How to Customize the Background & Tiles Colors in Windows Phone 8

Visual customization is one of the most important things a user wants when using any device, including a smartphone. Windows Phone 8 has a very different approach to visual customization from other mobile operating systems and it allows users to change both the background color used by the operating system as well as the accent color used to display tiles and shortcuts. Here's how to change the look and feel of your Windows Phone device:

How to Change the Background Color in Windows Phone 8

Customizing the visuals in Windows Phone is done from the Settings window. Flick to the Apps list and tap Settings.

The second category of settings is named theme. Tap on it.

In the theme settings window you will find only two options: Background and Accent colour. These two colors are what makes the visual theme of your Windows Phone. Nothing else!

Tap Background and you will have only two choices: light and dark. The default is dark meaning that the background color in Windows Phone 8 is black. If you select light, the background color is changed to white, as shown in the screenshot below.

You should note that using a light background may mean a slightly higher battery usage because the screen needs slightly more energy to display the white color instead of black. Your smartphone illuminates more pixels on the screen.

How to Change the Accent Color in Windows Phone 8

The second theme customization option is the Accent colour. This color is used for displaying the tiles on the Start screen and the shortcuts found in the Apps list.

The Accent colour field displays the currently used color. If you tap it, the Accents screen is displayed. It contains at least twenty colors from which you can choose. The default colors included with every Windows Phone 8 device are: lime, green, emerald, teal, cyan, cobalt, indigo, violet, pink, magenta, crimson, red, orange, amber, yellow, brown, olive, steel, mauve, and taupe.

Besides these default colors, some smartphone manufacturers may also include their own custom colors. For example, HTC has its own "htc" color added.

Please note that some apps use custom colors for their tiles and shortcuts. This setting won't change their coloring because that's what their developer wants. For example, below you can see how the Start screen looks when the accent color was set to red. As you can see, some apps use their custom logos and colors for their tiles.

The same is true about our 7 Tutorials app for Windows Phone. It always uses its custom logo and colors for its tile and shortcuts.


As you can see from this guide, with only two visual settings, you can completely change the way your Windows Phone 8 looks. Don't hesitate to experiment with these settings and create the visual themes that fit best to your style or mood.
Before you close this article, please share with us what you think about the visual customization options in Windows Phone 8. Are they good enough for you? Do you wish more customization?