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Open Classic Desktop Background in Windows 10 Creators Update

If you are using Windows 10 for a while, you definitely know that the classic Personalization options were removed in one of the pre-release builds. All options to personalize are now there in the Settings app, which is a Metro app designed for touch screen users and has controls which are poorly designed or have limited functionality. If you are not satisfied by this new way to tune up your OS appearance, you might be interested in accessing the classic Control panel applets. Here is how to open the classic Desktop Background applet in Windows 10 Creators Update.

As of this writing, the latest Windows 10 release is build 15063, also known as Creators Update. It still contains all working applets like Desktop background, window color, sounds and screen saver. Microsoft just hides them from the classic Control Panel. They can be opened using appropriate commands.

To open Classic Desktop Background in Windows 10 Creators Update, use the following command:

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

It will open the following window:

You can copy-paste it and execute from the Run dialog:

Alternatively, you can create a special shortcut to open it quickly.
Right click the empty space on your Desktop. Select New - Shortcut in the context menu (see the screenshot).

In the shortcut target box, type or copy-paste the following:

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

Use the line "Desktop Background" without quotes as the name of the shortcut. Actually, you can use any name you want. Click on the Finish button when done.

Now, you can move this shortcut to any convenient location, pin it to taskbar or to Start, add to All apps or add to Quick Launch (see how to enable Quick Launch). You can also assign a global hotkey to your shortcut.

Other commands to open the classic applets are as follows.

  • Screensaver
    The following command can be used to open screensaver settings:
    rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,screensaver,@screensaver
  • Sounds
    The following command can be used to open sound preferences:
    rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL mmsys.cpl ,2
  • Desktop Icons
    To customize Desktop icons, run the following command:
    rundll32 shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,0
  • Window Color
    To open the familiar window color options, run the following command:
    explorer shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921} -Microsoft.Personalization\pageColorization

See the article Open Classic Color and Appearance in Windows 10 Creators Update.

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5 thoughts on “Open Classic Desktop Background in Windows 10 Creators Update

  1. William

    How can I clear or change colors applied to Select Item in Explorer (from original Win7 that was converted to Win10) ?

    I am stuck with white letters on pale red ground = unreadable.

    Control of coloring of such items and earlier XP’s fine dotted separation lines in Explorer are greatly missed.

  2. Jozsef

    It’s nice of you to provide this functionality for users of Win 10 and hopefully it won’t be blocked soon.

    It’s easy to believe stories of an internal culture of hostility and deliberate sabotage between divisions at Microsoft when we see them crippling a desktop OS for compatibility with a mobile division they have already decided to abandon.

    I thought the company was a rudderless ship some years ago. I still think so. The difference now is that it is pathologically arrogant and aggressively contemptuous of its customers. We will see how that plays out.

  3. Sargon

    Good, thanks. The biggest problem with the Settings version is that there are less sideshow change time options than in CP.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      The shell command works without issues even in the recently released Skip Ahead build 18219.
      This command:
      shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921} -Microsoft.Personalization\pageWallpaper


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