Enable A Desktop Background Registry

Enabling the change desktop background option through the Windows registry.

If you are using a Windows operating system and you find yourself unable to change your desktop background, the problem may lie with a setting in your Windows registry. The “NoChangingWallpaper” value may have been disabled. To restore your desktop background privileges, you have to go into your Windows registry and enable this value. Be advised that you should take great care when making changes to your Windows registry, as incorrectly modifying the registry can seriously damage your computer’s operational functioning.

Instructions

Enable Desktop Background for the Current User

1. Log into the user account you want to enable the desktop background option for.

2. Open the Windows Registry. Windows XP users—click “Start,” highlight and click “Run,” enter “regedit” in the field box, then click “OK.” Windows 7 and Vista users—click the “Start” orb, type “regedit” in the “Search” box and press “Enter.”

3. Click the plus sign next to the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” folder in the left-side window panel to expand the contents of this key. Click the plus sign next to the “software” subkey. Click the plus sign next to the “Microsoft” subkey. Click the plus sign next to the “Windows” subkey. Click the plus sign next to the “CurrentVersion” subkey. Click the plus sign next to the “Policies” subkey. Click directly on the “ActiveDesktop” subkey. In the end the “HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesActiveDesktop” user subkey should be open. Look at the bar at the bottom of the Registry Editor to make sure that you have opened the right subkey.

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4. Right-click on the “NoChangingWallpaper” value, in the right-side window panel, and select “Modify” from the shortcut menu. Change the value data from “1” to “0.” Click “OK.”

5. Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer. The changes won’t take effect until your system has been rebooted.

Enable Desktop Background for All Users

6. Log into your computer using an account with administrator rights.

7. Open the Windows Registry. Windows XP users—click “Start,” highlight and click “Run,” enter “regedit” in the field box, then click “OK.” Windows 7 and Vista users—click the “Start” orb, type “regedit” in the “Search” box and press “Enter.”

8. Click the plus sign next to the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” folder in the left-side window panel to expand the contents of this key. Click the plus sign next to the “software” subkey. Click the plus sign next to the “Microsoft” subkey. Click the plus sign next to the “Windows” subkey. Click the plus sign next to the “CurrentVersion” subkey. Click the plus sign next to the “Policies” subkey. Click on the “ActiveDesktop” subkey. In the end the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesActiveDesktop” system subkey should be open. Look at the bar at the bottom of the Registry Editor to make sure that you have opened the right subkey.

9. Right-click on the “NoChangingWallpaper” value, located in the right-side window panel, and select “Modify” from the shortcut menu. Change the value data from “1” to “0.” Click “OK.”

10. Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer. The changes won’t take effect until your system has been rebooted.

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