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Windows XP and the Display - Desktop

Change the Desktop Wallpaper

SUMMARY: A simple step-by-step process for changing the background color or picture on your Windows XP desktop.

Is your Windows XP desktop looking bland? Perhaps it's a solid color, a company logo, or a picture or photo you can't stand anymore. If so, it's a cinch to change your wallpaper / background color.

1. Right-click an empty area of the desktop and choose "Properties".

2. When the "Display Properties" multi-tabbed dialog box appears, click the "Desktop" tab.

If you want to make your desktop a solid color:

1. Underneath "Background" click "(None)". If you can't click this, see the NOTE below.

2. Click on the "Color" pull-down and choose your desired color. If you don't like the options, click "Other" and you can choose from a much larger color palette from a "Color" dialog box.

I won't discuss all of the options here, but to make it simple, click on a box underneath Custom Colors, pick a color in the big color box, and drag the slider on the right side of the dialog box up to make the custom color lighter, down to make it darker. Then click "Add to Custom Colors" and press "OK".

Or, if you would like to choose a picture:

1. Choose from the various pictures underneath "Background". Or, click "Browse" and find a picture on your hard drive. This can be any picture, whether it's one you've made, one that happens to be on your computer, or one you've downloaded from the Internet.

If you cannot click on a picture or the "Browse" button, see the NOTE below.

2. If your picture / photo does not fill the entire desktop (you can tell by looking at the preview area near the top of the "Display Properties" dialog box), click the "Position" pull-down and choose:

* Center - centers the picture onscreen
* Tiles - creates copies of the picture to fill the screen
* Stretch - stretches the picture so it fills the whole screen

When you are done, click "OK".

NOTE: Some people are not able to change desktop backgrounds, such as if they are working on an office machine that has prevented this action. However, if this is your machine and changing the background doesn't work, check out the tip Windows XP and the Display - Desktop - Cannot Change the Desktop Wallpaper for help.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.