Using Your Own Pictures as Wallpaper

by Barry Dysert
(last updated December 8, 2014)


There are several pictures and slide shows that come with Windows, thus letting you change your desktop background ("wallpaper") from the default. You are not limited to what comes with Windows, however. You can use your own pictures as wallpaper just as well.

Almost any type of digital image can be used as wallpaper, e.g., jpg, bmp, png, etc. Perhaps the simplest way to change the background is to use Windows Explorer to navigate to the picture file you wish to use for your background. Right-click on this 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 displaying the Control Panel and clicking the Change Desktop Background link under the "Appearance and Personalization" category. Whichever method you choose, you'll end up at the Personalization window. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Personalization window.

By clicking the Desktop Background link in the lower-left area, you'll be taken to the Desktop Background window. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Desktop Background window.

From here you would click the Browse button and navigate to the picture(s) you want to use for your wallpaper. You can create a slide show of your pictures by selecting more than one. Clicking Save Changes sets the wallpaper to the picture(s) you chose.

 This tip (12117) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

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 three more than 8?

2015-01-02 11:47:12

Michael Brumberg

Back from year-end vacation and I can see them now.

2014-12-11 14:23:51


I recently tried Chrome Version 39.0.2171.95 m as Michael also reports.
Exactly the same results. I almost never us Internet Explorer, and do not intend to try that. HOWEVER, I went to the Image URL from both browsers and downloaded the image directly into another window. The pictures exhibited the same features as when they are displayed in the Tips. This probably is to be expected, but I do not know for sure.

2014-12-11 10:36:52


Answer to Awyatt (Allen): Browser is Firefox 34.0.5 which is set to automatically update, so is always the most recent release. PFL

2014-12-11 10:26:22

Michael Brumberg

As you requested in this tip, I have just this minute accessed this tip with all three browsers, with the same result. The browsers are:

Goggle Chrome Version 39.0.2171.95m (64 bit)
Internet Explorer Version 11.0.9600.17501, Update Version 11.0.15 (KB3008923).
Firefox Version 34.0.5
(Also sent via e-mail.)

2014-12-10 11:14:14


Michal and PFL: Can you each let me know what browser and version of browser you are using?

If you prefer, you can e-mail me directly at allen -at-


2014-12-10 10:55:54


Recently, last two or three weeks, I have the same results that Michael sees. Sometimes, even in the same tip, some images are large and clear, and the next one is very small and blurry. PFL

2014-12-10 10:27:24

Michael Brumberg

Allen: I am not sure what setting it could be. I have now tried this tip in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, all at the latest level. The two pictures in THIS tip are just thumbnails. In other tips this week they have been a mixture. For example, in "Understanding Regional Settings," T012171, the first figure, "The Clock, Language, and Region dialog box," is small,
as is Figure 3, however, figures 2 and 4 fill the page. Any guidance you can provide would be appreciated.

2014-12-09 16:30:11


Michael: On my screen the pictures are essentially as wide as the text and very readable/visible.

Is the difference due to a setting in your browser?


2014-12-09 15:57:27

Michael Brumberg

Can't see your pictures. The jpg is too small and then it blurs if I try to blow it up. In the future, please put larger, readable screen shots in your otherwise great tips.

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