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, 2016 at 22:45

5 Answers 5


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

  • 2
    That is convoluted, but it does work. I ended up just using John's Background Switcher.
    – Jacktose
    Sep 22, 2016 at 3:37
  • 3
    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, 2017 at 4:24
  • 1
    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, 2017 at 7:27
  • 2
    C:\Windows\explorer.exe shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921} -Microsoft.Personalization\pageWallpaper
    – superjos
    Oct 19, 2017 at 8:29
  • 2

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? Apr 27, 2018 at 22:44
  • it opens "classic" Settings\Personalization\Desktop Background panel
    – superjos
    Apr 29, 2018 at 2:36

I was able to do it in Win 10 by following the steps in this blog https://www.winhelponline.com/blog/windows-10-desktop-background-slideshow-not-seeing-subfolders-library/

  • 3
    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 19, 2020 at 7:47

One workaround is to use this script link_Nto1, that I wrote for myself. It will create links to files from multiple folders inside a specified folder and will allow you to quickly switch between different sets of folders.

Usage example:

Open PowerShell and install the script:

PS> Install-Script -Name link_Nto1

Go inside your pictures directory.

cd C:/Pictures

Run the script:

PS> link_Nto1.ps1 desktop_slideshow Landscapes,Aerial,Underwater

The first argument is the configured Windows Desktop Slideshow directory (in this case "desktop_slideshow"), the second argument is a comma separated list of all directories that you want to include in your desktop slideshow ("Landscapes", "Aerial" and "Underwater").

If you want to switch to a different set of folders, just run the script again with a different list of source folders:

PS> link_Nto1.ps1 desktop_slideshow Landscapes,Aerial

This will effectively remove folder "Underwater" from the slideshow.


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, 2016 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, 2017 at 13:30

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