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Do you like to create 'your own' Vista ?

Then personalize Windows Vista the way
you like it !

Personalize Windows Vista icon


Change the Vista Boot Screen & Login Screen

In Windows Vista you can add multiple users and every user likes to personalize Windows Vista to create their own Vista style.

In Windows Vista it is very simple to make visual changes. For example you can change the desktop background, the Start menu, the taskbar, the Vista Sidebar, the theme and much more.

Almost every change you like to make you do it in the 'Personalization' section in the 'Control Panel'. So you can click 'Start' -> 'Control Panel' -> 'Personalization'. Or you click the right mouse button on your desktop and click 'Personalize'.

In the windows that appears you can make all the changes in Vista.

Windows Vista personalization

Windows Vista Display SettingsChange the resolution in Vista
Personalize Windows Vista by changing the resolution.
To change the resolution in Windows Vista you click 'Display Settings' in the 'Personalization' window.

Here you select the resolution you think it works best for you. The higher you set the resolution, the smaller everything will be displayed and the more you can view on you screen.

For example you choose as resolution 1024 by 768 pixels. Then click the 'Apply' button. Now the new resolution will be set. Then another small window appears and counts back from 15 seconds. During this time you can decide wether you like this resolution or not. If yes, click 'Yes'. Otherwise click 'No' and try another resolution.

Use Multiple Monitors
In Windows Vista you can use multiple monitors. To add a second monitor often you only need to attach the monitor to your second video card (or on a laptop to the VGA or DVI port) and to power it on. If the device supports EDID (Exended Display Identification Data) then it will automatically be detected and the best resolution will automatically be configured.

Attach a TV
If you want to attach a tv to your computer or iPad 2 kopen and use this as second monitor, you simply attach the tv to your computer and power it on. Then you select, using the 'Imput Select' button or the button 'TV/Video' on the tv or remote control, the external input. (This will often be displayed as 'AV1' or 'Component'.

As soon as you attached a secondary monitor, this monitor will also be displayed in the 'Display Settings' window. (as you see in the 'Display Settings' image above).

You can use your secondary monitor on two different ways:

  • Mirrored: This way is a very good way for giving presentations for example, because the secondary display is an exact duplicate of the primary display.
  • Extended: using this way you can extend your desktop. Now you can use the two monitors as it is one minitor and you can move you mouse accross these two monitors. You can drag your opened window from one screen to the other. You can also configure if the secondary monitor is on the left or on the right of the primary monitor.

If you like the change the settings of the secondary monitor you click on the box with the number 2 in it in the 'Display Settings' window.

If you don't know which monitor is number 1 and which one is number 2 you click on the 'Identify monitor' button. Now you see on each monitor the number they are corresponding to the settings in the 'Display Settings' window. You can drag the boxes with the numbers in it to the other side of the other box to place your monitor to the right or the left of the primary monitor.

Some interesting links to personalize Windows Vista:
Personalize Windows Vista by downloading cool Wallpapers
Personalize Windows Vista by downloading cool Themes
Personalize Windows Vista by downloading cool Gadgets

Windows Vista Theme SettingsChange The Theme
Personalize Windows Vista by changing the theme.
A theme is a collection of visual settings. To select a theme you click on the 'Theme' link in the 'Personalization' window.

In the dropdown list you can select theme. Then in the sample area you can see how Vista will look like using that theme. Click 'Apply' to choose this theme.

If you like to change the settings of theme, you click on the 'Save As' button and you give you theme a name. Default your theme will be saved in the
'Documents' folder using the name 'My Favorite Theme.theme'.



Set Color and Appearance
Personalize Windows Vista by changing the colors and the Appearance.
Click on the 'Windows Color and Appearance' link in the 'Personalization' window to configure the color you like. This screen looks a bit different if you don't use the Aero interface.
Here you choose the color you like for your windows.

Windows Vista Color and Appearance

Change The Desktop Background
You can also personalize Windows Vista by changing the desktop background
You can choose every picture or color as desktop background. Click on the 'Desktop Background' link in the 'Personalization' window.

In the 'Desktop Background' window you click on the 'Picture Location' dropdown list for choosing a cathegory. Choose for example 'Windows Wallpapers'.
To choose a picture from your own personal pictures folder you choose 'Pictures'. (if this folder is empty then there is no picture being displayed here.

You can also browse for a picture using the 'Browse' button. You double click on the picture you like to set as desktop background.

Using the options below the image area you can choose how the desktop background picture should be displayed.

