It seems that Windows 10's desktop slideshow does not use pictures from inside subfolders. Is there a way to get it to use these pictures?

I have a Wallpapers folder with subfolders like Landscapes and Architecture. The subfolders have pictures in them. Wallpapers has no pictures in it directly.
I want the slideshow to use all of the pictures from all of the subfolders.

In Settings > Personalization > Background, I set:

  • Background = Slideshow
  • Choose albums for your slideshow = Wallpapers

The desktop just shows whatever the last photo was, or sometimes just a weird, small grid pattern.

If I put a couple pictures in the Wallpapers folder, it will use those as expected. So I think the issue is that it doesn't look in subfolders, but I don't want to dismantle my organizational system.
Is there a way to get it to use the pictures from all the subfolders?

  • I just tried putting all the subfolders in a library, but the settings won't let me point the slideshow at a library. – Jacktose Apr 4 '16 at 22:45

I wanted to do this exact same thing and it took me a while to figure out how to accomplish it. What I ended up doing was using a combination of a custom library and the old Windows wallpaper settings.

To create a library with the folders you want, click on Libraries in the left side panel of a Windows folder (or if you removed the Libraries link from there you can just type Libraries into the navigation bar). Once you're in the Libraries folder you can right-click and select new Library. Then add folders to your new library by right-clicking on it, selecting Properties, and clicking the "Add..." button.

The Window 10 "Personalize" window doesn't let you select a library (other than your default Pictures library), but the old-style wallpaper settings does and that can be accessed with this command:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,@desktop

I created a shortcut to this and put it in my Wallpapers folder, but you can also just enter that command in the Cortana search field. From this window you can browse to your new library.

enter image description here

  • 1
    That is convoluted, but it does work. I ended up just using John's Background Switcher. – Jacktose Sep 22 '16 at 3:37
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    This answer is no longer accurate as Microsoft has removed the Windows 7 Desktop Personalization CP from Windows 10 as of the Creators Update spring 2017. – Thomas May 18 '17 at 4:24
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    Yep, this method no longer works after that update. Looks like an external program like John's Background Switcher is the way to do it now. – primehalo May 19 '17 at 7:27
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    C:\Windows\explorer.exe shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921} -Microsoft.Personalization\pageWallpaper – superjos Oct 19 '17 at 8:29
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As of today, on Windows 10 Version 10.0.15063, this command works:

C:\Windows\explorer.exe shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921} -Microsoft.Personalization\pageWallpaper


  • and what does this command do? – Stealth Rabbi Apr 27 '18 at 22:44
  • it opens "classic" Settings\Personalization\Desktop Background panel – superjos Apr 29 '18 at 2:36

Under 'Choose albums for your slideshow', there is a 'Browse' button. It allows you to select a sub-folder (or any other folder anywhere on your disks):Browse Button

I have been using that for months successfully.

  • 2
    I want it to use all the pictures from inside all the subfolders. There does not seem to be any way to select multiple folders, if that's what you meant. – Jacktose Apr 5 '16 at 1:44
  • This didn't work. Windows look inside only one folder, if you choose a folder that hasn't pictures, it will search inside subfolder, but it will stop searching at first folder that it has found pictures and will show only these pictures. – Luciano Feb 2 '17 at 13:30

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