Changing Your Desktop Background

Hand clicking mouse

Courtesy MS Clip Art

Have you wanted to change the background (wallpaper) of your Windows computer to a more colorful or interesting graphic, or something more personal like a family photograph? Its really not difficult to do. We’ll explain how to make those changes and how to obtain free photos, clip art, and other graphics to use.

If you are running Windows XP follow these steps…if you run Windows Vista skip to that section.

Windows XP

  1. Click on the Start button and go to Control Panel and click Appearance and Themes.
  2. Click on the Display icon then on the Desktop tab and do one or more of the following:
  • Click the name of a picture in the background list. If you have personal pictures in My Pictures, they’ll be listed automatically. In Position, click Center, Tile, or Stretch. You can try each one to see its affect. I use stretch to fill my whole screen.
  •  Click Browse to search for a background picture in other folders or on other drives. You can use files with the following extensions: .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .dib, .png, .htm. In Position, click Center, Tile, or Stretch. You can use a picture from a Web site as a background. Right-click the picture and then click Set as Background. The picture will be listed in your Background box as Internet Explorer Background. If you choose this document as your background picture, it will automatically be stretched to fill your entire screen.
  •  Select a color from Desktop color. The color fills the space not used by a picture.

Windows Vista

  1. Click on the Start button and go to Control Panel.
  2. Under Appearance and Personalization, choose Change desktop background.
  3. Then choose a listed picture or Windows Wallpaper or browse for a picture or graphic on the Internet or on your computer.
  4. When you’ve made your choice of picture, choose how the picture should be positioned: stretch (default), tile or center and then click Open.

Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.

Best regards,



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