Variety is the Spice of Desktops: Changing Windows 7 Wallpaper Automatically and Regularly
The first thing you see after you log into your Windows 7 desktop is the picture behind your icons known as wallpaper. Let’s hope it doesn’t show advertising for some computer company you care nothing about. Wouldn’t you rather see a picture of your favorite landscape, sports team or family members? You don’t need an external program to answer “yes” to that question. Windows 7 has a built-in feature for granting your desire.
Preparing the Wallpapers Folder
Because the Windows 7 wallpaper feature chooses wallpapers from a folder, you need to prepare one as follows.
- Create a new folder by clicking the Start button and choosing Computer. The Computer window appears.
- Navigate to the drive and location in which you want your Wallpaper folder to appear. You can open drives and folders by double-clicking them.
- Click New Folder at the top of the window to make a new folder appear in the right pane. Enter a new name such as Wallpapers. Double-click that folder to open it.
- Click the Start button and choose Computer again to open another Computer window. Arrange the wallpaper folder and Computer window so they are side by side.
- Use the Computer window to navigate to the pictures you want to use as your wallpaper. Right-click the picture and drag it to the wallpaper folder. When you let go of the mouse button, choose Copy Here to copy the picture to the folder. The original picture remains in its original folder.
- Close all the windows when you’ve copied all the pictures you need.
Activating Automatic Wallpaper Changes
You can now define the automatic wallpaper change feature of Windows 7 as follows.
- Click the Start button and choose Control Panel to display the Control Panel window.
- Click Change desktop background under Appearance and Personalization. The Desktop Background window appears.
- Navigate to the folder containing your wallpaper pictures, which in the previous example was called Wallpaper. Click the folder to select it and press the OK button. The dialog box closes and the name of the selected folder appears in the Picture Location dropdown of the Desktop Background window. All the pictures are selected by default.
- Change the selection of pictures, if needed, by clicking the Clear All button to remove all the checkmarks. Then click a checkmark into the checkboxes of pictures that you want to use.
- Choose an option from the Picture Position dropdown to define how wallpapers are displayed. For example, select Fit if you want the entire picture to fit inside the screen.
- Change the background color, if needed, that appears behind the wallpaper picture by clicking Change background color. A color palette appears so you can define a color. Click the OK button to save your choice and close the palette.
- Specify how often to change the wallpaper picture by choosing a time from the Change picture every dropdown. For example, select 1 hour to change your wallpaper automatically every hour.
- Click a checkbox into Shuffle if you want Windows to select a picture at random.
Click the Save Changes button to save your changes. Your wallpaper now changes automatically after the time interval you specified. If you don’t like the current wallpaper, you can change it manually by right-clicking on any empty area of the desktop. Click Next desktop background to display new wallpaper.
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