A lot of users running Windows 7 are experiencing a Black desktop background after installing a particular update. It sent out a panic as if Microsoft was limiting the personalization features, but it turns out to be a bug. After installing KB4534310, users’ desktop wallpaper might display as black. The symptom is only for those who are using Stretch mode for their wallpaper. If they haven’t stretched, there is no black screen.
Black desktop background on Windows 7
Microsoft has acknowledged this issue, and they are working on a resolution. One should expect an update in an upcoming release, which will be made available to customers running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. The black screen problem has happened earlier as well, but it was to indicate the copy of the Windows 7 Starter Edition is not genuine. It’s different this time.
UPDATE: Microsoft has released update KB4539602 to fix the issue. If your PC does not have it, download and install it from the Microsoft update catalog website.
Mitigate Windows 7 Black Desktop Background issue
- Open Windows Settings (Win + I)
- Navigate to Personalization > Background
- Set your custom image to an option other than Stretch, such as Fill, Fit, Tile, or Center.
- Also, make sure to choose a custom wallpaper that matches the resolution of your desktop.
Now here is the bummer. The KB4534310 update was rolled out on January 14, the last date of Windows 7 Support. So if you are using Windows 7 Starter, Home, or Home Basic or Ultimate, you may be out of luck. Only consumers who have purchased Windows 7 Extended Update security will receive future fixes. You will not be able to use the Stretch mode and will have to use anything except that. I hope they roll this out to everyone.
I am sure a lot of consumers will be agitated about it, but then its time we all need to move to Windows 10 or any other OS. Windows 7 isn’t secure anymore unless you are never going to connect to the internet or a USB. However, if you still plan to stay, make sure to follow our guide on how you can secure Windows 7 after the end of life.
That said, Microsoft is also recommending to install two updates if you are yet to install KB4534310. They are the March 12, 2019 servicing stack update (SSU) (KB4490628) and the latest SHA-2 update (KB4474419) released September 10, 2019. The updater which has caused the issues, is a security update for Microsoft Scripting Engine, Windows Input and Composition, Windows Storage and File Systems, and Windows Server.
PS: Did you know you can still upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 for free if you have a genuine license of Windows 7?