Personalization Change Desktop Background in Windows 11


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Desktop_background_banner.png

You can change your desktop background in Windows 11 to be a picture, solid color, a slideshow, or Spotlight collection.

A picture background can apply to a specific desktop or all desktops.

Solid color, slideshow, and Spotlight collection backgrounds apply to all your desktops.

Starting with Windows 11 build 22557, Microsoft updated the name of Spotlight collection to be Windows Spotlight, so it’s consistent with the Lock screen.

This tutorial will show you different ways to change the desktop background to a picture, solid color, slideshow, or Spotlight collection for your account in Windows 11.


It is required to activate Windows 11 before you can change the desktop background to personalize your PC using Option One, Option Two, or Option Three.

You will still be able to use Option Four, Option Five, or Option Six to change your desktop background without Windows activated.


When high contrast mode is turned on, the desktop background is automatically set to a solid color by default, but you can still set the desktop background to a picture or slideshow.

If you turned off showing your desktop background, the desktop background will be set to only show a solid black color no matter what you set as your desktop background in this tutorial.

Using an image the same size as the display resolution will give you the best looking results on the desktop background.



Contents

  • Option One: Change All or Specific Desktop Background to Picture, Solid Color, Slideshow, or Windows Spotlight in Settings
  • Option Two: Change All or Current Desktop Background to Picture, Solid Color, or Slideshow in Control Panel
  • Option Three: Change All or Specific Desktop Background to Picture, Solid Color, or Slideshow in Task View
  • Option Four: "Set as desktop background" in File Explorer
  • Option Five: "Set as desktop background" in Photos app
  • Option Six: "Set as desktop background" in Paint app


EXAMPLE: desktop background

Desktop_background.jpg





Option One

Change All or Specific Desktop Background to Picture, Solid Color, Slideshow, or Windows Spotlight in Settings


1 Open Settings (Win+I).

2 Click/tap on Personalization on the left side, and click/tap on Background on the right side. (see screenshot below)

Desktop_background_Settings-1.png

3 Do step 4 (picture), step 5 (solid color), step 6 (slideshow), or step 7 (Windows Spotlight) below for what you want as the desktop background.


4 Change All or Specific Desktop Background to a Picture

A) Select Picture in the Personalize your background drop menu. (see screenshots below)​

B) Select an image you want from Recent images.​

If you have more than one monitor (display) connected to your PC, then you can apply Recent images to all or specific monitors by:

1) Click/tap on a recent image to set for all monitors.

OR

2) Right click on a recent image, and click/tap on Set for all monitors or Set for monitor # you want.

Multiple_displays.png


If you have more than one virtual desktops, then you can apply Recent images to all or specific desktops by:

1) Click/tap on a recent image to set for all desktops on all monitors. (If you came from Option Three, then this will only apply to the specific virtual desktop on all monitors.)

OR

2) Right click on a recent image, and click/tap on Set for all desktops or Set for desktop > Desktop # you want on all monitors.

virtual_desktops.png


C) If Recent images doesn't have an image you want, click/tap on the Browse photos button, navigate to and select an image, and click/tap on Choose picture

D) Select Fill, Fit, Stretch, Tile, Center, or Span for what you want in the Choose a fit for your desktop image drop menu.​

E) When finished, you can close Settings.​

Desktop_background_Settings-2.png
Desktop_background_Settings-3.png

5 Change All Desktops Background to a Solid Color

A) Select Solid color in the Personalize your background drop menu. (see screenshots below)​

B) Select a color you want under Choose your background color.​

C) If Choose your background color doesn't have a color you want, click/tap on the View colors button to choose a custom color.​

D) When finished, you can close Settings.​

Desktop_background_Settings-4.png
Desktop_background_Settings-5.png

6 Change All Desktops Background to a Slideshow

A) Select Slideshow in the Personalize your background drop menu. (see screenshots below)​

B) Click/tap on the Browse button to Choose a picture album for a slideshow. Navigate to and select a folder containing pictures you want for the slideshow, and click/tap on Choose this folder.​

C) Select the time you want in the Change picture every drop menu.​

D) Turn on or off Shuffle the picture folder for what you want.​

E) Turn on or off Let slideshow run even if I'm on battery power for what you want.​

F) Select Fill, Fit, Stretch, Tile, Center, or Span for what you want in the Choose a fit for your desktop image drop menu.​

G) When finished, you can close Settings.​

Desktop_background_Settings-6.png
Desktop_background_Settings-7.png

7 Change All Desktops Background to Windows Spotlight

Windows Spotlight is only available starting with Windows 11 build 22518 and build 22000.706.

You can right-click on the Learn more about this picture icon on your desktop to switch to between Spotlight pictures or tell Microsoft whether you like or dislike a picture.




