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How to change the desktop wallpaper in Windows 11

Windows 11 offers multiple ways to change the desktop wallpaper. In our today's post, we will review most of them. Before proceeding, keep in mind that any personalization settings and options in Windows 11 require activating it.

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Without activation, you cannot change the desktop wallpaper in Windows 11 using the Settings app. However, it is still possible with help of File Explorer and Photos. Also, it is worth mentioning that there are plenty of third-party tools like image viewers that can change the wallpaper on inactivated OS. But in this post we will review only built-in methods.

The simplest and probably quickest way to change the wallpaper in Windows 11 is to use the context menu on the desktop.

Change wallpaper in Windows 11 - method 1

  1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop and select Personalize.Select Personalize From The Desktop Context Menu
  2. Alternatively, open the Settings app and go to Personalization > Background.The Personalization > Background button
  3. Also, you can press Win + Tab, right-click your current desktop, and select Choose Background. This will apply a new background only to the current virtual desktop.The Choose background menu item
  4. Find the "Personalize your background" option and select Picture from the drop-down list. You can also pick Slideshow, Solid Color, or Windows Spotlight.Select Picture from the drop down list
  5. Select one of the stock Windows wallpapers or pick another image by clicking the Browse photos button.Сlick the Browse photos button.
  6. If needed, change the Fit option for the image.Change Desktop Wallpaper Windows 11

Set Solid Color as the desktop background in Windows 11

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Go to Personalization > Background.Click on Background under Personalization
  3. Select Solid Color from the drop-down list next to the "Personalize your background" option.Change Desktop Background to Solid Color Windows 11 07
  4. Select any available color. If the color you want is not listed, click the View color button.View Color button
  5. Now click More to open the advanced editor (RGB and HSV). Specify the color you need and click Done.Set a custom color for Windows 11 desktop background

How to set Slideshow as the desktop background in Windows 11?

Windows 11 lets you create custom slideshows for the desktop background like previous versions. Here is how you do that.

  1. Select the photos you want to include in the slideshow. Place in a separate folder wherever it is convenient for you.
  2. Now open the Settings app and go to Personalization > Background.
  3. Select Slideshow from the drop-down menu next to the "Personalize your background" option. You might need to click the button with an arrow-down icon next to the drop-down list.set Slideshow as the desktop background in Windows 11
  4. Now press the Browse button to choose images for the slideshow.Select images for slideshow
  5. Specify how often you would like Windows to change the pictures. You can set one minute, ten minutes, thirty minutes, one hour, six hours, or one day.Select timeout for slideshow
  6. Windows will cycle through the images in the order you set in the folder. If you want to randomize them, toggle on the Shuffle the picture order option.Shuffle option

Now your slideshow is ready.

It is also worth mentioning the Windows Spotlight feature that pulls fresh images for your desktop and lock screen from Microsoft servers. In our dedicated article, you can learn how to set Windows Spotlight as the desktop background.

How to change wallpapers in Windows 11 - method 2

You can set an image as the desktop background by right-clicking it in File Explorer. Here are the steps.

To change the Windows 11 desktop background from File Explorer, do the following.

  1. Open File Explorer (Win + E), and navigate to the folder containing you wallpapers.
  2. Right-click the image of your choice.
  3. Select "Set as desktop background" from the menu.Change Desktop Wallpaper from File Explorer
  4. Alternatively, select a picture and click the "Set as background" button on the File Explorer's toolbar.Set desktop background from File Explorer

You are done!

Change desktop background in Windows 11 - method 3

The Photos app is another option you may want to consider when changing the background in Windows 11. We like it because the app does not require many clicks, plus it allows you to set a picture as the lock screen background, not only the desktop.

To change the desktop background with the Photos app, do the following.

  1. Open your image in the Photos app.
  2. Press the button with three dots on the toolbar and select Set as > Set as background from the menu.Change desktop background in Windows 11 with Photos app
  3. You can also set the image as the lock screen background. For that, select "Set as lock screen" from the same menu.

Change the desktop wallpaper using the Control Panel - method 4

Suppose you are new to Windows 10 or 11 and still prefer changing settings using the classic Control Panel. In that case, you will be surprised to know that Microsoft removed the legacy personalization section from the Control Panel. It now redirects users to the Settings app.

Still, you can open the classic Desktop Background page of the legacy Personalization section in the Control Panel.

To change the desktop wallpaper using the classic Control Panel, do the following.

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Enter the following command and press Enter: shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921} -Microsoft.Personalization\pageWallpaper.Classic personalization command
  3. In the Desktop background dialog that opens, select the image from one of the default wallpapers, or browse for more images on your disk.change the desktop wallpaper using the classic Control Panel
  4. Adjust the fill options if needed, and click the Save changes button.

Done! You can also select multiple images here to enable the desktop slideshow.

Note that the classic wallpaper options do not include Windows Spotlight, but it still lets you to use any image as your desktop background, including the stock wallpapers.

You may want to check a separate article describing how to set different wallpapers for different monitors in Windows 11.

That is it. Now you know how to change the desktop wallpaper in Windows 11 using various methods and options.

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Author: Taras Buria

Taras is here to cover stories about Microsoft and everything around, although sometimes he prefers Apple. You can stay in touch with him on Twitter.

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