I created an image for a desktop wallpaper and set the image directly in Windows (not from a browser). However, the image file I made is no longer on my computer, but the wallpaper is still there. How can I retrieve this wallpaper? It has to load from somewhere.


Windows XP (Reference):

You can find the actual path in the registry key named Wallpaper at [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

Usually it's something like:

C:\Documents and Settings\ [YOURUSERNAME] \Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Wallpaper1.bmp

Windows 7 (Reference):

C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper (default themes)

C:\Users\ [YOURUSERNAME] \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes ( any new themes that you might have installed )

C:\Users\ [YOURUSERNAME] \AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes ( any other pictures that you might have made as an wallpaper.

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    Under Win7, it's exact location is %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper.jpg – bryc Mar 7 '15 at 21:57
  • Is there a windows 10 option now? – Forward Ed May 13 '16 at 21:27
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    @ForwardEd The current wallpaper on Windows 10 is saved as C:\Users[YOURUSERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\TranscodedWallpaper – SnoringFrog Jun 21 '16 at 13:54
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    @SnoringFrog nice - I just had to add .jpg as the extension and she opened right up. – RJ Cuthbertson Mar 5 '17 at 19:44

The specifics would depend on your Windows version, but going by Windows 7 (which should be reasonably useful in the absence of a specified version, and which I have easy access to):

  • right-click on the desktop and pick Personalize
  • click Desktop Background
  • right-click on the selected image and either:
    • pick Properties and look under General, Location
    • or, pick something under Open With

This should provide you access to the file so that you can copy or save it elsewhere. I would guess that it is stored in a temporary files folder somewhere currently.

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  • Great! This is the easiest way on how to know the image's file path. – rhavendc May 25 '16 at 5:17

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