Microsoft has released Windows 10 build 19042.421 to the beta channel. One of the new features it brings is a theme-conscious Start menu, which is to say you can help the Start menu evolve to suit your themes instead of just relying on the default theme color. You can choose your colors from the default color options Microsoft has chosen already or you can make up your own shades.

In the early days of Windows 10, which was several years ago now, the original way Microsoft had colors was for it to be mostly based on themes. That also included the borders of your settings app changing to be the same color that you had your general theme color. People didn’t like it; they wanted more options, and they got them.

Start menu color accent in Windows 10
Starting from build 19042.421, you can now change the color accent of the Start menu as another layer of custom colors for you to choose from around your Windows 10 operating system.

Now Microsoft has updated the way in which themes and colors work again, this time allowing for a more theme-conscious Start menu. It means you’ve got even more options to tweak your colors around by showing a unique color accent on the Start menu, even though you’re still using the light or dark themes in addition to whatever colors you’ve chosen elsewhere. Don’t forget you also have the option to toggle the transparency of the Start menu on or off as well, which totally alters the appearance of the colors.

If you’re interested in the setup we use, it’s the dark mode as the default Windows mode and then the light default app mode. We also keep the transparency effects turned on. The Start menu color accent we used is a dark gray or black in the screenshot above. When using a laptop we can sometimes use more dark modes, but generally we prefer keeping the tabs lighter rather than darker otherwise it makes the screen seem smaller and gives a more enclosed feel.

To change the Start menu’s color, you need to navigate to the Settings > Personalization > Colors and then scroll down to where it says “Show accent color on the following surfaces” and then check the box next to where it says “Start, taskbar, and action center.”

Personalized Taskbar

The pandemic has made this the year of cloud tech stocks. If it’s a good brand and it’s associated with the cloud, chances are it has had a successful year. The cloud is here to stay over the next century and we’re about to get much more enhanced cloud features. Windows 10’s taskbar is using cloud-driven infrastructure to test the default taskbar features. Eventually, Microsoft wants to give you a more customized experience with only icons that you use which will also have the advantage of reducing clutter. Microsoft plans on monitoring the performance of individual default properties, monitoring diagnostic data and user feedback to assess an audience’s reception, and then over time fine-tuning the default layouts.

Toast Notification Icons

You can now automatically find out where your toast notifications are coming from without having to read them, thanks to the new inclusion of brand icons that appear in the top left corner. If you’ve used the Google search engine recently, you will have noticed branded icons next to search results. Though it may be less visually appealing to some, this undoubtedly helps easily identify sites quicker; and since readers often favor one brand over another instead of choosing between who has the most compelling sentence in the description, it makes sense to offer icons. It’s a similar situation with Windows’ toast notifications: instead of having to read what you don’t want to open, the icons should offer a more efficient experience so you can glance and then choose to leave notifications from sources you don’t care about at the moment.

Windows Security Status from “About” and Ability to Copy Computer Specifications

You can now head to the About menu in the Settings app and find whether or not your computer is being actively protected by Windows Security. Additionally, Microsoft has made it simple for you to copy your device specifications, which may come in handy of you’re ever receiving tech support.

Choose Refresh Rate

You can now go to Settings > System > Display > Advanced display settings and change the refresh rate of your computer monitor. The higher the refresh the more advantages you have, such as lower eye strain and a better picture. The option to adjust the refresh rate only exists if your monitor supports it. Most newer monitors may offer the chance to choose a refresh rate.

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19042.421 (20H2) also comes with changes, improvements, and fixes that can be read here: What’s new in Build 19042.421.

Related Articles