Desktop Backgrounds and Wallpapers

Windows 7 lets you easily change the image you see on your desktop. This is called the Desktop background, or Desktop wallpaper.

To chage your Desktop Wallpaper, click anywhere on the desktop with your right mouse button, and you should see a menu appear:

The right-click menu for the Windows 7 desktop

One of the items on the menu allows you to personalize your desktop screen. So click on Personalize with your left mouse button to see a window appear. This one:

The Personalization screen

The main area in the screen above let's you select a Theme from the available list. A Theme sets not only your desktop background, but also a screensaver, the colour of windows, sounds, and mouse pointers. And all that with just one click!

If you just want to set background wallpaper, however, select Desktop Background from the bottom left. The default is called Harmony.

When you click on Desktop Background you should see something like the following:

A selection of in-built desktop backgrounds

You can select a picture from the ones available by clicking on it with your left mouse button. Your desktop background will then change. To make the change permanent, click the Save Changes button at the bottom.

If you have a picture of your own, you can use this instead of the ones built-in to Windows 7. To set your own picture, click the dropdown list at the top, where it says Windows Desktop Background:

Using your own pictures as desktop wallpaper

Here, we have moved to the Pictures Library folder to see what images are available. Another option is to click the Browse button. When you do, you'll see a dialogue box appear:

Browsing a Windows 7 folder

Browse to the folder where your images are and click OK. We have a folder called York with some images in it, so we've selected that one.

When you click OK, you'll see the images in that folder:

Background options

Select the image you want to appear on your desktop from those available. If you would like a slideshow of all the images in the folder, then click the Select All button. If you click the Select All button then the dropdown list at the bottom becomes available:

Select how often the desktop background  changes

This list lets you choose how often each image in the slideshow is displayed before moving on to the next one. The default is 10 seconds.

Another area to play around with is the Picture Position. Click the black arrow to see a dropdown list:

Background positions

Select each one in turn and watch what happens.

When you are happy with your choices, click Save Changes. You will then be taken back to the first screen:

Changing the color of Windows 7

Windows Colour

Another interesting area to play around is the Windows Colour area, circled in red in the image above. Click the link to see the following screen:

Color options

Things like the start menu, the taskbar, and the areas around programmes can all have the same colour scheme. The default is called Sky. Click one of the other colours above and watch what happens to your Taskbar at the bottom. Click the round Start button on the left of the Taskbar and you'll see that its colour too has changed. Uncheck the box that says "Enable transparency" and you'll see a deeper colour for the one you have chosen.

If you don't like the colours available, click the arrow to the left of Show Color Mixer. Then play around with the controls. To get back to the default colours, just click the colour square in the top left of the screen, which is Sky.

In the next section, we'll have a closer look at the Taskbar in Windows 7.

The Windows 7 Taskbar >>

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