Robert Hayes October 11, 2020
When you are stuck looking at your desktop monitor for a number of hours a day, the most simple thing you can do to heighten your morale is by looking at a lovely wallpaper. It can be something to inspire you, give you an air of joy, and motivate you to do something great.
Every version of Windows, from the ancient days of Windows 3.1 all the way through Windows 10, has brought with it a library of wallpaper images for users of the operating system to put on their desktop. Wallpapers are the images that you can set as your desktop background, and they serve to remind us that there’s much more in this world than the text and figures that comprise most of our day.
Wallpapers are a simple way to personalize your workspace and create a little motivation. Although the windows that you have open are likely to cover the image, it is still a good idea to put something that inspires you in the background. Whether it’s your work computer, a personal PC, or you use it for school, you can set your wallpaper to anything you like.
Windows allows you to customize how your desktop looks, by letting you choose desktop themes and backgrounds.
First, you might want to have a look at the images available on your computer. If you would like to use the images in your Windows 10 wallpaper installation in some other way – for example, as a background on another device, or on an older version of Windows – you will need to find the actual location of the files being displayed. Fortunately, this isn’t difficult.
By default, Windows 10 stores your wallpaper images in the “C:\Windows\Web” directory. You can access this directory very simply by clicking in the search bar in the Windows 10 taskbar and type “c:\windows\web” and hitting return.
The directory will pop right up. There are several subdirectories where your wallpapers could be stored; just click around through the directories and you will find your images.
If you want a wider selection of backgrounds for your desktop, you can visit the Microsoft Store website for hundreds of wallpapers to download. These wallpapers come in different categories including animals, art, automotive, games, seasons, landscapes, nature, and plants.
Choose an image from the list of categories, open the image and right-click. Then choose Set as Background.
If you have scrolled through hundreds of default wallpapers in your computer or browsed the Microsoft Store, but still haven’t found the perfect picture for your desktop background, then maybe you should pick a photo that is closer to your heart.
Surely, you have taken some lovely photographs through your digital camera and stored it on your computer. Well, these photographs could just be what you are looking for!
Windows allows you to use images from your personal files as desktop wallpaper. To do this, follow these steps:
Many Windows 10 users don’t use the standard wallpaper files – instead, they use Windows 10 Themes. Microsoft has made hundreds of themes available for free via the Microsoft Store, and most of them are quite spectacular.
You can browse through the available themes here. These themes can range from your favorite game to a collection of splendid outdoor views, or a collection that gives you that executive je ne sais quoi. Once you’ve downloaded a theme, you’re ready to access those files and bring them to the forefront. They are located in your local user directory, which is rather lengthy for typing in – fortunately, there’s a shortcut.
Again, click in the search bar in the Windows 10 taskbar, and this time type “%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes” and hit return. The themes directory will launch. The image files will be found in the subdirectory for the appropriate theme – for example, in the window shown above, you’d click on “Ancient E” to find the files for the Ancient Egypt theme, which is the only theme installed on my computer. (Any other history fiends out there?)
If you want to find the Windows 10 lock screen images, they’re a little trickier to find – but we have a helpful walkthrough that will teach you how to find the Windows Spotlight lock screen images.
Most of the Windows 10 wallpaper and theme images come in standard pixel sizes ranging from 1920×1200 to 3840×1200, and they’ll look great on most screens and devices without any fuss.
Let’s say you really, really like the theme you snagged at work, but you’re not sure you’ll be able to grab it for another device. Simply copy the desired image to a flash drive or online storage service and then transfer it to your mobile device or other PC and use the appropriate settings there to configure it as your background wallpaper.
An important note, however: these images are owned or licensed by Microsoft for the personal non-commercial use of Windows users. That means you’re free to enjoy them for your own personal use, but don’t use them in advertising, videos, or for any other commercial purpose. You will be found, and Microsoft will not be amused.
If you’ve grown tired of your current wallpaper, or you need to change it to something else, you can.
Find a blank space on your Windows desktop and right-click it. Click ‘Personalize.’ Now, you can set the default wallpaper which will remove your current one.
Now that you’ve removed your existing Wallpaper, you can proceed to create a new, better background.
We have some more articles on how to make your workspace an expression of your true, creative self, we have plenty of guides for making the most of wallpapers to liven up your office.
Do you have a dual monitor setup? Check out our guide to where to find dual monitor wallpapers.
If you’re graphically-minded, you might want to create your own image collage wallpapers for Windows 10.
We have a walkthrough of how to add 3D animated wallpapers to Windows 10.
Want to get spooky? See our guide to Halloween wallpapers for your PC.
If the psychedelic is more your thing, check out our guide to trippy wallpapers for Windows 10.
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