How to Change or Customize Start Screen Background, Start Menu and Start Button in Windows 8?

There are many people including us who are testing recently released Windows 8 Developer Preview in their computers. Windows 8 Developer Preview comes with many new features like new Start Screen which shows live tiles of programs, Windows Explorer with Ribbon, new Start button, new tiny Start Menu and many other Metro UI stuff.

Almost 99% people are complaining about the green background of Start Screen in Windows 8:

Windows_8_Start_Screen

We have received so many comments in our website and emails from our readers asking how to change the green background in Windows 8 Start Screen?

Although Microsoft has not provided any option to customize the background, it might be possible that they'll add an option for it in Beta, RC or final version of Windows 8.

Today in this tutorial, we are going to tell you how to customize:

  • Green Background in Start Screen
  • New Start Button in Windows 8
  • Tiny Start Menu in Windows 8
  • Lots of other Metro UI resources like icons, images, etc

DISCLAIMER: This method requires modifying system files. We take no responsibility if you break your Windows and make it non-bootable. We got success in modifying lots of things using this method, that's why we are posting it here. We are still checking other areas of these files to reveal more customization stuff.

PS: Make sure to take a backup of the files and create a System Restore point first so that you can restore your system if anything goes wrong. Or you can use Refresh or Reset PC options to repair your Windows.

Actually there are 2 new files in Windows 8 which are responsible for almost all Metro UI stuff. These 2 files are present in "C:\Windows\System32" folder and the file names are:

shsxs.dll
twinui.dll

You'll need to open these files in Resource Hacker which can be downloaded using following link:

Download Resource Hacker

After opening the files, you just need to replace the desired image file with the new one, save the file and restart your system to take effect.

You'll also need to take ownership of the files first to be able to modify them, you can take ownership using following tutorials:

If you still face problem while saving the file, save the file at any other location, then go to "C:\Windows\System32" folder and rename existing default file to some other name like shsxs_bak.dll, after that copy new modified file to "System32" folder. At last restart your system and Windows will start using new file at next boot.

To customize green background of Start Screen, you'll need to modify the first file "C:\Windows\System32\shsxs.dll" in Resource Hacker. You just need to replace 2 PNG files "5231" and "5232" present in "PNG" section:

Change_Green_Background_Start_Screen_Windows_8.png

Try to use an image having same resolution and dimensions. You'll also need to modify uxtheme.dll file in a Hex editor to customize the green color of Start Screen sidebar, Start Screen middle part, etc.

To change Start Button, you'll need to replace the Bitmap files present in "Bitmap" folder:

Change_New_Start_Button_Windows_8.png

You can also customize various other things by modifying "UIFILE" section in shsxs.dll file.

Now its turn of the other file "C:\Windows\System32\twinui.dll". This file contains lots of resources to customize Start Screen tiles, tiny start menu charms and much more. You can replace the images and modify UIFILE section of this file.

Customize_Tiny_Start_Menu_Windows_8.png

There are many things which can be customized by modifying these 2 files, so just spend time and enjoy customizing them.

To know more about Resource Hacker, please visit following tutorial:

All About Resource Hacker in a Brief Tutorial

You can also use Resource Tuner which is easier than Resource Hacker in replacing image files, etc.

Again we warn you, modify them at your own risk!

PS: If anything goes wrong, you can restore the original files by booting in another OS like Windows 7 or simply restore your system using System Restore or Refresh PC option.





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Posted in: Resource Hacker, Windows 8 / 8.1


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