Windows 8 comes with several customization options. One can change the Start screen background, lock screen background, set automatic color to desktop themes, and more. Quite a few third-party utilities are also available to tweak Start screen, lock screen, and other areas.
You know how to set a custom picture as Start screen background, you also know how to open Start screen within the desktop, but did you know that you can set an image as taskbar background? Yes, in Windows 7 and Windows 8, you can easily set a custom picture as taskbar background.
While Microsoft has removed the Aero glass from window borders, the Windows 8 taskbar is still a bit transparent. So, you can set a custom picture and view the same without a problem. You just need a third-party tool named Taskbar Color Effects. Please note that Taskbar Color Effects was developed for Windows 7 but it works on Windows 8 as well.
Here is how to set custom picture as taskbar background in Windows 8:
Step 1: Download Taskbar Color Effects, extract the zip file to onto the desktop to get a folder named Taskbar Color Effects.
Step 2: Open up the folder, right-click on Taskbar Color Effects executable, click Run as administrator. Click Yes for the UAC prompt.
Step 3: You should now see Taskbar Color Effects icon in the taskbar system tray. Double-click on the icon to open settings dialog where you can set a different color for taskbar and change many other settings. Please note that some features except set custom image as taskbar background may not work properly in Windows 8.
Step 4: Select image placement as center(recommended) if you want to place the image at the center of the taskbar or chose stretch to stretch the image, or tile to see multiple tiles of your image across the taskbar.
Step 5: Click Custom Image BG to browse to the image file that you wish to set as taskbar background. Finally click open button and then click Save button to apply the image. You are done!
You might also like to read our 7 best free tools to customize Windows 7 taskbar article.