Prevent users from changing the Desktop Background in Windows 10

The wallpaper or desktop background on your Windows computer is super important, therefore, at no point should anyone change it to something else, especially if your background image is changed to something you’re not a fan of. Now, if you’re in a situation where someone keeps changing your background, then it’s time to prevent this from happening. This post will also help administrators who would like to lock-down their desktop background.

Now let use see how to lock the desktop background and prevent users from changing the wallpaper using Settings, Registry or Group Policy.

Prevent users from changing the Desktop Background

1] Disable synchronization of Themes Settings

If the person who keeps changing your Windows 10 background is tied to a specific Microsoft account, then we recommend disabling the syncing of the theme settings. If you’re a person who is using the local account on your current device, then this step is not for you.

What we’re going to talk about here is a step for folks who are using a Microsoft account to sign into their computer.

First, sign-in as the user.

Press the Windows Key + I to launch the Settings window, and from here, navigate to the option that says Accounts. Now, on the left side, select Sync your settings, then scroll to the section that says Theme and turn it off.

Here’s the thing, you’ll need to perform this action for every user account that is tied to your Windows 10 computer to stop them from changing the background.

2] Using Registry Editor

Do not forget that the Registry Editor, if not used properly, can cause serious problems that may require a full re-installation of Windows 10. But don’t worry too much because this trick will not render your computer useless, so let’s begin.

Press the Windows Key + R to fire up the Run dialog, then type regedit in the box, and hit the Enter key on your keyboard. This should be enough to get the Registry Editor up and running.

Alternatively, you could click on the Start button, then type regedit, and when it pops up in the search query, simply click on it to launch.

First up, navigate to the following key if you want to disable the background image settings for the current user-

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies

Now, if you want to do this for all users, then go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies

Prevent users from changing the Desktop Background

Under the policies option, please go to ActiveDesktop, but if for some strange reason you do not see this, please create one.

The next step, then, is to right-click on ActiveDesktop and select New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value. You must now name the new value, NoChangingWallPaper, and then open its properties by double-clicking on it.

After the double-click action, you should now see something that says Value Data. Just change it from 0 to 1, and finally, click OK.

3] Using Group Policy Editor

Before we begin, bear in mind that what we’re about to talk about can also be used on Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise.

Run gpedit.msc to open the Group Policy Editor.

Next navigate to the following settng- User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization.

In the right side, you will see Prevent changing desktop background. Double-click on it to open its Settings box. Select Enabled, click Apply and exit.

This setting prevents users from adding or changing the background design of the desktop. By default, users can use the Desktop Background page in the Personalization or Display Control Panel to add a background design (wallpaper) to their desktop. If you enable this setting, none of the Desktop Background settings can be changed by the user. To specify wallpaper for a group, use the “Desktop Wallpaper” setting.

If you launch the Settings menu and visit the background section, you’ll see that this setting is now blurred out.

Hope this helps!

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Vamien McKalin possesses the awesome power of walking on water like a boss. He's also a person who enjoys writing about technology, comics, video games, and anything related to the geek world.