Animated desktop background concept was probably first introduced with Windows Vista operating system. DreamScene, one of the extras released for the Ultimate edition of Vista, let users set a video file as desktop background. Even though Microsoft dropped this excellent feature from Windows 7, there are plenty of tools out there to enable DreamScene feature in Windows 7. Microsoft has introduced animated backgrounds for Start screen with Windows 8.1 but the catch is that you need to choose one of the animated backgrounds that ship with Windows 8.1 and you’re not allowed to set a custom picture as Start screen background. While it’s possible to configure Windows 8.1 to use the active desktop wallpaper as Start screen background, you can’t set an animated desktop background as Start screen with default settings. In other words, even if you set an animated picture as desktop background and configure Windows 8.1 to use desktop background as Start screen background, Windows won’t show the animated background on Start screen. Wouldn’t it be cool if Microsoft allowed users to set their own animated wallpaper as Start screen background? Windows 8.1 users who would like to customize the Start screen by setting a custom animated background will be happy to know that it’s now possible to set an animated picture as Start screen background with the help of third-party tool. That also means that you can set a video file as Start screen background by converting the video file to GIF format and then setting it as Start screen background. Start Screen Customizer is a free tool that not only helps you set your own picture as Start screen background but also enables you have animated picture as Start screen background. The beauty of this tool is that it doesn’t edit or replace original system files in order to set a custom picture or animated picture as background. So it’s completely safe to use this tool. However, the only downside of this excellent tool is that Start Screen Customizer must be running in the background for the proper functioning of the GIF file. In other words, the GIF file that you have set as Start screen background will stop functioning as soon as you close Start Screen Customizer. Uses who already have animated wallpapers in GIF format can follow the given below instructions to set an animated wallpaper as Start screen background. And if you don’t have one, and would like to create or download custom animated wallpapers, there are plenty of online services and software to create animated wallpapers. NOTE: If you would like to set a video as Start screen background, you’ll have to first convert the video to GIF format using software like LICEcap. Step 1: Download Start Screen Customizer and then install the same on your Windows 8.1 PC. Step 2: Once installed, run the software. Step 3: Click Load Picture button, browse to the animated GIF wallpaper that you wish to set as Start screen background, select the GIF file and then click Open button. Step 4: Finally, click Apply and save button to set the animated wallpaper as your Start screen background. Switch to the Start scree by clicking the Start button or pressing Windows logo key on the keyboard to see the new animated background. Good luck!