Changing the Default Windows Wallpaper

I use remote desktop (terminal services) quite a bit. I also regularly use other remote access methods such as PCAnywhere or VNC. As such, I’m almost always greeted by the default wallpaper when logging onto a PC. Much of this is courtesy of Dell, but others do it too. Yet I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of it.

Today I decided that I would figure out how to rid myself of this nuisance, and the delays it brings as it is drawing itself over a remote session. On most connections, it’s only a few seconds. But it slows me down every time I do it, and the logon screen draws much faster without it.

To make this change, you’ll have to muck about in the registry, but if you’re worried about this kind of thing, that’s probably not new to you. Whether it is or not, please keep in mind that the registry can be dangerous. If you aren’t comfortable doing it, there’s probably a good reason why you aren’t comfortable. You might want to find something else to do.

Still here? Good. Locate this key in the registry:

  .HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop

Yes, that is .HKEY_USERS – probably not the most common key referenced when changing the registry.

Within this key, you’ll find a parameter called, simply enough, “wallpaper”. If you’re still reading, this value is likely set to the path of a wallpaper file that you no longer want do display. Change it to (None) to get rid of it entirely, or change it to a smaller, or preferable, image if you just want a different one. If it already says (None), you can certainly change it to a path as well, to start displaying an image.


5 Replies to “Changing the Default Windows Wallpaper”

  1. if you have the brains to be able to find the file that is used for the background then you have the brains to modify a simple wallpaper registry key. Thanks for this post, I knew it was a reg edit just couldn’t find where, damn to hell with dell!.

  2. You can avoid changing the registry. Figure out which image is being used as your default wallpaper and replace it with your new wallpaper image. It’s a bit of a hack but it’s safer than playing with the registry.

  3. Just to respond to this as far as RDP. All you have to do is not check the option of showing wallpaper. As far as PC Anywhere I am sure there is an option to do that as well. But you should not need to go into the registry to fix this issue.

  4. I have some clients in which I can’t get anyone to punch holes in the router. For them I use GoToMyPc for remote access. It’s a little pricey, but it blows through any firewall I’ve encountered.

Comments are closed.