One of the most exciting features of Windows 10 is the many new themes from which you can choose. Themes allow you to personalize your computer, and you can download them for free. Windows already had hundreds of great themes but with the new operating system they also released many new themes.
So which ones are the best? We’ve narrowed it down to the top ten, but of course the final call is yours. Take a look at our top picks and then do some exploring to find your favorite.
In case you don’t already know, a theme is a collection of wallpapers with colors and sounds that you apply to your computer. A theme usually contains between five and twenty-five wallpapers. Some themes are designated “Community Showcase” or “From the Community” because the community contributed the background images.
You can browse themes by category. The categories included are these:
Art (illustrative and photographic)
Holidays and Seasons
Places and Landscapes
Plants and Flowers
With custom sounds
From the Community
Panoramic (for two monitors)
Compatible with Windows 7*
Compatible with the new Windows*
To browse all the theme categories, go to Microsoft’s Windows Theme page. There you can find and download hundreds of themes for free.
*You do not have to have Windows 10 to use themes. You can use themes with Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows 10. If you do not have one of these operating systems, you can upgrade to one of the, or you can choose a desktop background.
With so many categories and themes to choose from, you might be feeling overwhelmed, so we’ve picked out some of the best themes. Click on the title of each theme to see more or to download.
Most of us don’t get to see a beach sunset every day, but with this as your desktop you can marvel at the sunset multiple times a day. This theme features photography by Josh Sommers. Each background in the theme uses a multi-exposure photo technique to bring out the rich colors of the sunset over iconic beaches such as Maui and Dillon Beach.
Majestic mountains take center stage in this theme. Marvel at the beauty of nature, from mountainside lakes to snowy slopes illustrated on your desktop. Pictures in this theme are contributed by the community.
Our hearts beat for love, and the animal kingdom knows this. Penguins, horses, dogs, goldfish, and other animals show their affection for each other in unique and endearing ways. Choose your favorite animal pictured, or rotate between the images available in the theme.
“Out of this world” should be the description of this theme. The pictures look real, but don’t be fooled. They are images from the artists’ minds that nonetheless inspire awe at our galaxy and futuristic technology. This theme is perfect for scientists and dreamers alike.
For a more down-to-earth view—literally—take a look at the Cityscapes Panoramic theme. But realistic doesn’t mean boring in this case! Iconic cityscapes light up two monitors. Cities featured in this theme include London, Hong King, Kuala Lumpur, and Vancouver. Whether you have seen these cities in person or only from pictures, this theme will connect you to places outside the walls of your home or office. (Note: this is a theme for two monitors.)
Who says that technology disconnects us from nature? For a theme that follows the rhythms of nature, we recommend the Changing Seasons theme. Backgrounds in this theme feature close-up photos of plants (and fungi) in the changing seasons. With seventeen backgrounds that cover the color spectrum, you can ensure that your desktop reflects the world outside.
We all need a hero, as the movie Captain America reminded us, and we can do great things. This theme brings to life the world of Captain America and his team. Be inspired to do heroic acts every day as you use this theme. Other movie themes, such as Harry Potter, Kung Fu Panda, Mission: Impossible, and Transformers, are also available from Windows.
For those who love classic sports cars, Windows has created a special theme. Maybe you own two or three sports cars. Maybe you are about to purchase your first. Maybe you dream of driving one someday. Entertain your love for sports cars with these timeless classics. Even if these favorites could get old, the nineteen images here are sure to last so that you won’t tire of them.
Mix it up with some abstract art. These thirteen images of diffusion show the beauty of science in a mysterious way. Many of the pictures are in serene blue and purple colors, but the theme also includes some pink, a few black and white images, and one psychedelic-colored picture. The graceful flow of these pictures is soothing and inspiring.
10. Create Your Own Theme
If you know exactly what you want, or you couldn’t find quite what you wanted from Windows’ pre-set themes, you can make your own. LaptopMag has a guide for creating your own Windows 10 theme. Choose a desktop background from your own photo collection. Allow Windows to choose accent colors, or set them yourself. Save your theme with a unique name so that you can switch between it and other themes. If you get tired of a theme, you can easily delete it.
There’s no need to limit yourself to one theme. You can save more than one theme and change them as often as you like. Visit Windows to see all the themes and choose your favorites.