I have my Windows 7 desktop set to run a slideshow (shuffle turned on) with the contents of a folder that currently contains 148 photos. The problem is that every now and then, it stops cycling through them, and the Next Desktop Background item in the context menu is no longer there. Basically, it stops at a photo and unselects the rest of them. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to when it happens; often, the slideshow will keep cycling even after a reboot, and sometimes it will just stop cycling for no apparent reason after a few days even with no reboots during that time.

Does windows have an upper limit to the number of photos that it can reliably handle in a desktop slideshow, or could it be one of the photos that it doesn't like that's causing that to happen?

I did an experiment where I changed my slideshow to show the pictures sequentially and change once a minute. I pulled half of them out and didn't see the problem even after a whole day of it being that way, so I put those back and pulled the others out. Still didn't see the problem (again, even after a whole day of it being that way), so I put all of them back. Still nothing (again, even after a whole day of it being that way). That tells me that the problem is not not with any of the pictures themselves; nor is it because of the settings that I used before (change once/hour and shuffle turned on).

After my computer rebooted because of an AVG update, the slideshow went from all pictures selected to just the current one. Given my previous experience, though, reboots are not the cause, because sometimes the slideshow selections survive a reboot, and sometimes they'll change to just the current picture after several days even without a reboot.

  • Divide the photos into 2 different folders, see if the same problem happens with either folder, if it only happens with one folder, then suspect a problem file in that folder. If it happens with both then suspect it is caused by a windows power plan setting or other installed software.
    – Moab
    Jul 7, 2015 at 17:47
  • I never noticed the Next Desktop Background item. Thanks for mentioning it!
    – xr280xr
    Mar 29, 2018 at 20:09

1 Answer 1


I do the same thing with 240 picture items , all of which require little scaling with settings of Fill, 2 hours, and shuffle. 2 different computers that have changed wallpaper for years (months solid at times) with that configuration, without an issue. Modern microsoft miracle :-)

I use a seperate wallpapers folder , that does not apply any originals, and does use all the items in that folder. The folder is located on a seperate disk.

The times when that did not work, is when I had switched themes, and the theme selected/changed to did not have the pics all selected the same way. I had to go through and make every theme that I use to have the same backgrounds, and then to save those themes.

Yes as you already suspect, checking each of the photos for issues in rendering, broken endings to the files which might show as the picture content ending , and a odd pattern finishing the rest of the space. You should be able to just pass them quickly through a photo viewer/editor and see if they all work, also looking to see if the bottom right last bit of the picture all renders proper.

If there was somehow a memory problem when a pic was called up to memory and some tiny glitch changed a few bits of the file.

If the disk that the wallpaper was on had gone to sleep/standby and did not wake up. (never saw this before)

If there are power settings that say to Pause the slideshow. In Power options, Desktop Background, Slideshow. Adding that if there is a power feature of some laptop, motherboard software, or other special software that uses the built-in power configurations for power saving features.

As often as other things have leaked and broken (IE , Sidebar , even rare instance of the explorer) that has worked out so reliably I did not even feel the need to use a 3rd party program :-)

Other notes, it also seems to nicely change in ~2 hours even if during that time there existed standby or even restart.

  • My Power options are not set to pause the desktop slideshow. The pictures do get resized down to fit the #1 monitor, but with 18 GB of memory to work with (I've never seen it with less than 25% of that available, and it's usually well over 50% of it available), you'd think that there would be no memory issues.
    – RobH
    Jul 17, 2015 at 17:43

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