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Personalize Windows with these innovative, award-winning apps from the Microsoft Store community

There are thousands of apps that can help you customize Windows, but some do the job better than others. How can you browse through so many apps to find the real rough diamonds?

Luckily, you don’t have to, because Microsoft has done all the hard work with the Microsoft Store App Awards. And we have presented here for you the winners, finalists and finalists of the Community Choice Open Platform award from the May 2022 awards session.

Nominated and voted for by the Microsoft community, these innovative apps transform Windows into your Windows. So read on to explore some of the best apps for customizing your Windows PC.

The best of the best, these apps won gold in their respective category at the May 2022 event.

1. Auto dark mode

Do you keep switching between dark and light modes on your PC to make things readable and easy on the eyes? If so, let it happen automatically.

The Auto Dark Mode app switches between dark and light theme at scheduled times. Simply configure the schedules for the two modes or schedule it to switch at sunrise and sunset based on your location.

Additionally, you can also prevent dark mode from activating when playing video games or automatically activate dark mode when your PC is unplugged to save power. Also, you can set apps and system to be always light or dark.

Auto dark mode will also change your chosen Windows wallpapers and themes for light and dark mode so you can enjoy a new scene when it gets dark.

You’re probably already using the automatic dark mode feature on your Android and iOS phones. Now enjoy the same convenience and comfort on your Windows PC and stay more productive.

To download: Auto dark mode (Free)

2. EarTrumpet

EarTrumpet is a powerful volume control application for Windows. It allows you to control the volume of your Windows system and all other running applications, all in one program.

You can listen to music on YouTube or Spotify, chat on Microsoft Teams and play a video game at the same time. With EarTrumpet, you can control all volumes from one place and quickly turn up the volume of what you love to hear.

To explore the app further, read our guide to using EarTrumpet on Windows 11.

To download: EarTrumpet (Free)

3. Modern Flyouts

ModernFlyouts will add a sleek and cool look to your Windows PC with well-designed flyouts.

This app will replace the default audio, brightness, and airplane mode flyout menus in Windows. Usually, a vertical drop-down menu appears when you adjust the brightness or increase the volume. ModernFlyouts offers horizontal drop-down menus that you can customize to be at the top, bottom, or center.

ModernFlyouts also does not disable WIndows flyers by default. As such, you can switch between ModernFlyouts and Windows offerings at will.

Each flyout can be customized or disabled independently. Additionally, these modern drop-down menus also work for Scroll Lock, Num Lock, and Caps Lock.

To download: Modern Flyouts (Free)

These apps received an honorable mention during the May 2022 awards, and while they didn’t win, they’re still strong contenders you should check out.

1. Animated background

It’s fun to decorate your Windows desktop with cool and beautiful wallpapers. With Lively Wallpaper you will enjoy it even more.

You can set GIFs, videos and web pages as wallpaper and screen saver with this free app. This means that you can search free panorama video on YouTube, enter its URL in app settings and enjoy it as your desktop background all day long.

Moreover, Lively Wallpaper offers you many features. You can choose a Lite theme to save power, control the volume of wallpapers and live videos, and choose a taskbar theme from light, blur, wallpaper, etc.

Bring your Windows desktop to life with preloaded free live wallpapers. You can also upload your JPEG, JPG, Gif, MP4 and even your website to adorn your desktop.

If you are a space enthusiast, explore our article to find cool space-themed live wallpapers for your PC.

To download: Animated background (Free)

2. TranslucentTB

As the name suggests, this nifty app lets you give your Windows taskbar a cool look and style.

First, you can customize the effect and color of your taskbar: normal, opaque, blurry, acrylic or nice clear effect. You can even choose a color from the desktop background for your taskbar.

Additionally, with TranslucentTB, you can customize the taskbar for various situations, such as when a window is maximized, when task view is open, or when the search and start menu is open.

To download: TranslucentTB (Free)

The May 2022 awards had tough competition, and here are a few apps that nearly made it to the end.

1. Copy and paste

CopyAndPaste gives you more than enough to keep the data for later. You can store up to 1,000 text samples, which means you’ll always have what you want at your fingertips.

The simple, intuitive interface lets you paste into the app to store text, or you can press copy to place it on the clipboard for use.

Moreover, you can modify and name each text as you wish, and even lock and password protect confidential texts. What makes it easier is that you can search through texts, create categories, and mark records for quick access.

To download: Copy and paste ($2.99)

2. Dynamic theme

This excellent app gives you some of the best panoramic views around the world for your lock screen and desktop.

You can have a dynamic theme with daily changing Bing or Windows Spotlight images as your lock screen or background. Or just a Bing or Spotlight image. You can also use your photos for a personalized look.

Each image is accompanied by its history and you can even have an image as a live thumbnail of the application.

If you only want Windows Spotlight, learn how to set it up for a new wallpaper every day on Windows 11.

To download: Dynamic theme (Free in-app purchases available)

Make finding apps and files fast 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.

Additionally, you can use tags to filter results based on keywords such as bookmarks, files, and apps.

And you don’t need a mouse to search. Screen Search places a two-letter label on each clickable object. When you type the label, it works like a mouse click.

With Fluent Search, you can easily switch between a running app and browser tabs, and search for files based on your current workflow.

To download: Smooth search (Free)

4. ink workspace

You will enjoy this app and how it improves the experience of using a pen on your Windows touch device. Whether it’s working on a whiteboard, creating a graph, or writing freehand, Ink Workspace makes it easy.

Ink Workspace lets you launch your favorite apps and access your recently opened files with just a click of 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 on your taskbar.

To download: ink workspace (Free)

5. To rounded

RoundedTB is another great app for customizing the shape and appearance of your Windows taskbars.

You can also add margins, rounded corners, and segments, without modifying system files or making permanent changes to the system.

For a rounded corner, you can simply set the margin and radius of the corner. Also, with advanced options, you can further customize things like enabling independent margins or even hiding rounded corners for certain sides.

If you are using Windows 11, you can use dynamic mode which automatically resizes the taskbar to fit the number of icons it contains. For Windows 10, there is a split mode, so you can separate the taskbar from the system tray and resize it at will.

Explore RoundedTB in more detail and learn how to add rounded corners to the Windows 11 taskbar.

To download: To rounded (Free)

Personalize Windows with a new look and also work smarter

There’s nothing better than adding a personal touch and a distinct look to your everyday Windows experience. With these award-winning apps from the Microsoft Store, you can not only customize Windows to your liking, but also discover ways to work smarter and stay focused.