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I connected my machine to a work group. The settings to change the wallpaper is in server machine, so that all the machine will have same wallpaper. Now how can I change my machine's wallpaper using registry ?

After reading some answers,

I created Wall.reg with the following content, and created a shortcut in Start up folder, so that the file will be executed automatically.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
"Wallpaper"="C:\Users\Public\Pictures\Sample Pictures\Koala.jpg"

Am I missing anything ? It is not working :(

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Try using double slashes in wallpaper path. –  thane Jan 16 '12 at 14:02

5 Answers 5

Navigate to

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

and change Wallpaper key value to the full path of your image.

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And every time you logon the GPO will reset your wallpaper to the original. –  Joe Taylor Jan 16 '12 at 11:52

If the Server controls your wallpaper via a GPO then you will have to reset your wallpaper every time you login or the GPO is updated on your machine.

You could create a reg file modifying the values correctly and save it on your desktop, making this run at every logon would give you the wallpaper you desire after every logon. Use the registry Key that Thane provides and export the correct value. Anytime you import this it will modify the registry to the value you want.

Things to consider:

Are you breaking company IT policy doing this?
Can you modify the registry? and create startup tasks to do so? i.e do you have the priveleges?
Is it worth the hassle?

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I can edit the registry. Can you give me idea about how can I create reg file and all. ? –  Rauf Jan 16 '12 at 12:06
Please see my edit. –  Rauf Jan 16 '12 at 12:39
If you just import the registry key manually. i.e double clicking on it. Does it work? –  Joe Taylor Jan 16 '12 at 13:41
No. It is not working. –  Rauf Jan 17 '12 at 9:47
I would definitely consider speaking to your IT department about this. there are a number of GP settings that can change / prevent a user from changing the wallpaper. if they've done this for a reason you could find yourself in hot water for messing around in the registry and changing it. –  Joe Taylor Jan 17 '12 at 10:40

Just save your 'koala' wallpaper over the default wallpaper file your policy is using.

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This file is probably not world-writable, and the OP does not say that he has administrative privileges. –  G-Man Mar 24 at 12:50
Worked for me, but you're right, it may not work for him. –  khaki54 Mar 25 at 1:27

Have just been trying this. When you copy a user to the default user it keeps a hardcoded path to the originals users themes area so I was trying to change the original users background to a commonly available area.

I found you need to put double backslashes "\\" on the path ie. "C:\\Users\\....." otherwise the .reg entry is ignored!

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Probably not the answer for everyone in every case, but it's worth ruling out: you have to log off and log back in for the setting to take effect. (This is, as others have noted, not going to help if you're fighting GPO, because that is going to set it right back.)

On my Win7 setup, I was setting HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper to some image and this would do nothing to the actual desktop background, though in Control Panel -> Personalization it would look like the setting had taken hold. This was driving me crazy until I realized that logging out and back in would make the new wallpaper take hold.

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