Windows Vista Desktop Background

Windows Vista Desktop iconsChange Desktop Icon
Personalize Windows Vista by changing your desktop icons the way you like.
In the left pane of the 'Personalization' window there is a link called 'Change Desktop Icons'. Click on this link to configure your deskop icons.

To add an icon to your desktop you simply mark the checkbox of the icon. For example if your personal folder or the recycle bin has bin removed you can restore them here, simply by marking the checkbox and clicking 'Apply'.
You can also change the icon by clicking the 'Change Icon' button.





Enlarge, make smaller, order, show and hide desktop icons
Personalize Windows Vista by changing the size of the icons and to add some more icons to your desktop.
To change the settings for desktop icons you right click on your desktop and select 'View'. This menu contains options for ordering the icons.

  • Large icons: Enlarges the icons
  • Medium icons: Displays icons normal size
  • Classic icons: Displays icons smaller, just like previous Windows Versions.
  • Auto arrange: The icons will be placed on the left of your desktop. If you disable this option, you can drag the icons where you like them to have.
  • Align to grid: align the icons on base of an invisible raster to keep the distance between icons equal.
  • Show Desktop icons: If you disable this option all the icons will be invisible, but they will not be removed. To get them back simply enable this option again.

Personalize Windows Vista - Set your screensaver
Personalize Windows Vista by making your own personal screensaver.
A screensaver is a image or animation which fills your desktop when your computer is inactive for a while. A few years ago a screensaver was necessary because a screen without any color changes or movements could damage your screen. Fortunately these days that problem is solved and the screensaver is just a nice thing. Most people configure the screensaver just for fun.

To set up a screensaver you click the 'Screen saver' link in the 'Personalization' window. You pick a nice screensaver from the dropdown list and click the 'Preview' button to show it fullscreen. Move your mouse to return to the screensaver window.

"I want to show my personal pictures as screensaver"
'Is that possible"?
Yes that is possible as well. You simply choose 'Photos' from the dropdown
list. Then you click the 'Settings' button. Here you can browse for
the folder which contains the pictures you like being displayed
as screensaver. Furthermore you can choose the 'Slide Show Speed'.

If you have chosen your personal screensaver, you can choose after how many minutes the screensaver should start when there is no activity on the computer.

Windows Vista sound settingsSound Settings
You can also personalize Windows Vista in audiovisual way.
If you have worked for a while with Windows Vista you've probably heard several beeps and other sounds. You can also choose your own sounds. For example the sound when you logon to Windows Vista, or the sound when receiving an e-mail.

To make changes you click the 'Sounds' link in the 'Personalization' window.

In this screen you can set a sound for every happening. Choose 'None' in the dropdown list if you don't want any sound for that particular happening.

In the 'Program' area you see all the program happenings where you can set a sound for. If the speaker icon is visible, this means that there will be a sound for that happening.

To hear the sound click on a happening and click the 'Test' button.

To change a sound you select a sound from the 'Sounds' dropdown list or you browse for your own sound by clicking the 'Browse' button.
On the internet there are all kinds of cool sounds available. Visit for example these sites to get a cool sound for your computer., or

Change Mouse Settings to personalize Windows Vista
Do you like to change your mouse pointer or do you want a 'quicker' mouse?
Then click on the 'Mouse Pointers' link in the 'Personalization' window.

Windows Vista Mouse Pointer optionsIf you like to change a mouse pointer, you choose a scheme from the dropdown list. In the 'Customize' area you can change the mouse pointers. You can do this by clicking the 'Browse' button. Click 'Save As' to save it.

Mouse settings for left-handed people
If you are left handed, you could switch the mouse buttons so you can use the primary mouse button with your left forefinger.
Click on the 'Buttons' tab and select 'Left-handed'.

If you want to have a higher mouse speed you click on the 'Pointer Options' tab and you select the pointer speed you prefer.

Look around here in the 'Mouse Pointer' window to find out what you can configure more.

Change The Start Menu to personalize Windows Vista
Also by changing the Start menu you can personalize Windows Vista a bit more.
The Start menu of Windows Vista is devided in two columns. In the left column you see icons for programs, in the right column you see icons for folders and other parts.
The left column is devided in two groups. The parts above the devider line are 'sticked' to the Start menu and will always be displayed.
Below the devider line are the icons for programs which are used often. These icons will be added and removed automatically.

Windows Vista Start MenuBy right clicking in the Start menu you can get the properties of this menu. Here you can configure the Start menu and the taskbar.

Click on the 'Start Menu' tab to customize this menu.

If you want your recently opened programs being displayed in the Start menu you should enable 'Store and display a list of recently opened programs'.

