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Home > Windows > Basic Concepts > Windows Customization How to Change Background Pictures to Enhance the Look and Feel of your Windows Desktop.
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How To Access Display Properties Window to Configure Background Pictures
Using Background Pictures to Enhance Your Desktop in Windows XP
Using Background Pictures to Enhance Your Desktop in Windows 7
 
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Article Title: How to Change Background Pictures to Enhance the Look and Feel of your Windows Desktop.
Author: Michael J. Casimir
Creation Date: June 30, 2016
Last Modified: Thursday, June 30, 2016 4:47 AM
Applies To:
Windows XP Media Centre Edition
Windows XP Home Edition
Windows 7
Windows Vista

This video blog and article will teach you about what desktop wallpapers are and how you can customize the Windows desktop by using any valid JPEG (Joint Pictures Expert Group) or BMP (Windows Bitmap) image file.

How To Access Windows Display Properties Window

Background pictures or images can be used to enhance the look and feel of your Windows desktop. Normal bitmap images were the standard with older versions of Windows but normally any JPEG or PNG format graphics file can be used background pictures or commonly referred to as wallpaper.

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To Access the Windows Control Panel:

  1. Left click Start.

  1. Left click Run. The run dialog Window will appear.

  1. In the open box type the command control and press enter or left click OK.

  1. This will load the Windows Control Panel where you can modify settings on the computer, add or remove software, and troubleshoot your system.

    Accessing the Windows Control Panel

    In the Windows control panel double left click the Display shortcut.

  2. The Display Properties window will open. Left click the Desktop tab to configure wallpaper settings.

    Accessing the Windows Control Panel

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Using Background Pictures to Enhance Your Desktop in Windows XP

This section will walk you through the process of configuring desktop wallpapers to spruce up the look of your Windows desktop.

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Figure 1.3A - The Windows XP Appearance Tab
In this section, I explain the various elements that can be configured on the Desktop tab window.
1. The monitor graphic displays a preview of how the selected background picture will look.
2. If you want to use a background image that’s on your hard drive click Browse and locate the file you want to use as your new wallpaper. Once you have located the file, click Open to return to the previous window.
3. This item changes how your background picture looks. Center will display the image in the center of your screen, Tile will repeat the image over your entire screen. Stretch will stretch the image to cover your entire screen.
4. Click the color selector to use a color on your desktop, or customize a new color. If you did not select a background, the color will cover your entire desktop. If you selected a background and chose Center in the Position list box, the color fills the space around the background.
5. A list of all compatible backgrounds is shown in the box under the Background label. You can preview a selected image by clicking an appropriate filename. A preview is shown in the monitor graphic just near the top of the window.

5b. Click to decide which items will appear on your desktop. You can add or remove some Windows program icons from the desktop, and determine which icons are used to represent those programs. You can run the Desktop Cleanup Wizard to remove unused icons on your desktop. You can also customize your desktop to include Web content.
6. Left click the OK button to confirm all changes and close the window.
7. Left click the Cancel button to abort all changes and close the window.
8. Left click the Apply button to confirm all changes and keep the window open.

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Using Background Pictures to Enhance Your Desktop in Windows 7

In Windows 7 getting to where you need to customize desktop backgrounds is different then how it's done in Windows XP. Here's how to get to where you need to be:

  1. In Windows 7 left click the Left click the Start orbStart Orb

  2. Left click the Control Panel link on the Start menu.

    Accessing the control panel on the window start menu.

  3. In the Windows Control Panel, double left click the Personalization shortcut.

    Accessing the personalization shortcut in windows control panel.

  4. This will load the Personalization window where you can setup a new background image for your desktop.

    Accessing the desktop background option to configure a new wallpaper.

  5. Left click the Desktop Background link.

    Accessing the desktop background option to configure a new wallpaper.

  6. On this window you have four choices for selecting a new background image.

    Choosing a desktop image or solid colour to be used as the background image.

    You can choose to display a solid color for the background in which case select a color to use as the background.

    To use a desktop wallpaper from pictures stored on your computer, left click the browse button and browse to the specific file on your computer.

    To use a default picture from the Windows Desktop backgrounds library highlight the item Windows Desktop Backgrounds and the preview area will change to show pictures that Windows has provided. Select a picture from the available choices to setup your new wallpaper.

    Congratulations! You now know how to setup a desktop wallpaper in Windows 7.

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