This is what I get from the user settings on Windows Server 2012:

Windows Server 2012

As you can see I don't have the choice to pick the background of the Start screen (like on Windows 8). I can only pick the accent color. I suspect there is a group policy or registry key that will turn that on. Does anyone knows how to enable this feature?


Enable Windows 8 start screen background customization
for Windows Server 2012:

In group policy editor (gpedit.msc) set the following two entries to 'disabled'

Computer Configuration\Control Panel\Personalization\Prevent changing start menu background

Computer Configuration\Windows Components\Desktop Window Manager\Use solid color for Start background

Changes take effect immediately, and the stock backgrounds will be visible and enabled in PC Settings.

If you wish to use a non-stock background:

Download Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer by Vhanla: http://vhanla.deviantart.com/art/Windows-8-Start-Screen-Customizer-v1-3-beta-337308916


In Server 2012 r2, there is actually a setting just for this. In your policy (local or domain enforced), got to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization > Force a specific Start background.

This setting will allow to to not only allow this customization, but define the image location you would like to use. If you are doing this on production servers, it is suggested to use a 1024 by 768 image as the only time you'll likely ever see it is over console (iDRAC or ILO) or on a rack KVM console, which typically have that resolution also.


I haven't tried this personally, but the following might help:


  • Thanks, but I already tried that. – Flavien Nov 26 '12 at 0:25

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