How to Fix Unable to Change Desktop Background in Windows

How to Fix Unable to Change Desktop Background in Windows

October 17, 2018 By kirsten

    Desktop wallpaper is a very old feature. People can set any wallpaper according to their preferences. But, Sometimes, You may notice that you cannot change desktop background because there is something wrong going on. Normally, Choosing set as desktop background by right clicking on any image should set that image as wallpaper. Again, You can set any desktop background from personalization settings. But, If your PC has some issues, It won’t let you do it. So, You should do some works to fix cannot change desktop background in windows.

    Modifying any settings related to desktop background by mistake also causes this problem in windows 10, 8 or 7. Else, Registry or system file corruption also may cause problem with changing desktop background. But, It has some pretty cool solutions.

    How to Fix Unable to Change Desktop Background in Windows 10 / 8 /7:

    Sometimes, Your personalization settings may display a message like “Some settings are managed by your organization” and you cannot do anything there. In that case, Click on the blue text link. It will lead you to another article where you will find related solutions.

    There are several methods to resolve can’t change desktop background problem. Now, You will know about them one by one.

    1. Modify Ease of Access Settings:

    If you have ever changed any settings in ease of access center, Probably, That may be causing this problem in your windows PC. So, You should verify that everything is OK. Anyway, Here are the instructions.

    • Open Ease of Access in your PC. You should find it here: Control Panel > Ease of Access
    • There you should see an option named Optimize visual settings. Just click on it.
    • Now, Scroll down and find Remove background images (where available). If you find it checked, You should uncheck it and save the settings. This will fix unable to change desktop background problem.

    Normally, Above method will resolve any problems with wallpaper changing. But, If you need more help, Follow next methods.

    2. Tweak Power Settings:

    You know in windows 10, 8 and 7, There is desktop background slideshow feature. I mean, It changes desktop background periodically or randomly according to your settings. But, If you find that it’s not changing desktop background automatically, This method will help you. It may also help to fix any cannot change wallpaper issue.

    Above issue is more likely to be caused by wrong power settings in windows. So, You can go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options and set the settings to high performance and see what happens.

    If it doesn’t solve wallpaper not changing issue, You should click on change power settings beside currently active power profile. Now, Click on Change advanced power settings. This time, Find and expend Desktop background settings > Slide Show and enable slide show for battery and plugged in.

    If you can do above things, Automatically changing wallpaper should start working again.

    3. Turn On Wallpaper Changing Ability from Group Policy Editor:

    If above 2 methods don’t help, You may need to check and enable change wallpaper setting from windows group policy editor. In many cases, This method should work. To fix unable to change wallpaper issue in group policy editor, Follow those instructions.

    • At first, You should open group policy editor. To do it, You can simply type gpedit in start menu search. Then, You should see Edit group Policy. Just click on it. If there is any problem, Just open RUN, type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
    • In group policy editor, Go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization. From there, Double click on Prevent changing desktop background.
    • Now, Set it as Disabled or Not Configured. You may need to restart your computer for changes to take effect. Then, Try to change wallpaper and see what happens.

    4. Enable Wallpaper Changing Ability from Registry Editor:

    This is another cool way to fix unable to change desktop background in windows. In registry editor, You can just modify a setting which will solve all problem regarding this issue. So, Let’s know what you will have to do.

    • I think you know how to open registry editor. In case you don’t know, Just open start menu, type regedit and hit Enter.
    • From registry editor, Just go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies.
    • There, If you find anything like ActiveDesktop there, It’s cool. If not, Just right click on Policies and choose New > KEY. Give new key’s name as ActiveDesktop.
    • Now, Click on it ActiveDesktop. In right side, Right click and choose New > DWORD and give it a name as NoChangingWallPaper. Give it’s value 0. This will allow current user to change wallpaper. Value 1 will disable wallpaper changing ability.
    • After doing it, Simply restart your computer.

    Note: Alternatively, You can delete ActiveDesktop, If you find it. You also should delete it from the same location of HKEY_USERS and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.

    Now, You should be able to change desktop background. But, Sometimes, None of these methods may not work for you. Then, Probably, You should repair corrupted system files. This will fix any core windows system files problem. So, It may also solve cannot change desktop wallpaper issue. If you think, Your PC is not running well and that’s why you are encountering this issue, You can consider resetting windows. I hope, It will help.