There are thousands of apps out there that can help you customize Windows, but some do the job better than others. How can you possibly sift through so many apps to find the true diamonds in the rough?
Fortunately, you don’t have to, as Microsoft has done all the hard work with the Microsoft Store App Awards. And we’ve featured the Community Choice Open Platform award winners, runners-up, and finalists from May 2022’s award session here for you.
Nominated and voted by the Microsoft community, these innovative apps transform Windows to turn it into your Windows. So read on to explore some of the best apps to customize your Windows PC.
The best of the best, these apps took home the gold in their respective category in the May 2022 event.
1. Auto Dark Mode
Do you keep toggling between dark and light modes on your PC to make things legible and easy on the eyes? If so, let it happen automatically.
The Auto Dark Mode app switches between the dark and light theme at scheduled times. Just configure the timings for the two modes, or schedule it to switch at sunrise and sunset depending on your location.
Moreover, you can also stop dark mode from activating while playing video games, or automatically turn on dark mode when your PC is unplugged to save power. Also, you can configure both the apps and the system to be always light or dark.
Auto Dark Mode will also switch your chosen wallpapers and Windows themes for light and dark modes so you can enjoy a new scene when it gets dark.
You probably already use the auto dark mode functionality on your Android and iOS phones. Now enjoy the same convenience and comfort on your Windows PC—and stay more productive.
download: Auto Dark Mode (Free)
EarTrumpet is a powerful volume control app for Windows. It lets you control the volume of your Windows system and all the other running apps, all within one program.
You could be listening to music on YouTube or Spotify, chatting on Microsoft Teams, and also playing a video game at the same time. With EarTrumpet, you can control all the volumes from one place and quickly increase the volume of what you like to hear.
To explore the app further, read our guide on how to use EarTrumpet on Windows 11.
download: EarTrumpet (Free)
ModernFlyouts will add a sleek and cool look to your Windows PC with some sharply designed flyouts.
This app will replace the default audio, brightness, and airplane mode flyouts in Windows. Usually, the vertical flyout pops up when you adjust brightness or raise the volume. ModernFlyouts features horizontal flyouts that you can customize to be on top, bottom, or center.
ModernFlyouts doesn’t disable the default WIndows flyouts, either. As such, you can swap between ModernFlyouts’ and Windows’ offerings at will.
Each flyout can be customized or disabled independently. Additionally, these modern flyouts work for Scroll Lock, Number Lock, and Caps Lock too.
download: ModernFlyouts (Free)
These apps got an honorable mention in the May 2022 awards, and while they didn’t win, they’re still serious contenders that you should check out.
1. Live Wallpaper
It’s fun decking up your Windows desktop with cool and beautiful wallpapers. With Lively Wallpaper, you’ll enjoy it even more.
You can set GIFs, videos, and webpages as your desktop wallpaper and screensaver with this free app. That means you can look up a free scenic video on YouTube, enter its URL in the app settings, and enjoy it as your desktop background all day.
Moreover, Lively Wallpaper offers you a lot of functionality. You can choose a Lite theme to save power, control the volume of live wallpapers and videos, and choose a taskbar theme from clear, blur, wallpaper, and more.
Bring your Windows desktop alive with the free live wallpapers that come preloaded. You can also upload your JPEG, JPG, Gif, MP4 files, and even your website to adorn your desktop.
If you are a space buff, explore our article for some cool, space-themed live wallpapers for your PC.
download: Lively Wallpaper (Free)
2. Translucent TB
As the name suggests, this nifty app lets you give a cool look and style to your Windows taskbar.
Firstly, you can customize the effect and color of your taskbar—normal, opaque, blur, acrylic, or the beautiful clear effect. You can even pick a color from the desktop background for your taskbar.
Moreover, with TranslucentTB, you can customize the taskbar for various situations, like when a window is maximized, when the Task View is open, or when the Search and Start Menu are open.
download: TranslucentTB (Free)
The May 2022 awards had some tough competition, and here are some apps that managed to almost make it to the end.
CopyAndPaste gives you more than enough to keep data for later. You can store up to 1,000 text samples, meaning you’ll always have what you want at your fingertips.
The simple and intuitive interface lets you paste into the app to store text, or you can press copy to place it into the clipboard for use.
Plus, you can edit and name each text to your liking, and even lock and password protect confidential texts. What makes things easier is that you can search through texts, create categories, and tag records for quick access.
download: CopyAndPaste ($2.99)
2. Dynamic Theme
This great app brings you some of the best scenic views from around the world for your lock screen and desktop.
You can have a dynamic theme with the daily Bing or Windows Spotlight pictures changing as your lock screen or background. Or just have one Bing or Spotlight picture. You can also use your pictures for a personalized look.
Each picture comes with its history and you can even have an image as a dynamic tile of the app.
If you are keen just on Windows Spotlight, check out how to set it up for a fresh wallpaper every day on Windows 11.
download: Dynamic Theme (Free, in-app purchases available)
3. Fluent Search
Make searching for apps and files snappy and smooth with Fluent Search. This fast and easy-to-use app lets you search for running apps, browser tabs, bookmarks, files, processes, and more.
Moreover, you can use tags to filter results based on keywords like bookmarks, files, and apps.
And you don’t need a mouse to search. Screen Search puts a two-letter label on each clickable object. When you type the label, it works as a mouse click.
With Fluent Search, you can easily jump between a running application and browser tabs, and find files based on your current workflow.
download: Fluent Search (Free)
4. Ink Workspace
You’ll enjoy this app and how it enhances the experience of using a pen on your Windows touch device. Be it working on a whiteboard, creating a graphic, or writing freehand, Ink Workspace makes it easier.
Ink Workspace lets you launch your favorite apps and access your recently opened files just with a single button-click on your pen.
Ink Workspace is also the easiest way to take screenshots and record your screen or any window on your desktop. And it’s just a click away on your taskbar.
download: Ink Workspace (Free)
RoundedTB is another great app for customizing the shape and appearance of your Windows taskbars.
You can add margins, rounded corners, and segments too, without modifying any system files or making any permanent system changes.
For a rounded corner, you can simply set the margin and the corner radius. Moreover, with advanced options, you can customize things further, like enabling independent margins or even hiding rounded corners for some sides.
If you’re on Windows 11, you can use the Dynamic Mode that automatically resizes the taskbars to accommodate the number of icons in it. For Windows 10, there’s a Split Mode, so you can separate the taskbar from the system tray and resize it at will.
Explore RoundedTB further and learn how to add rounded corners to Windows 11 taskbar.
download: RoundedTB (Free)
Customize Windows With a New Look and Work Smarter Too
There’s nothing better than adding a personal touch and a distinct look to your everyday Windows experience. With these Microsoft Store award-winning apps, you’ll not only be able to customize Windows to your liking but also discover ways to work smarter and stay focused.