We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


Select  a picture as the desktop background

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01

I am trying to set a picture as the desktop background, however for some reason even if I select the picture in the display properties, I cannot seem to get the old background off.However when I reboot the machine and while the machine is loading I can see the desktop background I was trying to set, for sometime.After the OS loads the old  background  is back in place.

I have Win XP with SP 2 .I have checked for Spyware and virus infections.
Watch Question

A SyscokidRetired bureaucrat/desktop support

Just a thought.  Set the background to "None" then click apply.  Then select the background you want and click apply again.
Systems Engineer
Barry -

Make sure you don't have any active desktop content turned on.  Go to Start\Control Panel\Display Properties\Desktop and click on Customize.  Under the Web tab, make sure everything is UNchecked and click OK, OK.

Let me know if that help!

Thanks - Tex

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
Is this PC on a domain?  If so then possibly your Group Policies are preventing you from changeing it.  If so.... and you are local admin

GOTO Start
Press RUN
Type MMC
Press OK
Press Add/Remove Snap In
Click Add
Scroll Down and Highlight Group Policy Object Editor
Press Add
Press Finish
Press Close
Press OK
Expand Local Group Policy
Expand User Configuration
Expand Administrative Templates
Highlight Active Desktop
Ensure that the state of all of those are  NOT CONFIGURED
Expand Control Panel
Expand Display
Highlight Desktop Themes
Ensure that the state of all of those are  NOT CONFIGURED

GOTO Start
Press Run
Press OK
Change your Background

Did it work?

I was just wondering what picture always shows up on your desktop? I agree that it sounds like a active desktop problem. Are logging in as the system administrator or user that has limited usage. If you can install stuff, make changes and so on the you are the Administrator.

One program that may help tweakup your system and also correct the problem is called
 Fresh UI.


Fresh UI is a fresh solution for configuring and optimizing Windows. Loaded with hundreds of useful settings for Windows XP/2000/ NT4/98/95/Me, it covers the customizing techniques that you'll be glad to know.

Cut and paste the following into notepad, call it fixdesktop.reg and then double click and install.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00







Austin TexasSystems Engineer

Barry -

Have you tried any of these solutions?  I'm interested to know if anything has worked.

thanks - Tex
The reg mod above definately works ... I have used it many times on clients PCs to recover from damage from certain viruses.
The reg mod is doing the same thing my solution was just without any work.  Good post tony.  I will save that one for myself. :)
It sounds like your profile is not updating, when you log on it loads the profile and when you log off it may not be updating due to the registri not being freed up.

Try, reboot, log on as admin with another account, rename your profile folder in docs and settings to "yourname061106"
and reboot and log on with your account. Make the changes to the new profile and reboot to check if they updated.

You can then transfer any files from the dodgy profile to the new one.
Ever get this fixed Barry?

I'm with you :)  Be nice and let us know Barry?
Austin TexasSystems Engineer

I'm interested in how this turned out.
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.