Here you can also choose for the classic Start menu like in previous Windows versions.






Windows Vista Start Menu

Change the right column in Start menu
To change the right column of the Windows Vista Start menu you click on the 'Customize' button on the 'Start Menu' tab.
Here you can select the things which should be displayed in the right column and which should not be displayed.









Windows Vista Taskbar PropertiesChange the taskbar
Personalize Windows Vista taskbar so it looks the way you like it.
To make changes to the taskbar you right click on an empty part of the taskbar and click 'Properties'.

Here you can set the following changes:

  • Lock the taskbar
  • Auto-hide the taskbar
  • Keep the taskbar on top of other windows
  • Group similar taskbar buttons
  • Show Quick Launch
  • Show window previews (thumbnails)

Enlarge and move the taskbar
The taskbar doesn't have to be displayed at the bottom of your screen if you don't want that.
You can also change the size of it very easy.
If the taskbar isn't locked then you can simply move it or enlarge it.

To move the taskbar to a different location you do the following:

  • Place your mouse pointer on an empty place on the taskbar.
  • Press the left mouse button and drag the taskbar to the top of the screen for example and release the mouse button.

To enlarge the taskbar do the following:

  • Place your mouse pointer on the upper edge of the taskbar. Now your mouse pointer gets a different pointer icon (taskbar should not be locked).
  • Press the mouse button and drag the taskbar to enlarge it.

Enlarge taskbar

Add toolbars to the taskbar and personalize Windows Vista
You can add several toolbars to the taskbar or you can put these on another location on the desktop. To show or hide a toolbar you right click on the clock in the taskbar and you choose 'Toolbars' from the menu which appears.

Windows Vista ToolbarsAddress: This toolbar you can compare with the address bar in your browser. You can type a URL to surf the internet in it.

Windows Media Player:
A small Media Player toolbar will be showed in the taskbar when Media Player is opened and minimized. Here you can easy use the controls from it in your taskbar.

Windows Vista Media Player Toolbar

Links: Here are the links which are stored in the 'Links' folder of Internet Explorer. So you can navigate very easy to your links sites.

Tablet PC Input Panel: Using this toolbar you can open the panel for handwriting recognition for a tablet pc. This will not be showed in the taskbar but on the left side of the screen.

Tablet PC Toolbar

Desktop: shows the desktop.

Quick Launch: Shows icons in the taskbar like the desktop icon, the internet explorer icon, etc.

The Clock
To personalize Windows Vista s clock you do the following.
The clock which can be found in the system tray in the lower right corner doesn't like special but there are some nice things you can do with it.
If you point the mouse pointer on it shows you the date and time.
If you click on it you see the todays date marked on the calender and it shows you the time in a analog clock.

Here you can also change the time settings and the time zone.

Another nice thing is that you can add multiple clocks for multiple timezones. This can be very useful if for example a family member is in Australia for a few months, you can see very easy what time it is in Australia.

Windows Vista multiple clocks

Windows Vista SidebarWindows Sidebar
Personalize Windows Vista Sidebar.
Windows Sidebar is an optional desktop part where you can add some cool gadgets to. Default is the Windows Sidebar on the right. The parts of the Sidebar are called gadgets. Default there are some gadgets installed but you can add other gadgets ass well. These can be downloaded from the internet.

You can show or hide the Windows Sidebar by clicking the Windows Sidebar icon in the sytem tray or by clicking Start ->
All Programs -> Accessories ->
Windows Sidebar.

Sidebar icon

By clicking the right mouse button on this icon and then selection 'Properties' you can make some changes in its settings.

Add more Gadgets and remove gadgets to personalize Windows Vista
To add more gadgets to the Windows Sidebar you do the following:

  • Click on the '+' icon in the sidebar, or right click in an empty part of it and choose 'Add Gadgets...'

Now a window appears like above with all kinds of gadgets in it. These gadgets you can add to the Windows Sidebar.
To download more gadgets you click on the 'Get more gadgets online' link. Now a website will appear with all kinds of cool gadgets which are free to download. Follow the instructions on that website on how to download and install them.

After installation this gadgets will be displayed in the gadget window and can be added to the sidebar.

To remove a gadget from the Windows Sidebar you right click on the gadget and select 'Detach from sidebar'.

Weather GadgetThe gadgets can also be placed on the desktop. This can be very useful because then there is a bit more information being displayed.

For example if we choose the 'Weather gadget'. Inside the sidebar there is only the weather for today, but if you click on this gadget and drag it to your desktop, the weather is being showed for three days.


Change the Vista Boot Screen & Login Screen



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