How do I adjust the Windows background?

Updated: 06/07/2019 by Computer Hope
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There are a lot of ways to customize your Windows desktop. One of the most popular is changing the background or wallpaper. The following sections shows you how to do so in the various versions of Windows. To proceed, select your version from the list below and follow the instructions.

Windows 10

  1. Press the Windows key, type Settings, and then press Enter.
  2. In the Settings window, click on the Personalization option.
  3. On the left side of the window, click on the Background option.
  4. In the Background window, in the Background section, click the The down arrow button. button.
  5. From here, you may choose to use a picture, color, or slideshow as your background.

The list in which users choose their background type.

  1. You may choose a color or, if you want a picture or slideshow as your background, click the The Browse button in Windows 10. button and navigate to the location of your image(s).
  2. If you went with an image, you may customize where and how the picture sits in the Choose a fit section.

The Choose a fit menu in Windows 10.

  1. When you're finished with your selections, click the close The close window icon in Windows 10. button in the upper-right corner of the window.
Note

The Fill option will increase or decrease the width of the picture to fit the width of the computer screen. The Fit will increase or decrease the height of the picture to fit the height of the computer screen. The Stretch option will make the picture fit the entire computer screen, which may result in the picture being distorted.

Windows Vista, 7, and 8

  1. Right-click any open part of the desktop screen.
  2. Click Personalize.
  3. Click Desktop Background.
  4. Click Browse.
  5. Find the location of the picture you want to use and click OK.
  6. Put a check mark in the picture you want to set as the Windows background.
  7. Choose from Center, Tile, Fit, Fill. or Stretch for the Picture position option, to select how the picture is displayed as the background on the desktop.
Note

The Fill option will increase or decrease the width of the picture to fit the width of the computer screen. The Fit will increase or decrease the height of the picture to fit the height of the computer screen. The Stretch option will make the picture fit the entire computer screen, which may result in the picture being distorted.

  1. To do a picture slideshow on your desktop, either choose Select all, or hold down Ctrl and choose each picture you want to use. Also, you need to choose how often the picture changes. The time range can be anywhere from 10 seconds to 1 day.
  2. Click Save changes to set your selected picture(s) as the new Windows desktop background.
Note

If you have Windows 7 Home Basic or Windows 8 Basic on your computer, the "Personalize" option may be greyed out or not available at all. To change the desktop background, click the Start menu button and type change desktop background in the Search box. In the returned search results, click the "Change desktop background" option. You can then use the steps above, starting with step 3, to change the Windows background.

Windows XP and earlier versions

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Open Display Properties in the Control Panel.
  3. Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000 users click the Background tab. Windows XP users click the Desktop tab.
  4. After selecting a new background picture, click OK to save the changes.

Originally, Microsoft Windows has a list of default Windows backgrounds. If you want to change the background to a different picture, such as one of your dog or family, click the browse button and browse to the directory of the picture.

Note

Windows 95 users can only set BMP images as their desktop background. Therefore, if you have a different format of image, you need to convert it to a .BMP image before setting it as the background. All other Windows users should be able to set a .BMP, .JPG, or .GIF image as their background.

Why do I have no background image?

In the listing of the available backgrounds, the first choice is None. Selecting this option will disable any background image on your computer desktop. However, it is important to note that when you change the background to None, your background will be a solid color instead.

Windows XP users can change this color from the same window in which they change their desktop. All other users need to change the color of their desktop through the Appearance tab.

How do I make a small image tiled or not tiled across the background?

In the desktop or background properties window, a user will be able to customize the layout of their image by selecting Center, Tile, or Stretch. Below is a brief explanation of each of these settings.

  • Center - Centers the image in the middle of the desktop. Centering enables the user to only have one image set as their background instead of having it tiled. If the image is smaller than your computer resolution, then you may have a solid color border around it.
  • Tile - Tiling an image uses a smaller image and duplicates it multiple times across the Desktop instead of centering it or stretching it to fit the screen.
  • Stretch - Stretches a single image across the whole screen. The smaller the image size, the more distortion you will notice when stretching an image. An image that is smaller than your monitor's resolution will result in pixelation of that image.

Why am I unable to see my background?

Your desktop background might not display if the image file was deleted or if active desktop is enabled on the computer.

  1. Verify the image being used as the background is still available on the computer and can be viewed.
  2. Disable Active Desktop.