Change your desktop background (wallpaper)

The information in this Help topic doesn't apply to Windows 7 Starter. Windows 7 Starter comes with one desktop background, which can't be changed or customized. If you aren't sure which edition of Windows 7 you have, see Find which edition of Windows 7 you are using.

Your desktop background (also called wallpaper) can be a digital picture from your personal collection, a picture that comes with Windows, a solid color, or a picture framed with a color. You can choose one image to be your desktop background or you can display a slide show of pictures. For more information, see Create a desktop background slide show and Make changes to your desktop background slide show.

Watch this video to learn how to change your desktop background (1:15)

To change the desktop background

  1. Open Desktop Background by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button and clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type desktop background, and then click Change desktop background.

  2. Click the picture or color that you want to use for your desktop background.

    If the picture you want to use isn't in the list of desktop background pictures, click an item in the Picture location list to see other categories, or click Browse to search for the picture on your computer. When you find the picture that you want, double-click it. It will become your desktop background.

    Picture of the Picture location menu
    Look for pictures in other locations on your computer
  3. Under Picture position, click the arrow and choose whether to crop the picture to fill the screen, fit the picture to the screen, stretch the picture to fit the screen, tile the picture, or center the picture on the screen, and then click Save changes.


  • If you choose to have a fitted or centered picture as your desktop background, you can also frame your picture with a color background. Under Picture position, click Fit or Center. Click Change background color, click a color, and then click OK.


  • To make any picture stored on your computer (or a picture you are currently viewing) your desktop background, right-click the picture, and then click Set as Desktop Background.

Picture of the Set as Desktop Background option
The Set as Desktop Background option

You can add more desktop backgrounds to your collection from the Personalization Gallery on the Windows website.

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