A) Select Windows Spotlight in the Personalize your background drop menu. (see screenshot below)​

B) When finished, you can close Settings.​

Spotlight_Collection.png




Option Two

Change Current Desktop Background to Picture, Solid Color, or Slideshow in Control Panel


1 Open Run (Win+R).

2 Copy and paste the command below into Run, and click/tap on OK to open the Desktop Background control panel applet.

shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921} -Microsoft.Personalization\pageWallpaper

3 Do step 4 (picture), step 5 (solid color), or step 6 (slideshow) below for what you want as the desktop background.


 4. Change Current Desktop Background to a Picture on Specific or All Displays

A) Select a folder you want in the Picture location drop menu. (see screenshots below)​

B) If Picture location doesn't have the folder you want, click/tap on the Browse button, navigate to and select a folder, and click/tap on OK.​

C) Right click or press and hold on a single image you want, and click/tap on either Set for all monitors or Set for monitor # you want.​

D) Repeat the step above if you have more displays you would like to set a specific picture for.​

E) Select Fill, Fit, Span, Stretch, Tile, or Center for what you want in the Picture position drop menu.​

F) When finished, click/tap on Save changes to apply and close the Desktop Background control panel applet.​

Desktop_background_Control_Panel-3.jpg
Desktop_background_Settings-7.png


 5. Change All Desktops Background to a Solid Color on All Displays

A) Select Solid Colors in the Picture location drop menu. (see screenshot below)​

B) Select a color you want.​

C) If there isn't a color you want, click/tap on the More link at the bottom to choose a custom color.​

D) When finished, click/tap on Save changes to apply and close the Desktop Background control panel applet.​

Desktop_background_Control_Panel-1.png


 6. Change All Desktops Background to Slideshow on All Displays

A) Select a folder you want in the Picture location drop menu. (see screenshots below)​

B) If Picture location doesn't have the folder you want, click/tap on the Browse button, navigate to and select a folder, and click/tap on OK.​

C) Select more than one image you want included in the slideshow.​

D) Select Fill, Fit, Span, Stretch, Tile, or Center for what you want in the Picture position drop menu.​

E) Select the time you want in the Change picture every drop menu.​

F) Check (on) or uncheck (off) Shuffle for what you want.​

G) Check (on) or uncheck (off) When using battery power, pause the slide show to save power for what you want.​

H) When finished, click/tap on Save changes to apply and close the Desktop Background control panel applet.​

Desktop_background_Control_Panel-2.jpg
Desktop_background_Settings-7.png




Option Three

Change All or Specific Desktop Background to Picture, Solid Color, or Slideshow in Task View


1 Open Task View (Win+Tab).

2 Right click or press and hold on the virtual desktop you want, and click/tap on Choose background. (see screenshot below)

Task_View_Desktops.jpg

3 Go to step 3 in option 1 to select a picture background for this desktop, or solid color or slideshow for all desktops.




Option Four

"Set as desktop background" in File Explorer


1 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Navigate to and open the folder the image you want to set as the desktop background is saved in.

3 Perform one of the following actions to set image as desktop background: (see screenshots below)
  • Select the image, and click/tap on Set as background on the command bar.
  • Right click or press and hold on the image, and click/tap on Set as desktop background.
Set_as_desktop_background_File_Explorer-2.png
Set_as_desktop_background_File_Explorer-1.png





Option Five

"Set as desktop background" in Photos app


1 Perform the steps below while you have an image you want to set as the desktop background open in the Photos app:
  • Click/tap on the See more actions (3 dots) button.
  • Click/tap on Set as.
  • Click/tap on Set as background.
Set_as_background_Photos_app.png





Option Six

"Set as desktop background" in Paint app


1 Perform the steps below while you have an image you want to set as the desktop background open in the Paint app:
  • Click/tap on File on the menu bar.
  • Click/tap on Set as desktop background.
  • Click/tap on Fill, Tile, or Center for what you want.
Set_as_desktop_background-Paint.png



That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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Brink

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Tutorial updated for more multiple displays and desktops (virtual desktops) options. :-)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
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    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
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    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
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    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
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    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
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    3840 x 2160
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    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
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    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

Brink

Administrator
Staff member
MVP
Thread Starter
Local time
4:22 AM
Posts
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OS
Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
Tutorial updated to add new Spotlight collection for desktop background in option 1. :)
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom self build
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2 x Samsung Odyssey G75 27"
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB Samsung 980 PRO M.2,
    1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    1 Gbps Download and 35 Mbps Upload
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender and Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Motorola MB8611 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G phone
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Spectre x360 2in1
    CPU
    i7-1065G7 3.9 GHz
    Memory
    16 GB LPDDR4-3200
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel Iris Plus
    Sound Card
    Intel SST
    Monitor(s) Displays
    13.3" 4K UWVA AMOLED multitouch
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Premium

SpacemanSam

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How do I do this from a batch file, command line or registry edit?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 10 pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    several (Dell, HP, custom build, Lenovo, ASUS, etc.)
    CPU
    several
    Motherboard
    several
    Browser
    Firefox
    Other Info
    I have many computers, mostly Dell and HP.
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