I was talking to a developer the other day and they hit the Windows key to show their start menu - and there it was! A Calvin and Hobbes background to their Start Menu.

Does anyone know how I can set a custom image as the Windows 8 Start Menu background?


You can do this using the Windows 8 Start Tweaker, scroll down under the images to find the description and information and at the right side of the page you'll find the download button / link.

  1. Download Windows 8 Start Tweaker zip file. Right-click on the zip file and select Extract all option to get Win8StartTweaker.exe file.

  2. On the first run, you might see the Chinese language. Worry not! Click on the US flag (located at the bottom right) to change the language to English.

  3. Click on the default Start screen background image to select a new image file. For best results, select an image file whose height is double than the screen resolution. For example, if your screen resolution is 1440 x 900, then the height of the image file should be x1800 px.

  4. Click on Metro background image to set a new Metro background color. This color covers the logon screen, Start screen search and some other areas.

  5. Finally click on Apply button to see the change. Click Yes for the prompt to automatically log off and log on your system to apply the changes. Even though the tool lets you restore the original background and color, do make a system restore point so that you can revert to the original Start screen background and Metro color without any issues.

Source: Into Windows - How To Change Windows 8 Start Screen Background

  • Unfortunately: can not be used for windows 8 pro build 9200 – Jerry Nixon Oct 22 '12 at 17:12
  • @JerryNixon: Hmm, sounds like they have changed the method. There's also a 1.02 out which you can download here although it's only from a few days later so it might not be promising, else you'll have to wait until they deal with RTM. They are probably waiting for it to come out as they might not have access to it yet... – Tamara Wijsman Oct 22 '12 at 17:19
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    @JerryNixon: The manual method should still work if you can figure out the proper PNG resources to edit in the DLLs. – Karan Oct 22 '12 at 22:59
  • Does this sync across devices? – pratnala Nov 20 '12 at 2:34
  • @PratyushNalam: I don't think so, it's not a Metro app. – Tamara Wijsman Nov 20 '12 at 2:59

Use Decor8 from Stardock or free tools like Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer

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