Better Wallpaper Quality

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated November 23, 2020)

One of the more common and easiest ways to personalize our computer is to change the wallpaper or desktop background. The ability to change our computer wallpaper has been around for quite some time. We have covered how to change your computer's wallpaper and how to use your own image for your wallpaper. As you do this you may have noticed, if you pay really close attention, that your image never seems to look as good as you were expecting. This is because of something Windows does to try to minimize the potential impact on performance. When you specify a JPG file image to be used in the background, Windows compresses the image. For many, this is not an issue. However, if you have noticed your wallpaper looks a bit compressed or blocky, this could be why. While Windows does not provide a simple toggle to alter the compression setting, fortunately, you can create a registry entry to control how much compression Windows applies to the background image.

A quick note before we begin: Be very careful when you modify your system's registry. If you are not careful you can mess up your system.

To modify this setting do the following:

  1. Press Windows+R. Windows opens the Run window.
  2. Type "regedit" (without quotes) and press Enter. Windows opens the Registry Editor.
  3. In the left-side panel, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control_Panel\Desktop.
  4. Right-click in the right-side panel and, from the resulting Context menu, select New, then DWORD (32-Bit) Value. Name the parameter "JPEGImportQuality" (without quotes) and press Enter to commit the new name. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. Creating a new DWORD (32-Bit) Value.

  6. Double click on the newly created parameter. This opens the Edit DWORD (32-Bit) Value window. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Edit DWORD (32-Bit) Value window.

  8. In the Value Data box set the value to 100 with either Hexadecimal or Decimal selected.
  9. Close regedit.
  10. Restart your machine.

By modifying the registry, you have been able to reduce the image compression that impacts your computer's wallpaper. Now when you set a new JPG file as your desktop image you should see a clearer image without any noticeable compression taking place.

 This tip (13802) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...

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