How to change your desktop background in Windows 7 Starter

A lot of people asked how to change the desktop background in Windows 7 Starter. Here’s a easy solution how to change it via 3rd-party software or a quick registry tweak. (Yep, changing the desktop picture in Windows 7 starter is not that easy!)

Change desktop background wallpaper in Windows 7

Windows 7 Starter does support wallpapers. I’m not exactly sure why it is not possible to change the desktop background via the Personalization Control Panel as I don’t think that changing the wallpaper will make your computer slower. However, if you install certain programs to change the wallpaper/theme they can possibly make your PC a lot slower. Therefore, you might want to try this registry hack that will change the path to the default Windows 7 Starter desktop background wallpaper.

Change Background Image Manually

1. Step Open the Explorer and go to C:\Windows\winsxs\
2. Step In the top right enter img0 into the search field and let it search:
Windows 7 Starter Background Image
3. Step Right-click on the file and click on Properties

4. Step Write down the filepath as seen below, select the path, then copy it via CTRL + C
Path to background image
This path will be different for everyone, so you really need it.

5. Step Click on the back button once and find the folder that you just wrote down in C:\Windows\winsxs\ .. the folder always includes something like “windows-s..l-wallpaper-starter”

6. Step The easiest way to find the folder is to copy the path that we copied in step 4 into the search field and search for it.

I entered my path: C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-s..l-wallpaper-windows_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16385_none_370717dbca22c586

7. Step Open the folder and replace the image with your new background image / wallpaper. However, when you try to rename it you get the error message.

File Access Denied: You need permission to perform this action. You require permission from TrustedInstaller to make changes to this file

File Access denied

8. StepYou need to take ownership of the file to rename it.

Download this script: Download TakeOwnership.zip and double-click on the .reg (registry) file to add an option “Take Ownership” to your contextual menu (the right-click menu)

Alternatively, you can right-click on the file, click on Properties, go to the tab Security, click  on Advanced, go to the tab Owner, select your username and click on Apply to change the owner. Because this takes time you should download the script above, which will do all the work for you.

9. Step Rename the original file img0.jpg and call it img0.jpg.bak .

10. Step Copy and paste your desktop background wallpaper that you want to use in Windows 7 Starter. It needs to have the exact same name as the original image: img0.jpg. That’s a Zero not a an O!

Change Desktop Background in Windows 7 Starter via Registry

STOP: This method is outdated and not working properly. Click here: Please read this comment to change your desktop background in Windows 7 Starter via Registry

If you want to change the desktop background wallpaper, you can apply this registry tweak once and then whenever you want to change the wallpaper again you will only have to change the path to the wallpaper. You should only follow the instructions if you have modified the registry before. If you are new to editing the Windows 7 registry, I would recommend to use 3rd-party software to change the desktop background in Windows 7 Starter.

1. Step Open up the registry.

Regedit.exe

2. Step Uncollapse HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\

Change Wallpaper in Windows 7 Starter

3. StepNow, in the right pane you will find an entry wallpaper. Double-click on wallpaper and change the path to your new wallpaper.

Default: C:\Users\sOliver\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper.jpg
New Path: C:\Users\sOliver\Pictures\mywallpaper.jpg

Change Wallpaper Path Windows 7

4. Step Next, right-click on the registry “folder” Desktop (see step 2) and click on Permissions:

Registry key permissions

5. Step Now, click on Advanced at the bottom:

Advanced permissions

6. Step Go to the tab Owner and select your username, then click on Apply

Change Owner

7. Step Click on the Advanced button again. This time stay at the first tab Permissions and uncheck Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent

Include inheritable permissions from this objects parent

8. Step Click on Remove when you are prompted.

Remove permissions

After that you should receive this:

No Groups or users have permissions to access this object

9. Step Click on Add and enter Everyone

User group everyone

10. Step Click ok. When prompted check Read Control

Read control

11. Restart your PC

After rebooting your new desktop picture should appear. If you want to change the desktop picture again, only edit the path. Repeat steps 1-3. If you run into any problems, please post a comment below!

Change Desktop Background via Oceanis Background Changer

There are tools available that allow you to change the desktop background in Windows 7 Starter. One of the tools that allows you to do that is Oceani’s Background Changer, another is Stardock’s MyColor. There are some other tools that can change the wallpaper and themes. The following tools are free can be easily found via Google.

Renaud Gerson came up with a great solution. He called his program the Starter Background Changer. If you like his tool, please consider donating to support his development!

Download Starter Background Changer

Other tools that allow you to change the desktop picture:

Oceanis Windows 7 Starter Background Changer

Oceani’s Background Changer is one the best solution for changing the background in Windows 7 Starter! Another solution to change the desktop background is MyColors from Stardock:

Stardock Mycolors

Change screensaver in Windows 7 Starter

How to change screensaver in Windows 7 Starter

Should you be interested in changing the screensaver as well, read our guide:

How to change the screensaver in Windows 7 Starter

Published: Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 Last Modified: November 26, 2010