Windows 11 and Windows 10 come with various desktop background options to suit your style and mood. One of the most noticeable changes in Windows 11 from Windows 10 was the new default desktop background, which features a blue gradient with a glowing Windows logo in the center. This background is designed to evoke a sense of calmness and clarity, and it works well for any situation where you want to focus on your tasks and minimize distractions.
Alternatives to the Default Windows Desktop Wallpaper
You might want to switch to a dark-mode desktop background, which is similar to the default one but with a darker color scheme. This background is ideal for working at night or in low-light environments, as it reduces eye strain and saves battery life. You can also use this background if you prefer a more minimalist and elegant look for your desktop.
If you want to add some color and vibrancy to your desktop, you can one abstract and artistic background wallpaper that comes with Windows 11 and Windows 10. These backgrounds feature various shapes, patterns, and textures in different hues and tones, creating a dynamic and visually appealing effect. You can use these backgrounds to express your personality and creativity or to match your mood and preferences.
Alternatively, you can opt for a more realistic and natural desktop background, such as a landscape, a cityscape, or an animal. Microsofts offers a selection of high-quality themes and desktop backgrounds in the Microsoft Store that capture the beauty and diversity of nature and culture around the world. You can use these backgrounds to inspire yourself and appreciate our planet's wonders.
Of course, you can also customize your desktop background with photos or images you download from the internet. Windows 11 and Windows 10 make it easy to change your desktop background whenever you want, so you can always have something new and fresh to look at.
The Difference Between Windows Desktop Backgrounds and Windows Themes
Windows themes are more than just desktop backgrounds. They are a combination of personalization settings for desktop background, accent color, dark or light mode, mouse cursor style, and sometimes even a different sound scheme. Windows Themes can give your PC a consistent and harmonious look and feel. You can choose from a default theme or download new themes from Microsoft Store that feature cute critters, breathtaking landscapes, and other smile-inducing options.
How To Change the Desktop Background in Windows 11 and Windows 10
The quickest way to change the Windows Desktop background is the following method from the desktop itself. If you want to change your theme, go to Settings > Personalization > Themes and select the theme you want. You can save a custom theme by scrolling down in Settings > Personalization and clicking “Themes”.
- Right-click the Windows desktop on an empty area and click “Personalize”
- Click “Background” in “Windows Settings – Personalization”
- Select “Picture”, “Solid color” or “Slideshow” depending of your preference
Here we show you all different options separately one after another, starting with the “Picture” setting.
- Click “Browse photos” after selecting “Picture”
- Click “Choose a fit for your desktop image” and select how the image should be used
Fill: This option adjusts the size of the image to cover the entire screen without changing its aspect ratio. If the image is smaller or larger than the screen resolution, it will be stretched or compressed accordingly.
Fit: This option scales the image to fit the screen while maintaining its aspect ratio. If the image is smaller or larger than the screen resolution, it will be centered with black borders on the sides or top and bottom.
Stretch: This option stretches the image to fill the screen regardless of its aspect ratio. This may result in distortion or loss of quality if the image is smaller or larger than the screen resolution.
Tile: This option repeats the image across the screen as tiles. If the image is smaller than the screen resolution, it will be displayed multiple times. If the image is larger than the screen resolution, only a portion of it will be visible.
Center: This option places the image in the center of the screen without resizing it. If the image is smaller than the screen resolution, it will be surrounded by black borders. if the image is larger than the screen resolution, only a portion of it will be visible.
Span: This option stretches a single image across multiple monitors as one large desktop. This option only works if you have more than one monitor connected to your computer and they have the same resolution and orientation.
- For “Solid color” you can either choose one of the presets or choose “Custom colors”
- “Slideshow” allows you set a folder with images to choose from and an interval
You can let Windows change the picture automatically from 1 minute up to once per day. Per default, Windows will change the pictures chronologically based on their filename. Alternatively, you can choose “Shuffle the picture order”, which is neat for extensive image sets.
- When using the slide-show feature, you can force-change the desktop background manually
To do this, right-click the Windows desktop and select “Next desktop background” in the context menu.
- “Windows Spotlight” will automatically load images from the internet and change them daily
Windows Spotlight is a feature that allows you to customize your lock screen and desktop background with curated beautiful and informative images. These images are downloaded from Bing and change daily, giving you a fresh and inspiring view every time you log in. Windows Spotlight also shows you tips and suggestions on how to use Windows 11 or Windows 10 more effectively on the lock screen.
How to Set a Video as a Live Desktop Wallpaper in Windows 11 and Windows 10
While Windows 97 and XP let users easily set a moving image as their background, in Windows 11 and Windows 10 that's not the case anymore. However, while live wallpapers have been discontinued, you can bypass this using the methods shown in our other guide to set a video as a live desktop wallpaper.
Extra: How to Save Windows 10 Spotlight Images and Find Their Location
Windows Spotlight is a great tool to add some variety to your PC. It displays a different background image nearly every day, and they are frequently beautiful. In fact, they're so nice you may be wondering how to save Windows Spotlight images for use as a desktop background. Unfortunately, this isn't as easy as you might expect, as there is no easy option to save spotlight images directly. But in our other guide, we show you how to find the Windows spotlight images location and to save the images automatically if you want to.
Extra: Windows Spotlight Not Working? Fix It with a Reset or Re-Register
Unfortunately, Windows spotlight isn´t without its issues, and many users find that Windows spotlight is not working or gets stuck. In the latter scenario, users will notice that their Windows 10 spotlight images are not changing. You can be stuck with the same lock screen image for eternity unless you take action. Others run into more serious issues like a Windows spotlight blue screen or a “Windows spotlight is not available” error. In our other guide, we show you how you can fix Windows Spotlight easily.