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Center Desktop Background in Vista

    Question

  • I recently changed my background to a personal family photo and it stretches it all out of proportion. Its blurry and thouroghly unrecognizable. I've checked the "personalize background" and it doesn't give an option for "center" like XP. My photo is 400x199 and my desktop is set to 1440x900. Has this option been removed from Vista or am I missing something. In short, I don't want my background "stretched to fit". Is there a way to just center it?
    Tuesday, March 11, 2008 1:41 PM

Answers

  • In the Desktop Background dialog, beneath the picture selection, there should be a heading: "How should the picture be positioned?"  with thumbnail views of stretched, tiled & centered and radio buttons allowing you to select your preference.  do you not see this option?

     

    The other possibility is a group policy entry is overriding your preferences.  In the Start Search box, type 'regedit' to launch the registry editor, navigate to:

     

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]

     

    Delete the value named 'WallpaperStyle' from the right-hand pane.

     

    Good Luck,

    Keith

    Friday, March 14, 2008 6:58 PM

All replies

  • In the Desktop Background dialog, beneath the picture selection, there should be a heading: "How should the picture be positioned?"  with thumbnail views of stretched, tiled & centered and radio buttons allowing you to select your preference.  do you not see this option?

     

    The other possibility is a group policy entry is overriding your preferences.  In the Start Search box, type 'regedit' to launch the registry editor, navigate to:

     

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]

     

    Delete the value named 'WallpaperStyle' from the right-hand pane.

     

    Good Luck,

    Keith

    Friday, March 14, 2008 6:58 PM
  • Thank you Keith. It did indeed appeare after deleting the value in my registry.
    Sunday, March 16, 2008 6:54 PM
  • You're welcome.  Glad to hear it -- wish you'd flag my post as helpful Smile

     

    Keith

     

     

     

    Sunday, March 16, 2008 9:00 PM
  • Hi, I am having the same problem; I found HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
    but there is no System in policies; only an "explore"!
    What should I do?
    Tuesday, April 01, 2008 8:02 PM
  • Check under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE as well. Policies can be applied as a per-user or per-system basis.

    Sunday, April 06, 2008 3:56 AM
  • I have a different problem instead.... any wallpaper that I apply ... I am unable to STRETCH it fully to take the whole screen in Vista... I seem to have some bits left over on the left..

    My current resolution is 1680 by 1050. Using Vista Sp1..

    I apply the stretch setting manually too but the image will never be applied properly.. even if I resize the photo to fit the resolution...

    Any help?
    Tuesday, June 03, 2008 10:56 PM
  •  

    I have the exact same issue with Vista stretching the desktop picture even when it is set to Center.  It will not tile or center the picture...only stretch.

     

    I have searched for the registry key under policies, but it does not exist.  Any possible solutions would be helpful.  I have struggled with this issue for some time and the desktop background looks horrible when it stretches a smaller picture.

     

     

    Wednesday, June 04, 2008 8:34 PM
  • I have the same problem with Vista Home Premium.  When the image is larger than the screen resolution, or even fairly large (but still smaller than the screen resolution, e.g. 1024x768 on a 1280x800 screen resolution), whether I set it to Centre, Stretch, or Tile, the system will only stretch the image.

     

    I think there must have been some programming change from WinXP, because formerly in XP, even if the image were larger than the screen resolution, the system would centre, tile or stretch it according to the setting I choose.  But now this seems to have absolutely no effect.

    Monday, June 16, 2008 9:30 AM
  • OK, this is the screwiest thing I've ever seen, but it was bothering me that i couldnt adjust (center or tile) my wallpaper either, and none of the registry keys other users had mentioned were there.  So after an hour of searching the internet and coming up empty handy, I just decided to try something inanely obvious.  Instead of opening the image and right clicking to set it as my background, I opened the Personalization window (rt. click on empty area of desktop) and went to desktop background.  From here, I browsed to the appropriate image and set it as my wallpaper.  Now it lets me tile, center, or stretch to my heart's content. 

    I hate you for this one, M$.
    Monday, July 07, 2008 7:21 PM
  • I second that.......very screwy!  Thank you for figuring out the fix.  It was starting to drive me nuts.

    Thursday, July 24, 2008 3:50 AM
  • Hi

    A have the same issue and the solution doesnt work for me. I simply dont have the key WallpaperStyle there.
    Thursday, July 24, 2008 1:44 PM
  •  Blade2173 wrote:
    OK, this is the screwiest thing I've ever seen, but it was bothering me that i couldnt adjust (center or tile) my wallpaper either, and none of the registry keys other users had mentioned were there.  So after an hour of searching the internet and coming up empty handy, I just decided to try something inanely obvious.  Instead of opening the image and right clicking to set it as my background, I opened the Personalization window (rt. click on empty area of desktop) and went to desktop background.  From here, I browsed to the appropriate image and set it as my wallpaper.  Now it lets me tile, center, or stretch to my heart's content. 

