Want to customize the Windows interface a little? Choose an image or a slideshow to display in the background of the desktop. You can even use a screensaver for periods of inactivity!
- Choose a background image
- Change the background via the settings
- Change the screensaver
It is natural to want to personalize your computer, at least visually. And the easiest and most common way to add a personal touch to a PC is to change the background – the image that appears in the background on the desktop. If you can choose one of the standard models offered by Windows or by the manufacturer, or be satisfied with a flat color, it is possible to choose any other image, and even a personal photo – at least, as long as it does not interfere with the readability of the icons on the desktop. There are many Web sites that offer good quality wallpapers on all sorts of themes (nature, landscapes, animals, cars, movies, science fiction, computers, etc.).). They can be found by using the keywords wallpaper, background, wallpaper – an old name – or wallpaper, its equivalent in English in a search engine. In any case, changing the wallpaper is very simple in Windows 11.
In addition, although this option is no longer in fashion, it is also possible to use a screensaver that displays an image or animation during the phases of inactivity of the PC. Another way to add a personal touch. Here again, the operation is very simple.
How to choose an image as a background in Windows 11?
The easiest way to set an image as the desktop background in Windows 11 is to use File Explorer. It’s all done in two clicks!
- Open a Windows Explorer window and browse your PC’s tree to find the image you want to use as a background. Any image will do, but it’s best to get one that matches the size of your screen. Otherwise, your image will be pixelated or distorted.
- Right-click on the image and, in the pop-up menu that appears, select Choose as Desktop Background.
- Your image is immediately placed in the background. You’re done!
If you need more options and settings, for example to adapt an image to your screen, go through the Windows settings, as described in the next step. You can do this even if you have already chosen a personal image with the "direct" method.
How to change the background via Windows 11 settings?
To have all the options on the backgrounds, you need to go through the settings of Windows 11.
- Right-click on an empty area of the Windows desktop, and then, in the contextual menu that appears, click on Personalize, at the bottom.
- The display settings window opens directly to the background settings.
- Click on the Background drop-down menu to select the type of background you want. There are three choices: Image, Solid Color or Slideshow.
Use an image as your background
- Click on Image in the Background drop-down menu.
- In the Choose your image box, a selection of images is already offered. If you want to use an image that is not in this selection, click on the Browse button.
- The Windows file selector window opens. Browse through your PC’s file tree to find an image you like – most graphic formats are accepted. Select your image and click the Choose Image button.
- The desktop background changes immediately. A thumbnail view of the desktop will appear at the top of the window, to give you a preview.
- If your image does not exactly match the definition of your screen, it must be adapted. Click on the Choose a Size drop-down menu.
- Select one of the six options: Fill, Fit, Stretch, Thumbnail, Center or Extend. Feel free to test to see the result, you can always change your choice.
- The background is automatically changed as shown in the preview at the top of the window.
Use a solid color as background
If you don’t want an image in the background, you can choose to display only a plain color (a solid color), more sober.
- Choose Solid Color from the Background drop-down menu.
- Select a color from the palette by clicking on it.
- If none of the colors are suitable, click on the + Custom Color button.
- The Choose Background Color window appears with a color chart. Define a color to your liking by adjusting the settings, then click on OK.
Use a slideshow as your background
Rather than staying on one image all the time, you can choose to display several images in alternation with the Slideshow option. The wallpaper will change regularly, according to the frequency you set, displaying images you select;
- Choose Slideshow from the Background drop-down menu.
- If you have themes installed, Windows offers you ready-made albums, like here Flowers. Select one. Otherwise, click Browse to choose your own album.
- In the file selector, browse your PC’s directory tree. Select the folder containing the images you want to use in your slideshow, then click on the Choose this folder button.
- Then click on the Change image every drop-down menu to select how often the background will change.
- Check the Random Play option if you want the images to be displayed randomly.
- If needed, you can adapt the display of the images to your screen resolution by clicking on the Choose size drop-down menu.
How to change the screensaver on Windows 11?
Even though screensavers are not as popular as they once were, it is still possible to use them in Windows 11. It is true that they were invented at the time of CRT screens, to protect the slab – they were also called screensavers -, which is no longer of interest today, with LCD screens.
- Click on theStart menu, at the bottom left of the taskbar, then on Settings.
- In the window that opens, click on thePersonalization section.
- The contents of the window will change. In the left-hand column, click on the Lock Screen section.
- On the right side of the window, click on Screen Saver Settings.
- The Screen Saver Settings window will open.
- Click on the Screensaver menu and select a template from the list.
- Click on the Preview button to see what the selected screen saver looks like.
- In the Timeout field, enter the number of minutes of inactivity after which the screen saver should launch.
- If you want a password prompt on reactivation, check the On reactivation, prompt for login box. You will then have to enter your Windows account password to exit the screen saver. This option only makes sense if you use your PC in an environment where you fear indiscretions while you are away. Avoid using it if you are the only one using your PC, especially if the inactivity time is very short…
- Some screensavers have additional settings. Click on the Settings… button to access and adjust them.
- Finally, click on the OK button to activate the screensaver.
Now, as soon as you do not use your mouse or keyboard for the specified time, the screensaver will be triggered, usually with a graphic animation.