Changing the Desktop Background

by Barry Dysert
(last updated November 3, 2014)

1

The desktop background, also known as wallpaper, provides some interesting visuals when working on your computer. The background can be changed to be almost any digital picture, be it one that comes standard with Windows, one that you've downloaded, or one that you've taken with a digital camera. The background need not be static, either. You can set the background to be a slide show so that it periodically changes while you're working.

The default background comes from the file "C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper\Windows\img0.jpg". If you grow tired of this image or are just ready for a change, there are a few ways to change it. Perhaps the simplest way to change the background is to use Windows Explorer to navigate to the .jpg file you wish to use for your background. Right-click on the file and choose Set as Desktop Background from the Context menu.

Another way to change the background is to right-click on an empty spot on the desktop and choose Personalize from the Context menu, then click Desktop Background. Or, if you prefer, you can get to the same place by clicking the Start button, then Control Panel, then Change Desktop Background under the "Appearance and Personalization" category. Whichever method you choose, you'll end up at the Personalization portion of the Control Panel. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Personalization section of the Control Panel.

By clicking one of the images in the window, your background immediately changes to what you've selected. If you choose an image that shows multiple layers (for example, the "Architecture" image), the bottom contents of the window changes slightly, allowing you to select a slide show of the different layers: (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The bottom section of the Background Personalization window showing Slide Show.

The left-most image of the above figure is used to create a slide show. Click the Desktop Background link and Windows displays the Desktop Background window. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. The Desktop Background window.

At the bottom of the window is a drop-down list that allows you to set how often you want your pictures to change. You can set them to change anywhere from every 10 seconds to once per day. If you want the pictures to change randomly instead of in the sequence shown in the window, click the "Shuffle" checkbox.

If you want to have access to more background images, click the Get More Themes Online link in the Personalization section of the Control Panel (discussed earlier in this tip) or do a web search for "Wallpaper" to find hundreds of different backgrounds you can download.

 This tip (12064) applies to Windows 7.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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What is one less than 4?

2014-11-03 13:17:05

MWilson

But it seems as though just selecting another graphic and making it your wallpaper has unintended side effects.

I'm running Win7 with the Aero feature enabled. Grabbing one of the preloaded images under Aero Themes works well. But if I grab my own image to use as a wallpaper I loose all of the Aero functions.

How do I make a jpg compatible with the Aero Theme?


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