As you know Windows XP looks for wallpapers (by default) in the folder c:\Windows. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make it look somewhere else instead ? Let’s say YOUR image folder – where you store all your photos. Well It is possible – using a small registry hack.

Before we start, let me remind you that you should make a backup of your registry before you continue. Just to be on the safe side. I don’t want you to blame me if something goes wrong :)

Edit the Default Wallpaper Directory

  1. Open registry editor (Press start button, click RUN and type Regedit)
  2. Find the following key:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion
  3. In the right pane, double-click on WallPaperDir (or create a DWord value – if it doesn’t exist)
  4. In the Value field type (or paste) the path to your folder of choice (for example: “c:\windows\Documents and Setting\[–Your Username–]\My Documents\My Pictures“)
  5. Close the Registry Editor
  6. You might need to reboot your Windows to make the changes take effect.

When done, open Display Properties (Right click on your desktop) choose Desktop and you should see the images in the folder you have chosen.

About Thomas

Computer geek from the age of 7, which amounts to 30 years of computer experience. From the early days (when every computer company had their own OS) of DOS, Windows 1.0 through Seven...

Free PC tips by email

Search Windows Guides


Computer tips in your inbox
Sign up for the Windows Guides newsletter to get PC tips and access to free Windows books (More details)

Subscribe now
Popular Guides

See which sites have been visited on your PC (even if private browsing mode is used)

Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

Best Free Anti-malware

Hibernate vs. Sleep vs. Shut-Down

i3, i5, and i7; Dual, Quad, Hexa Core Processors. How to they Differ?

Intel's Ivy Bridge Processor: new Features

Windows Guides on Facebook