Wallpaper backdrops on a PC are a distinct custom “touch” for any computer owner. Wallpapers can spotlight favorite hobbies or sports teams, or show off photographs of family members; all are valuable to their owners. But occasionally desktop wallpaper can become “lost” or disabled by accident. You can restore the wallpaper image in just a few moments as long as the original file is still intact.
Look in Control Panel
Go to Start/ControlPanel/Display in Windows XP or ControlPanel/DisplayProperties in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Select the “Desktop” or “Wallpaper” tab. Look through the listing of image files that are currently loaded into the Windows Desktop image directory. When you find your desired image, double click on it. It should appear in the Preview panel above the file directory list. Tweak the image if necessary. You can choose to display the image as a single box in the “Center” of your monitor screen. You can “Stretch” the image so it covers the entire screen. Or you can repeat the image many times across the screen with the “Tile” option.
Restore the Image to Windows
If you cannot locate the wallpaper file in the Display Settings directory, you can restore the image to that directory. Go to Start and right mouse click on “Explore” to bring up Windows Explorer (which is not the same as Windows Internet Explorer). Explorer provides a “birds eye” view of the contents of your hard drive. Navigate to C:Windows. Click on the little box with a “+” symbol in it, next to the label “WINDOWS,” so the file opens and displays all the subdirectory files under that heading. Click on the “Type” bar across the top of the directory on the right hand side of the screen. This will sort all of the files in this directory according to type of file. Scroll down below the long listing of yellow file folders. You will see bitmap or BMP files provided as standard wallpapers for Windows. You know you are looking at the correct “target directory,” when you see these BMP files.
Prepare the Image for Transfer
Prepare your preferred image for transfer to this target directory. Find your digital image in the My Documents folder or some other location on your hard drive where you store images like this. If it does not have a descriptive tile, right-mouse-click on the file, scroll down to “Rename,” and rename the picture file with something easily recognizable like “Me and Dad At The Lake.”
Move the File to Windows Main Directory
Drag and drop your preferred image from its present location and drop it onto the “C:/Windows” directory. To drag a file, click on it and hold down on your left mouse button. Keep holding the button and literally drag the file to another location. Hover over the target directory. When you do this, the target directory label will be highlighted and you will know you are in the right place. Let go of the mouse button and “drop” the file onto the “C:/Windows” target directory. Close out of Windows Explorer.
Reset the Wallpaper
Return to Control Panel and look for this preferred image file in the wallpaper listings again. Double click on the image title to make it the active desktop wallpaper again. Center, Stretch, or Tile the image. Click “OK” to finish the repair.