. Then, through the home tab, tap on “Activate taskbar transparency” and click OK.
Change your position
For some users, visually, the taskbar is annoying in the location it contains, by default. However, to personalize your user experience, it is possible to change the position of the taskbar in a simple way. In this case, it will be enough to drag said element using the mouse and move it to the area you prefer . That’s all.
Pin programs to the taskbar
- If, for convenience or for any reason, you choose to pin certain programs to the taskbar; You have to start by going to the application you want to see on your desktop screen permanently .
- Once you locate said application, proceed to right-click on it to click on “More” among the different available options.
- To conclude, all you have to do is select “Pin the taskbar” and that’s it.
Hide taskbar automatically:
- Go to this section of the W8 desktop and right-click on it .
- After that, click on the “Desktop” option and proceed to choose the “Taskbar” tab .
- Next, in this section, it is time to activate the box that indicates “Automatically hide the taskbar . “
This is a form of customization that will help you ensure that, exclusively, the taskbar appears every time you hover your mouse over it . Otherwise it will not show up on the desktop.
Add new gadgets the right way
To customize the look of the Windows 8 desktop, you can also choose to include gadgets . Whereas, if you wish, you can add these elements from Windows 7, without any limitation. Thus, you will be able to see the calendar, the time, the hour and much more interesting data, from your desktop.
Here are the proper steps to add gadgets:
- To be able to do it easily, mainly, you need to download and install the Winaero application on your PC .
- Next, when you have installed WinAero, proceed to unzip the file to run it .
- Now, right-click on your Windows 8 desktop and select the “Gadgets” option .
- At this point, you have to proceed to select the item that you like the most within the menu that it offers you, in order to press OK .
Customize your Windows 8 lock screen
Also, when it comes to customizing the desktop of your W8, it is considered valuable to improve the appearance of the lock screen of your computer.
To do this, it is necessary to perform the following detailed steps:
- First of all, enter the system configuration panel, using the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I” . You can even do it by sliding the mouse over the lower right part of the panel to select the gear icon that corresponds to the configuration.
- Secondly, it is time to choose the option “Change PC settings” which is located at the bottom of the window and allows you to modify the pre-established parameters.
- Next, among the three available tabs, choose to click on “Lock screen” and with that, it will show you several images that you can choose freely.
- In case you prefer to add your own image or photo, simply Definitions Microsoft