How to Change Your Desktop Wallpaper

The primary method used to change the desktop wallpaper is to use the desktop properties dialog then select the desired wallpaper. First make sure the wallpaper picture file is stored in your Windows folder. These instructions illustrate changing the desktop wallpaper on a Windows 2000 system. If you are using Windows 95 or 98 the instructions will still apply but the samples shown here will be different.

What Resolution?

Firstly you should download a wallpaper file that matches the resolution currently defined for you computer. If you can't then download a higher resolution picture than you need then use the 'stretch' setting to allow Windows to resize the picture [make it smaller] to fit your desktop. Check your screen's resolution by right clicking anywhere on your desktop to display the properties/settings dialog, for example:

Desktop Properties
In this example, the resolution is 1280 by 1024.

Store in Windows Folder

When you download one of the desktop wallpaper pictures be sure to store it in your Windows folder. Desktop wallpaper files should be in 'bmp' format. Verify that it is stored in the Windows folder by double clicking on 'My Computer' then double clicking on the Windows folder. Look for the wallpaper's file, for example:

Windows Folder

Select the New Wallpaper

Right click anywhere on your desktop and select 'properties'. For example:

Desktop Properties

Next select the desired wallpaper, for example:

Select the background picture.

Click 'Apply' to change the wallpaper. Notice that 'stretch' has been selected. If you are using Windows 95 then you need to install the Plus! pack to get the 'stretch' feature. It is on the Plus! tab.

Updated 2000/07/22