Fix Desktop turns black in Windows 10

Recently I discovered a bug in Windows10. It is not a critical bug, but a bit annoying. After doing a specific sequence of actions, the Desktop turns black and does not show the wallpaper. This bug is related to the "Show Desktop icons" feature. Here is how to fix this bug if it affects you.

  1. Make sure that the Desktop is showing, and then right click in an empty area of the Desktop, and untick View -> Show Desktop icons in the context menu. The desktop icons will disappear.
  2. Now right click again on the Desktop, and choose the "Personalize" item from the context menu. If you already have a theme with a single wallpaper applied, select some theme with more than one wallpaper. For example, select the "Flowers" theme and then switch back to the default theme (called the "Windows" theme).
  3. Close the Personalization window, and the Desktop will turn black without showing any wallpaper!

For some reason, the bug occurs suddenly. Most of the time, the Personalization behavior is as expected.

The issue affected my PC a number of times when I switched from the Desktop slideshow to a single background image.

Here is what you can do to avoid this issue.

First, make sure you don't have the option Show windows Background disabled in the Settings app.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to Ease of access -> Other Options.
  3. Make sure the switch Show Windows Background is set to on. If not, turn on this option.

Now do the following.

  1. Set the desired wallpaper and theme, even if the desktop has turned black.
  2. Save all your work and sign out from Windows 10. The next time you sign in, the Desktop will show the proper background image.

That's it.

Support us

Winaero greatly relies on your support. You can help the site keep bringing you interesting and useful content and software by using these options:

If you like this article, please share it using the buttons below. It won't take a lot from you, but it will help us grow. Thanks for your support!

Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

23 thoughts on “Fix Desktop turns black in Windows 10”

  1. right clicking on icon does not show the box and any other icons on desktop including the task bar is not responding to click….what should be done..please suggest

  2. 2
    down vote
    I had the same problem – it came out of nowhere. I didn’t do anything with my computer.

    This is what I did:

    Right mouse on background personalize -> background -> changed background picture to slideshow – the background came back, but I couldn’t do anything.
    So I looked in windows themes and found transcoded wallpaper without .jpg extension, I added jpg and rebooted the PC – problem solved.
    It’s usually found in:

    C -> Users -> Your name -> AppData -> Roaming-> Microsoft-> Windows Themes

  3. Right Click on desktop –> Click Personalize –> Click Colors –> Go to High Contrast Setting in right hand side –> Click on High Contrast –> in Right hand side change “High Contrast Black” to “None” , it solved my issue .

  4. I tried all above mentioned solutions, but no help
    I realized that this problem started after I have installed a prog. called : Active desktop Calender _! Could it be the causer of the prob. ? Thanx for any reply.

  5. This ridiculous ‘bug’ was around in W8 – what’s the matter with Microsoft techboys? I’m constantly switching between light and dark themes, as soon as I close Theme Settings window the saved background disappears. Reopening Theme Settings and hitting Desktop Background fixes it, but still bloody annoying when frequently changing themes.

  6. I did an update to my computer and my screensaver turned black. This information you provided helped. I also wish it did not take hours for my computer to restart when a problem occurs and if I choose to restart due to program updates. Is there a fix for that?

  7. Settings > Other options – are set as recommended. Since many years. But the bug is coming and going each few days. This is the time, Microsoft should repair many old bugs, instead fit Windows with no-needed features. Thx.

  8. Thank You

    My File Manager decided to use high contrast background – but only for the background, so the list was black text on black background. Not a productive scheme. After a week of trying everything I could find, I switched theme, switched back. Fixed!
    Thank You
    Thank You
    Thank You
    Thank You
    Thank You

  9. Windows 7 was the BEST OS.This win 10 is crap very bad in all aspects but we are forced by Uncle Sam to use it.What a nice method to manipulate -Congrats

  10. it didn’t helped me my background changes from my picture to black and from black to my picture when I refresh or I make a new folder, text file etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Exit mobile version
Using Telegram? Subscribe to the blog channel!
Hello. Add your message here.