Windows 8 Consumer Preview Start Screen Customizer

The newly released Windows 8 Consumer Preview includes limited options to personalize the lock screen and the Metro Start screen. Though settings are available under the Metro Control Panel to change the lock screen background picture and Start screen background color, a few more options would have been nicer.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Start Screen Customizer

My WCP Start Screen Customizer is a free software from the maker of WDP Start Screen Customizer and lets you change Start screen background color and picture, common background color, command hover background color, metro tiles background color, text color, border color of selected tile, Start screen “Start” text color, Start screen user name color, command bar icon background, command bar icon hover background, and search pane background color.

This free tool also lets you change the apps tile rows on the Start screen. You can change the default number of apps rows by manually editing registry as well.

Using the tool is fairly simple. Download and run the tool with administrator rights to avoid system errors. The SmartScreen protection feature in Windows 8 may display “Windows SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized program from running. Running this app might put your PC at risk” message. Click on More info and then click Run anyway button to launch the application.

After making necessary changes using the tool, click apply new settings button to restart the explorer and apply all selected changes. Some changes may appear only after a reboot, though. Use the restore default settings button to restore all settings to their defaults.

Please note that My WCP Start screen Customizer is a work-in-progress and might not work fine on all machines. In our test on a x64 Windows 8 machine most of its features worked well.

It’s always a good idea to create a system restore point before making changes to your PC. You can also create a custom Refresh PC image backup before editing system files.

Download Start Screen Customizer




  1. KR says

    This doesn’t work well with Consumer Preview. Just had to do a refresh because it broke functionality to mail and calendar. I’m not sure why MS makes it so hard to change what would normally be basic options. If this is the new start screen, it needs to be customizable. Colors and shapes won’t do.

  2. Christian says

    Unfortunately, changing the row count via the registry doesn’t work anymore, with consumer preview. At least not when setting the row count to a higher value.
    On my Lenovo Edge 11 (11″ screen, 1366×768 resolution), it shows 3 rows of tiles, though on other machines (with a bigger screen and same resolution) it shows 4 rows. Win 8 Consumer Preview does not react to editing the registry as mentioned in you link.

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