Deploy custom desktop wallpaper via Group Policy

Posted on 2006-04-26
Last Modified: 2010-05-19
We have a Windows Server 2003 domain with a mixture of Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional clients.  We have a custom bitmap created with our organization's logo (custom colors, etc.), and would like to deploy and enforce this bitmap as the desktop wallpaper on all workstations on our domain via Group Policy.

I've done some research on this, and there does not seem to be a consensus answer as to how this could / should be done.  We're looking for the easiest method to accomplish this, if possible, that does not require custom scripting, etc.

Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.
Question by:lakeviewmedical
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    first the *.bmp will need to be copied onto each computer into the appropriate directory, C:\windows, which can be done with a script or GPO, and then use the Default domain policy to edit the setting for desktop walpaper for all computers, or make a GPO for the computers OU with this setting.

    Good Luck,

    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    First off I would create a share. Then I would place your bitmap there.  I would create a new GPO and name it enable wallpaper.
    The path to the GPO setting is User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Desktop > Active Desktop > Active Desktop Wallpaper
    Once there I would click <enabled> and under Wallpaper Name: place the UNC Path to the share, \\servername\share\

    That should do it.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the info.  I've tried it, and it appears to work as far as setting the wallpaper that we want.  However, if we stretch the image to fill the screen (via the GPO), it's distorted.  And if we center it (via the GPO), it just places the image on top of whatever background color was previously set by the user.  Is there a way to control the background color to match the wallpaper image via Group Policy?  Or to set everyone's background color to a standard color?

    Thanks again.
    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    you can make a registry change then call the .reg file in a logon script, you could create your own adm template then import the template and modify the new group policy settings.  The second takes a bit more work, but becomes an incredible tool when you are looking for ways to modify aspects of the registry in ways that the registry setting in GP cannot do.

    Registry value for background color

    MS How to make your own adm template;en-us;225087

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