I can't get my background picture to change on windows xp


  • Hi,
    The past month or so I've been having trouble changing the background picture on my windows xp computer. When the computer first turns on, during the bootup, the picture appears but then it dissapears and a solid color background comes up. If I go to settings and choose another color background, it changes, but if I choose another picture, sometimes the change takes, sometimes it doesn't. If it DOES change, and the picture is showing, it always changes back to the solid color backgound within a few hours, or at the next re-boot.

    If I find a picture on the internet or on my computer and right click and "set as background", the screen flickers like it is changing the background, but it does not.

    HELP! I've been searching the internet and have read it might be a virus/spyware, but I have virus protection and have scanned the computer. Any suggestions?

    Thursday, July 16, 2009 4:02 AM

All replies

  • Did some research for you and found...

    1. Run "Regedit".

    2. Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\policies

    3. If you see a folder (key) "ActiveDesktop" select it. If not, make a new key and label it "ActiveDesktop".

    4. If you see "NoChangingWallPaper", double-click the DWORD value and set it to "0". Otherwise, you need to create a new DWORD value of "NoChangingWallPaper" and set it to "0".

    5. Try changing your wallpaper. If this fix doesn't solve the problem, you may also need to make the above registry changes at location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies .

    Hope it helps.
    Constantly searching for the "any key" to continue
    Thursday, July 16, 2009 6:28 AM
  • Hi,
    Thanks for the research. I followed the steps and right away it didn't change, but I was optimistic when I re-booted it, the image stayed there, and I could change it as often as I wanted and it worked. That was last night, however this morning (the computer has been on but idle all night), its back to the solid color background and when I go into display, it still shows that I should have a picture as my background. I tried changing it again, but it won't change.
    Any other suggestions??
    Thanks for your help,
    Friday, July 17, 2009 2:07 PM
  • I also noticed that once I get a picture as my background, if I right click and hit refresh, the picture dissapears then too.
    Friday, July 17, 2009 5:23 PM
  • Another thing... the majority of the problems occur when I'm trying to use one of my own pictures or one from webshots. If I use on of the standard "windows" one - like the tropical beach, stonehenge, and the flowers, it doesn't change if I hit the "refresh button"
    Friday, July 17, 2009 8:47 PM
  • It is possible that some kind of malware is making your system revert to it's old active desktop settings.
    Have you tried running some anti-malware software, such as Malwarebytes' Anti Malware?
    Saturday, July 18, 2009 9:01 AM
  • yes I ran that one. Based on what I saw on other websites I was optimistic that would work, but it didn't.
    Saturday, July 18, 2009 5:04 PM
  • Ok, I've been reading other places that maybe its a problem with my registry but I ran a registry cleaner and the problem still exists, BUT... when I use one of Windows default pictures (like stonehendge, the tulips, the stream - any that came installed with Windows), the problem dissapears - its only when I use webshots or one of my own files...
    Any other suggestions?
    Friday, August 7, 2009 9:00 PM