[Solution] Cannot Change Desktop Wallpaper in Windows

Many times Windows users face a strange problem. When they try to change the desktop wallpaper from Desktop Properties, following things happen:

  • Wallpaper list as well as Browse button is disabled.
  • They apply the desired wallpaper but desktop doesn't show it. It remains empty.

If you are also facing such problems, this tutorial will help you in fixing the issue. Such kind of issues might occur if there are some kind of restrictions exist in Registry which are preventing users from customizing Desktop wallpaper. Many times these issues occur if the active desktop feature is enabled.

Simply follow these simple methods to fix this problem:

METHOD 1: Using Ease of Access Center

1. Open Control Panel, click on "Ease of Access", then click on "Ease of Access Center" and then click on "Make the computer easier to see" link.

Alternatively, you can directly open the page by running following command in RUN dialog box:

explorer shell:::{D555645E-D4F8-4C29-A827-D93C859C4F2A}\pageEasierToSee

2. Now disable "Remove background images (where available)" option and apply the changes.

Thanks to our reader Rafael for sharing this method...

METHOD 2: Using Registry Editor

If Method 1 doesn't work, then do as following:

1. Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to following keys one by one:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies

2. Under these keys, if you see "ActiveDesktop" key, delete it.

Active_Desktop_Registry_Key.png

3. Now Look for "System" key under "Policies" key. If you find it, then select it and look for a string value "Wallpaper" in right-side pane. If it exists, then delete it.

4. Restart your system and you should be able to set the wallpaper.

METHOD 3: Using Desktop Context Menu

Right-click on Desktop and make sure "Lock Web Items on Desktop" option is not enabled in "Arrange Icons by" menu. If its enabled, then disable it and your problem should be solved.

Also Check:





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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP


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Comments

  • thanks!!!! :))

  • Why would you delete "ActiveDesktop" I thought that was suppose to be important

  • Thank you so much.................

  • It works for me, thanks!!

  • Try going to Control Panel>Ease of Access>Make Computer Easier to see>Untick -Background images.
    This very easy and works if you recently upgraded to Win8 or reinstalled/refreshed.

  • Thanks a lot, Method A worked for me. Cheers :)

  • Try a simple solution!

    1. Go to: Control Panel\Ease of Access\Ease of Access Center\Make the computer easier to see

    2. Disable "Remove background images (where available)"

    I hope that's works for all!

  • @Rafael I think it! :D

  • Thanks.. It works for me...

  • I had this issue running windows 7 enterprise. Tried all the other published solutions that seemed to work for others, but none of them worked for me. Method B above did the trick though! Thanks a lot.

  • it works and it make sense too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rafael

    Try a simple solution!

    1. Go to: Control Panel\Ease of Access\Ease of Access Center\Make the computer easier to see

    2. Disable "Remove background images (where available)"

    I hope that's works for all!

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  • thankx ......uuuuu very much...nice R&D

  • Thanks!!! finally worked for me!!!

  • thanks for solution

  • thanks refael that worked!

  • RAFAEL you are a GOD

  • thanks

    its works great

  • thanks

    its works great

  • it's so cool man.. thanks much for this site you have. it really helps us. :)

  • thank you very much...Method 1 worked for me on win 8.1. Wallpaper was not changing and now it is ....... thank you for sharing

  • Thanks, solution #1 worked.

  • thanks!! for your help.

  • thank you, took me so long to find this

  • Thanks a lot! Used 2nd method, worked for me.

  • This was the answer I was looking for. I spent 2 days trying to find out how to get my desktop wallpaper to show on the desktop. Why would MS hide such an obscure setting in Ease Of Access? Method 1 worked perfectly. Thanks for the help. You can't find this answer by using Start Search. It only takes you where you can change the desktop wallpaper. Not turn it on and off. Thanks again. This worked perfect in Windows 8.1

  • THANK YOU VERY MUCH...The first method worked for me...

  • Let me thank Rafael too!
    Method worked like charm.

  • how to turn off, disable "center" view in Desktop
    Do not want it setting image center.
    Much thanks

  • Very helpful.
    Thanks a lot.

  • i have done all those..bt still i cant change my wallpaper.. plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz help me........................... :(

  • thx

  • Thanks you, super easy fix!

  • Thanks for the first tip.. I thought i could not activate my pirate windows :D

  • Thanks !!. Method 1. worked well and I did not find it in any other searches today (8/25/2015).

  • This was so helpful I did something on ease of access

  • ty.

  • The first tip was teh right one for me, thanks.

  • It won't let me delete the "Active Desktop" key...

  • VG

    ^^ Try to take ownership of the key:

    http://www.askvg.com/guide-how-to-take-ownership-permission-of-a-registry-key-in-windows/

  • Hi there, first, thanks for your guide he was a bit helpful but not totally :/

    The first method :

    When i'm doing it, i can see my wallpaper for 3s, and after my screen go back the a black wallpaper.... And when i go back to the menu, the "Remove background images" is still enable! I can't disabled it!!

    The second method :

    I found only one "Active Desktop" in "local_machine" and no "wallpaper" keys, and when i reboot, nothing :(

    Third method :

    I don't found it, i'm french so my desktop is a bit different in the name, but i don't found any value which change something so...

    Can we have hope into a update from microsoft? Because I'm so sick about this black wallpaper so damn ugly! :(

    Thanks by advance if a fourth method is found, and cya

  • This worked for me. No other tips worked.
    I had to remove all of the registry keys mentioned before I could make changes.
    1 degree less repression = happier worker

  • this worked for met, thanks a lot

  • Software support company (that we are very unhappy with) set our server to always have their logo on the server desktop. It was like rubbing salt in a wound. With your tips, their logo is gone and we are happy.

  • Method 1 worked for me.
    Never play around with "ease of use" control panel or designs if you don't really have a disability.
    I was changing the design to a "high contrasted" one, just to see how it looked like, not because I would need it. Changing back to Standard left several settings in the "ease of use", including the "remove background". Preventing any change until I found askvg. Thanks!

  • OH MY GOD! IT REALLY WORKS!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I THOUGHT I WILL NEVER GET IT BACK, I REALLY DO LOSE MY HOPE, BUT THEN I SAW THIS, AND DIDN'T HESITATE TO DO IT, AND IT REALLY WORKS! THANK YOU FROM THE DEEPEST OF MY HEART :)

  • Thanks it worked with metdod 2

  • Thanks done the same and it worked perfectly

    TnR
    Binu

  • In my pc all system are corrected but I can't set wallpaper please help me

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