Fix: Cannot change desktop background in Windows 7 | 8

Most of us enjoy displaying out favorite Desktop Background or Wallpaper on our Windows Desktop. But, if you find for some reason that you cannot change the desktop background in Windows 8 or Windows 7, you may try some of these troubleshooting steps.

Cannot change desktop background

Before you begin, please check if you have installed and third-party customization software and if it is restricting you from changing the desktop background. If so uninstall it and restart your Windows PC.

1] Open Control Panel and select ‘Ease of Access’ Center. Then, click on ‘Optimize Visual display’ link. Scroll down until you find ‘Make the computer easier to see’ section. Once found, make sure that Remove background images (where available) is unchecked. Save, Apply, Exit.

make things easier to see Fix: Cannot change desktop background in Windows 7 | 8

This should help!

2] Open you Power Setting in Control Panel. Open Power Options > Select your power plan  > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings > Expand the Desktop background settings option > Expand Slide show.

Cannot change desktop background Fix: Cannot change desktop background in Windows 7 | 8

Ensure that the Plugged in option is set to Available.

3] If the above option too fails, maybe your TranscodedWallpaper.jpg file has become corrupted.

Open explorer and type the following in the address bar and hit Enter:


Here, rename TranscodedWallpaper.jpg to TranscodedWallpaper.old.

Next, double-click slideshow.ini file and open it with Notepad. Empty its contents. That is, select all the text and delete it. Save the changes. Close explorer windows.

4] If not, try this. Run regedit and navigate to the following key in the Registry Editor:


regedit wallpaper Fix: Cannot change desktop background in Windows 7 | 8

Right click on Policies > New > KEY > name it as ActiveDesktop.

Next in the right side, right-click > New > DWORD > name it as NoChangingWallPaper.

The DWORD value 1 will restrict change in desktop wallpaper. To allow change give it value as 0.


5] Alternatively, you could open the Group Policy Editor, by typing gpedit.msc in Run box and hitting Enter.

gpedit desktop wallpaper Fix: Cannot change desktop background in Windows 7 | 8

Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop Click Desktop again. Double-click Desktop Wallpaper.

Ensure that the Not Configured option is selected. This will enable the option to change the desktop background.

Hope something helps!

Go here if your Windows 7 slideshow feature for desktop background does not work. This post will show how to change wallpaper in Windows 7 Starter edition.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
  • Albza

    I’m having the same issue from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1: when I uncheck “Use Drop Shadows for Icon Labels on the Desktop” from Visual Effects in Systems (Control Panel) if my theme has 1 wallpaper it works and shadows disappear, but if my theme has more than 1 wallpaper that change every x time, shadows remain also if “Use Drop Shadows for Icon Labels on the Desktop” is uncheked. WHY???

  • Anand Khanse

    Hmmm, could this be a bug or by design?

  • Albza

    I do think it’s a bug, could you check if you have the same issue? Thanks :)

  • Nano Thea

    artikel ini amat sangat membantu saya

  • Samerron

    Very Helpful! Many thanks for sharing…!

  • Bittu Boss

    Dont get into the above shit…..ur file maybe corrupted or missing……simply copy files from working (friends) pc from d location “C:UsersVJAppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsThemes” n replace it in yours…reboot…PROBLEM SOLVED…….EnJoY! (Y)

    [ incase u dont have the resources mail me or find me on fb ]

  • Dr.Malik

    Hello to all, who are reading this, and specially to Mr.Anand.

    Your work is professional.

    My windows 7 ultimate was running nice and even the background slide with 10 seconds duration was running nice. When I updated the window updates, it happened, no slides on the desktop. I read the solutions, with ease center, it did not work. I checked the window updates, and updated to internet explorer 10. Still the problem was there.
    With irritation, I went back to desktop right click, clicked personalization the window opened, clicked desktop background,in the new window,- picture location,- clicked the drop down arrow,selected picture library, clicked browse button and from there I went to the folder of wallpapers I had saved on my computer and selected it and clicked OK, !!!! it was there and it started working after saving the theme, selected all, fixed 10 second duration for the slide background, and it is working now, as it was before. How did it happen, a professional can explain.

    Hope this will help the others, if it dose, let me get a thank note.


  • Clipping Path Outsource

    Thank for your kind information.

  • arun kumar

    thanks boss…….

  • Julio

    Thank you much, it took me a few websites before I found your post but problem #1 is what I had, thank you much!

  • Kevin

    Thank you so much! AnandK!

  • a.c

    thank you! was very helpful for me (the registry one).

  • K H

    Thank you so much! I changed the transcodedwallpaper and now it works perfectly.

  • dianna

    i have windows xp and i want vista is there a differance?

  • Anand Khanse

    Glad it helped. :)

  • Anand Khanse

    Yes, they are two different operating systems. If you are planning to upgrade from Windows XP, consider Windows 7 or Windows 8, instead of Windows Vista.

  • harpreet singh kalra

    Thanks… The first one helped.

  • Debasis Mukherjee

    Very useful solutions. Earlier I was unable to change my desktop background. I tried solution steps 1, 2, and 3 one by one. No result. Finally step 4 solved my problem. Thanks.

  • Anand Khanse

    Glad something helped. :)

  • G

    this post helped me more than any Microsoft help forum ever has. Thanks!

  • IT Blogger Tips

    Thanks it helped me to resolve the issue..

  • Rian

    Thanks for the info..but I saw something about change lock screen image. see this site

  • Moltres_rider

    nope.avi does NOT fix the problem

  • Jill Go


  • bill

    nothing is working for me, i just bought the computer and i am already tired of the background. i have windows 8.1 and i have no clue how to change the backgorund/ wallpaper. any ideas?

  • O.O

    not solve my problem

  • mohana

    ohhhhh. i got it.. now i can change my wallpaper

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