Make Windows 8 Start Screen Transparent, Change Background Image and Number of Rows of Tiles

Now almost everyone is aware of new Start Screen introduced in Windows 8 OS. Its a replacement of the old Start Menu present in Windows OS. It shows live tiles of installed programs as well as built-in system tools. Some people love it but some are not very comfortable with it.

As usual the new Start Screen in Windows 8 is not very customizable. There are a few built-in background images available to choose from and a few built-in color schemes, that's all. There is no option given to apply your desired wallpaper as background image in Start Screen.

Today in this topic, we are going to share an absolutely free software to tweak and customize Windows 8 Start Screen. "Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer" is a free tool for Windows 8 created by "vhanla" @ DA which allows you to customize Start Screen in Windows 8.

This freeware allows you to:

  • Change Windows 8 Start Screen background image
  • Change number of rows of tiles in Windows 8 Start Screen
  • Customize transparency / opacity of Start Screen and tiles
  • Set current Desktop wallpaper as Start Screen background
  • Set multiple images slideshow as Start Screen background

The best thing of this tool is that it doesn't modify any system file to change the background image. It just paints the new background over the default background image.


You can select your desired wallpaper as background image using the "Load Picture" button. You can also select which portion of the wallpaper should be visible on Start Screen by adjusting the image placeholder using your mouse.

Following is a preview of the Windows 8 Start Screen having new modified background image:


Apart from changing background image, you can also change number of rows of tiles visible at Start Screen. You can increase or decrease the number of tiles. Please keep in mind that maximum number of rows depends upon your screen resolution.

One of the most impressive and interesting feature present in this freeware is the ability to put transparency in Start Screen. You can adjust the opacity of Start Screen and tiles using the sliders. You can make the Start Screen background see through.


You'll need to select "Run at startup" option if you want to see your desired wallpaper each time you log into Windows 8.

Interested people can download this free tool using following link:

Download Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer

UPDATE: It seems the software has been removed by the developer. You can try a similar software from Stardock called "Decor8" which also allows you to tweak and customize Windows 8 Start Screen. It can change Start Screen background, number of rows of tiles and a few other things. You can check out the software details at following link:

Customize Start Screen and Charms Bar in Windows 8

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Posted in: Software, Windows 8 / 8.1

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  • Wow. I love the transparency effect. Thanks VG. :)

  • WOW Transparency Effect is Awsome!!

    Thanks for Sharing it VG~. and the Developer.

  • It does in-memory patching? You had no stability issues?

  • VG

    ^^ Nope. I had no issues while testing it. It was flawless.

  • ive been using stardocks decor8 beta and it has one feature this one doesnt that not only allows you to choose your own pictures for the background,but can select multiple ones and have them changing at different intervals like the desktop wallpaper does.if you can add that,it would be great.thanks.

  • Time for me to say goodbye to "Start Menu". Welcome Metro

  • Thanks for wonderful program

    I have one request to unlock the opacity limit below to 0 instead of 100.

    I would like to completely make the back ground color transparent

    Thank you again !

  • This is amazing man, it really works. keep it up.

  • Hey nice but i'll prefer to use decor8,because having multiple features as compare to this one..

  • I was looking for an app, after trying decor8, that adds the ability to make the tiles transparent and it seems you have done that. However, either I'm missing it but I don't seem to be able to change the picture of the lock screen anymore. Adding that in would be great, IMHO!. The other option which jumps out at me in my wish list is the ability to fully customize the size and position of the tiles in addition to changing the number of rows. For example, I would like to be able to place the tiles on the start screen exactly where I want them to be and size them exactly the size I want..

    I'm going to donate because I think you have a good thing here. I hope you stick with it.. Thanks!!

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