Microsoft removed many of the personalization options in Windows 7 Starter, the cheap edition for netbooks. There is still a lot of stuff you can customize, though some of it is hidden, so here we’ll show you how to make your netbook your very own.
In all other editions of Windows 7, you can easily personalize your computer by simply right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Personalize. This gives you a wide range of options to change, including themes, background, sounds, screensaver, mouse pointers, and desktop icons.
With a few quick Start Menu searches, though, you can rediscover many of the personalization settings. Here’s how to change your window theme, screensaver, sounds, and more in Windows 7 Starter. All of these options are in the normal Personalization panel in other editions of Windows 7, but here we’ll show you how to find them in Starter.
It can be both useful and enjoyable to change your default sounds. Anyone who’s booted a laptop during a meeting knows how annoying computer sounds can be. Or, if you just want to make your PC sound different than the default settings, Windows 7 includes several very nice sound schemes.
Simply enter “change sounds” in your start menu search, and then select “Change system sounds”.
Most netbooks will have no screensaver enabled by default, and instead will have the screen turn off when idle to conserve power. If you would like your netbook to have a screensaver, Windows 7 Starter does still include all the default Windows 7 screensavers. Simply type “screensaver” in your start menu search, and choose “Change screen saver”.
By default, Windows 7 Starter uses the Aero Classic theme. This is similar to the default Aero Glass theme on other editions of Windows 7, but without the transparency.
Windows 7 Starter does not allow you to directly change the background. One of the best ways around this is the Slide Show desktop gadget. To add this, right-click on your desktop, and click Gadgets.
To change the icons for common items such as My Computer and the Recycle Bin, enter “icons” in the start menu search and select the “Show or hide common icons on the desktop” link.
If you’d like to customize your mouse pointers, enter “cursors” in the start menu search, and choose the “Change how the mouse pointer looks” link.
Windows 7 Starter still has a lot of customization options, but they’re not as apparent as they are in other editions of Windows 7. With these tips, you should be able to customize your netbook more than you originally thought possible. And these all work without installing any 3rd party software!