I have Windows 7 displaying random images every minute from all of my photo directories and every so often there is one I really want to see again.

How can I either always display on the screen the image path/filename? Or perhaps I could simply look at a registry setting or something at the time the image is being displayed to find out the image path / filename?


5 Answers 5


I am not sure if this works on every version of Windows 7 but on my Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit it does. I also did not test this out when changing themes. If I manually changed the background picture or select a folder of pictures to slideshow through then the registry value that I query below seems to always be updated with the path to the current image.

There are several ways to make this better (like automatically opening Windows Explorer to the folder the picture is in or launching the picture directly) but this could get you started.

I created a batch file on my Desktop named path2pic.bat and had the following code in there:

@echo off


echo The path to the current Desktop background image is:


REG QUERY "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\General" /v WallpaperSource




Then I created a shortcut to the batch file, assigned a Shortcut Key like Ctrl+Shift+P to it, and any time I want to know the path to the image I press the Shortkut Keys and the batch file shows me the path.

  • Great, well done! I'd just remove the final exit call, so to keep the console open. In the likely scenario where wallpaper changes from time to time, if you inadvertently press a key and then wallpaper changes, the info is lost.
    – superjos
    Jun 10, 2012 at 10:09
  • A while back I posed the same question for Windows 8 after migrating to it. There's a different answer so worth taking into consideration: superuser.com/questions/507571/… Mar 19, 2013 at 0:31
  • If I remove @echo off it works. Windows 7 ultimate. Oct 31, 2013 at 8:33

The path to the current Wallpaper is located in the following register key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper 

Open the start menu and in the search box, type "regedit". Navigate to the above key throught the registry explorer on the left. When you single click the "Desktop" folder, at the right, a list with keys will be displayed. Look for the one that's titled "Wallpaper". The value will be the location of the current wallpaper.

  • 1
    Not working in Win 10. Gives the path to a "Transcoded" Wallpaper!
    – xyz
    Oct 12, 2016 at 19:48

copy "C:\Users\test\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper" to image.jpg

'test' is your user name, image.jpg is the current image in the slide.

  • That might save the image, but it does not answert the "How could I find out the path to the current desktop image ?" part.
    – Hennes
    Aug 29, 2016 at 12:07
  • Worked for me on Windows 10, thanks! You can then try using "Google Search by Image" to find the original source.
    – intrepidis
    Jan 14, 2017 at 11:35

BioniX Background Wallpaper Changer might be your answer:

  1. how can I always display on the screen the image path/filename?

Bionix can show the name of the current wallpaper. But you have to activate "Show wallpaper name on desktop" in Settings:

enter image description here

  1. there is one I really want to see again

Bionix can take you back to any previous image what you had as desktop background (just press the "Previous wallpapers" button):
enter image description here

It can also do the third thing - that you haven't requested but I guess you might need it. It can help you with the image management. For example you can delete (Recycle Bin) with a single click an wallpaper that you don't like, as soon as you see it on your desktop.


Windows wallpaper images live in C:\Windows\Web\Wallpapers and you need to give Administrator permission to add, delete or move images.

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