Desktop Background Wallpaper

How to Change the Desktop Background Wallpaper in Vista
The desktop background wallpaper is the image on the desktop from your personal collection or one that comes with Vista. This will show you how to change the Desktop Background wallpaper to what you want it to be.
How to Change the Desktop Background Wallpaper in Vista

information   Information
The desktop background wallpaper is the image on the desktop from your personal collection or one that comes with Vista. You can also select a color for your desktop background or use a color to frame your background picture.
Note   Note
The default Wallpaper folder is located at: C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper
Tip   Tip
You can download a ton of free wallpapers at: Free wallpapers, wallpaper download at

Here's How:
1. Right click on a empty area of your desktop and click on Personalize. (See screenshot below)​

2. Click on Desktop Background. (See screenshot below)​

3. To select a Image that is Displayed for the Wallpaper
A) Highlight the image. (See screenshot below step 4)​
NOTE: If you highlight the image, you can see a preview of it on your desktop.

4. To Select a Image from Another Location for the Wallpaper
A) Click the drop down arrow under Picture Location.​
B) Select a folder that has your image in it.​
NOTE: You can edit this Picture Location list from within the registry location below to remove any listed location from the list here:


C) Click on Browse and navigate to the location of the image.​

5. Choose how the picture should be positioned on the desktop.​
NOTE: Only Fit to screen, Tile, and Center are available for the Vista Home Basic and Home Premium editions. You will need to install DreamScene in Vista Ultimate before you see the Fit to screen keeping aspect ratio and Fit To Screen with cropping options.
6. Click on OK.​

That's it,

Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink



In the left pane, just click on the Policies (same for ActiveDesktop) folder to highlight it. This will have it open in the right pane. ;)
Hi again. I know the principle, but that's the problem I can't get anything to appear in the right hand pane when I click on a folder. It suggests something rather naughty has happened?? Sorry about this, you are very patient. I am using 'regedit' to open the registry, any other suggestions?
Hi again

I have redone the screenshgots 1, 2 and 3. Clicking on the folder now seems to be working, the three screenshots are the result. The third one does not have 'Active Desktop' in Current version of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSIOB\POLICIES


No worries. You have it open with the "(default)" listed in the right pane for Policies, but there's nothing in the right pane that would cause this for your so far. Is there anything in the location below for ActiveDesktop:

Me again! I have found that if I set up a new user the feature is available. It would be a lot of work to set up the new user with the same desktop etc as my 'corrupt' user. Any ideas?:sick:
You can copy the contents of the hidden C:\Users\(user name)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs folder from your old account into the new account's same folder to copy all of your Start Menu shortcuts over to the new account. Afterwards, just copy any personal files in your old account's user folders into the new account's one as well. After everything checks out ok, you can delete the old account from within the new one.