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Is Active Desktop required to set desktop wallpaper for XP?

    Question

  • The only way I have been able to get wallpaper assigned through group policy on my XP computers to actually display was to also enable Active Desktop. Most Web sites that explain how to set wallpaper via group policy do not mention that requirement. I have tried setting wallpaper with the Group Policy setting, User>Policies>AdminTemplates>Desktop>Desktop and also by setting registry keys with Group Policy Preferences (I have installed the client side extensions for XP) with no luck, until I activated Active Desktop via group policy. So is there some way to get wallpaper to display through Group Policy on XP without enabling Active Desktop?


    Jeffrey Pike Technology Services Librarian Groton Public Library

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012 9:04 PM

Answers

  • Kevin, I'm going to forgo trying to use GPP to set the wallpaper and just store it in the user profile, so we can consider this issue, if not answered, at least resolved. No need for further research on your part. Thank you for your help, though. It is appreciated.

    Jeffrey Pike Technology Services Librarian Groton Public Library

    Saturday, June 16, 2012 4:10 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for posting in Microsoft TechNet forums.

    I suggest we check whether there is already an Active Desktop Wallpaper policy in the system:

    Expand User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, expand Desktop, and then click Active Desktop.

    Double-click Active Desktop Wallpaper.

    On the Setting tab, please check whether it is enabled. If it is enabled, please disable it as a test.

    Regards

    Kevin 

    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, June 14, 2012 2:27 AM
  • Do you specify a JPG or a BMP file? In XP, AFAIK, only BMP can be used
    as background through Group Policy. JPG can be selected by the user, but
    if he does so, XP creates a BMP file automatically...
     
    regards, Martin
     

    NO THEY ARE NOT EVIL, if you know what you are doing: Good or bad GPOs?
    Wenn meine Antwort hilfreich war, freue ich mich über eine Bewertung! If my answer was helpful, I'm glad about a rating!
    Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:28 AM
  • Thank you, Martin, for replying. I am using a .BMP file.

    Jeffrey Pike Technology Services Librarian Groton Public Library

    Thursday, June 14, 2012 2:15 PM
  • Kevin,

    My user configuration branch looks a little different (I'm on Server 2008, should have mentioned that). It goes Admin Templates>Desktop, and then under Desktop there are two folders, Active Directory and Desktop. In the Desktop folder there are settings for, among others, Disable Active Desktop (not configured), Enable Active Desktop (enabled), and Desktop Wallpaper (enabled, with the local path to my BMP file, in C:\, and Center as the Wallpaper style). There is not a separate setting for Active Desktop Wallpaper. If I disable Desktop Wallpaper, then, of course, I just get a plain screen, no wallpaper at all.


    Jeffrey Pike Technology Services Librarian Groton Public Library

    Thursday, June 14, 2012 2:43 PM
  • Hi,

    Thank you for clarifying the issue for us.

    You mentioned that there is no wallpaper at all If we disable "Desktop Wallpaper".

    What's the result if we disable "Enable Active Desktop" and enable "Desktop Wallpaper".

    Regards

    Kevin

    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, June 15, 2012 4:53 AM
  • > What's the result if we disable "Enable Active Desktop" and enable "Desktop Wallpaper".

    No wallpaper.


    Jeffrey Pike Technology Services Librarian Groton Public Library

    Friday, June 15, 2012 5:25 PM
  • Kevin, I'm going to forgo trying to use GPP to set the wallpaper and just store it in the user profile, so we can consider this issue, if not answered, at least resolved. No need for further research on your part. Thank you for your help, though. It is appreciated.

    Jeffrey Pike Technology Services Librarian Groton Public Library

    Saturday, June 16, 2012 4:10 PM