    I hate you for this one, M$.

    Thanks for this solution, this was driving me crazy as well.

    Thursday, July 24, 2008 3:54 PM
  • When I put up a desktop background personal photograph and click the center orientation, it only zooms into the picture.  Then if I click the tiled orientation, it only displays the upper left hand corner of the picture.  I tried going in to delete the code listed above, but it does not exist.  Very frustrating....any help? Thanks!
    Tuesday, September 09, 2008 8:39 AM
  • Many thanks for this sounds easy but it had me fooled.

     

    Cheers

     

    Thursday, September 11, 2008 9:22 PM
  • Hi I cant find that ether, nor the first

    I used Registry Crawler, it found 2, one was for the desktop which I removed (I Dunno if that one was suppose to be removed) but everythings the same...

     Ramesh Srinivasan wrote:

    Check under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE as well. Policies can be applied as a per-user or per-system basis.


    Friday, November 07, 2008 6:50 AM
  • I have attempted all of these solutions and none have worked.  If anyone has anything else that I can try it would be helpful.  The registry entries did not work.  Using the right click, personalize, desktop background did not work either.  Thanks.
    Monday, December 15, 2008 3:09 AM
  • Hi,
      This was driving me nuts also guys.
    Vista is a piece of CRUD.
    Solution...
    You FIRST need to select your preffered position, center,fit to screen or tyled.
    THEN...
    You right click on desktop and click personalize...
    THEN...
    Desktop background...
    Then...
    See up the top where it sais LOCATION and browse...
    Go and choose the photo from the location in that browse window...
    even if the photo shows in the main screen below.. DO NOT click that one...
    Do the search and then apply it.
    Done.
    Sunday, December 21, 2008 4:08 AM
  • havenscott said:

    I have attempted all of these solutions and none have worked.  If anyone has anything else that I can try it would be helpful.  The registry entries did not work.  Using the right click, personalize, desktop background did not work either.  Thanks.


    If all else fails, I suppose you could try third-party software that gives you more options for changing your desktop background. Ducklet DeskPhoto is software that lets you choose which section of a photo to put on your desktop background to fill the desktop. It scales the picture to the right dimensions without distorting it. (Disclaimer: I'm the author of Ducklet DeskPhoto.)

    - Brian Morearty
    Saturday, December 27, 2008 5:40 PM
  • Blade2173: your solution worked just fine for me. Thanks for the enlightenment man!
    Sunday, February 08, 2009 7:39 PM
  • Thanks a Million, what a piece of crud indeed...
    Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:46 AM
  •  

     Blade2173 wrote:
    OK, this is the screwiest thing I've ever seen, but it was bothering me that i couldnt adjust (center or tile) my wallpaper either, and none of the registry keys other users had mentioned were there.  So after an hour of searching the internet and coming up empty handy, I just decided to try something inanely obvious.  Instead of opening the image and right clicking to set it as my background, I opened the Personalization window (rt. click on empty area of desktop) and went to desktop background.  From here, I browsed to the appropriate image and set it as my wallpaper.  Now it lets me tile, center, or stretch to my heart's content. 

    I hate you for this one, M$.

     

    Thanks for this solution, this was driving me crazy as well.

    It works now!
    Wednesday, August 12, 2009 4:40 PM
  • Thanks - this simple fix worked.  (I could not find the variable in the registry approach.)
    Monday, August 31, 2009 5:41 AM
  • thankyou!!!!
    Sunday, October 18, 2009 10:51 AM
  • THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! FIXED!!! XD
    Wednesday, January 27, 2010 1:57 AM
  • thanks so much. so obvious, but so stupid. was driving me mad too!
    Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:07 AM
  •  
    Hi Keith,

    I'm unable to reach your over your verizon mail id. Your help needed on "FFlags" thing.
    Ramesh Srinivasan, Microsoft MVP [Windows Desktop Experience]
    Thursday, February 11, 2010 6:13 AM
  • i registered only to tell you thank you boss

    that was driving me crazy,

    really thanx and it works.

    Thursday, July 29, 2010 5:24 PM
  • Wow! That fixed the problem with my pc & my husband's pc. Thanks Keith!
    Thursday, November 25, 2010 1:23 AM
  • Thank you so much... after months of trying and giving up cause I couldn't figure it out..that finally worked!!!
    Saturday, October 08, 2011 3:03 AM
  • My problem exists only on certain images, which I can't neither tile nor centre - they just go straight into fit to screen. I'm on Vista Home Premium and like I said, some images I can set the way I want, others just don't, or don't even go to the desktop at all. I think it's got to do with format and size of the image, but there's no real logic behind it. I tried both setting the desktop image by right clicking the open image and select 'set as desktop', as well as starting from the desktop and personalize it. No luck.

    Any ideas?

    Saturday, October 29, 2011 1:15 PM
  • Thanks Keith it really worked! I'd been fiddling with it for weeks. 

    So happy now :)

    Saturday, August 31, 2013 9:34 AM