Introduction: Windows 7 Starter: Easy Way to Change Wallpaper

Picture of Windows 7 Starter: Easy Way to Change Wallpaper

For readers not wanting to read the story of this instructable here is a short: This instructable is about changing wallpaper in Windows 7 Starter Edition which is a problem since Microsoft deleted that option in this particular release. Enjoy steps of these instructables :-) Read all steps before you try it! :)


For others that are willing to read the longer story :-) :

The Story:

Recently i have bought an Assus EeePC Seashell netbook with windows 7 on board, you may think "WHOA kewl" but hold your horses. Most netbooks on the market nowadays are sold with windows 7-yes- but it's only a Starter Edition which is good if not great for low-end PC's and netbooks.Why am I writing this then?
"Windows 7 Starter does not include:
  • Aero Glass, meaning you can only use the “Windows Basic” or other opaque themes. It also means you do not get Taskbar Previews or Aero Peek.
  • Personalization features for changing desktop backgrounds, window colors, or sound schemes.
  • The ability to switch between users without having to log off.
  • Multi-monitor support.
  • DVD playback.
  • Windows Media Center for watching recorded TV or other media.
  • Remote Media Streaming for streaming your music, videos, and recorded TV from your home computer.
  • Domain support for business customers.
  • XP Mode for those that want the ability to run older Windows XP programs on Windows 7.

If you're like me and bought netbook with this Windows 7 version before you've read about it's limitations on the web, this instructable might help you to get over one of obstacles of enjoying it like any other system. I'm going to explain process of getting your windows to change wallpapers :).

Enjoy and please Read all steps before you try it :)

Written by Dan because of an inspiration of his Angel :*

Step 1: What Do You Need?

Picture of What Do You Need?

Ok so now for the "parts" list :) Here is what we will need to make this happen:

Windows 7 Starter Edition
Duh? :P

Stardock My Colors (Theme Manager)

Actually it's Windows Blinds (also a theme manager but it doesn't work for our purpose) with less options and less themes (only few that are free)


Or you may use these Two:

Link: [] (made by HP and looks great, my Angel used it and never complained and is visually better than "think green mentioned later on")


Link: [] (which is the closest you can get to normal aero theme by M$)

Wallpaper of your choice :)

(i will be using [] but you can use whatever wallpaper you like)

Step 2: Preparation, Installation, Runinatio....eerrr Running :)

Picture of Preparation, Installation, Runinatio....eerrr Running :)

After you download ingredients needed for our Operating System Soup (mmm tastyy) here is what we will do:

Copy wallpaper where "MyColors" will see it:

In our case it will be "Sample Pictures" folder which usually sits in :"C:\Users\Public\Pictures\Sample Pictures" location. Just simply copy your wallpaper there

Install MyColors

It's an application so it installs and uninstalls like any game or other software that you use. Simply follow the on-screen instructions until installation is finished. For this instructable i have chosen "Think Green" theme available at "My Colors" website (listed in step1).

Run This Application

On the Desktop you should have a shortcut named "Stardock MyColors". Double click then go to the next step.

Step 3: Finally Usage and Wallpaper Change

Picture of Finally Usage and Wallpaper Change

After you have run this application Main Menu pops up

-Now click on a theme you want to use

Note: You need to apply theme different than "Windows 7 Aero" to be able to change the wallpaper. "Windows 7 Aero" is used to revert to original settings which don't allow wallpaper change.

-Hit Apply
Wait patiently and don't panic it needs time to change the theme. Time needed for this operation is different for different PC hardware (slower PC=Longer Wait)

-After your theme was changed:
Go to the Wallpaper menu (top bar, in the middle) and choose the one that you've put in your "Sample Pictures" folder. Hit apply which is under the wallpaper gallery (change should be instant).

Enjoy your Wallpaper! (suggested way of enjoying is doing a Kirby Dance!)

Step 4: Final Thoughts

Picture of Final Thoughts

This way of wallpaper change was successful on an English and Polish installs of Windows 7 Starter and if applied properly should not cause any problems***. There happened only one problem during my experiments with this application. It froze leaving me with nothing apart from old wallpaper and the window i had active. This is how i dealt with this problem:

Freeze problem:

If you got stuck with nothing on screen apart from your old wallpaper (happened to me once) and it's been like this for too long follow these steps
1.) do the Ctrl+Alt+Del combination
2.) click on "Start Task Manager"
3.) Click on "File" menu which is on the left upper corner
4.) Click on "New task..(Run)"
5.) Type: explorer.exe and hit enter
6.) Quit "My Colors" application and try again :)

Stuck Icons problem (found on mycolors forum, post by user Dewie [link]:

"Install and try the process listed below.
In IconPackager, under Settings>System Settings you can use the 'Rebuild Icon Cache' and Repair Icon Images buttons, which should help with this issue. If not, try the Repair Shell Icons... button and select "Repair shell icons for all processes" and click OK."

***I do not take any responsibility if you will break your windows or anything else by using this instructable (and i think you would have to do something reaaaly wrong with it to fail :P).

There are of course different ways of performing this, with homebrew applications. I didn't write about them as some people claimed that it didn't work for some language versions different than English (e.g. Polish). If you wish i would be more than honored to also present you these options as they don't require installing "MyColors". This way is also the most simple and quick method. Only drawback is that you have to change the original window theme, but me and Mr. "Think Green" are going along quite nicely ^^.

I spent a lot searching for a way to change my background on this windows edition, and i hope this instructable will make it easier for others who also do seek for ways of ommiting dumb Windows 7 Starter restriction. Thanks go to my lovely Angel, because she was inspiration for this instructable :)

Next time we will change logon appearance ;)


Visit this thread on Mycolors forum: [link]

Step 5: Edit: for More Experienced, by Popular Demand, Other Options.

Picture of Edit: for More Experienced, by Popular Demand, Other Options.

These methods don't involve the MyColors Software, but may harm your windows installation if not done properly. I Don't take responsibility, nor credit for these. People who wrote this in my comments will be listed in here and all thanks considering these methods go to them. These texts are unchanged, shown in original form.


1. Thanks to DragonDon [profile]

1. Click start and type regedit in the search box or run
2. Go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\” folder and click on it
3. On the right hand side you will find a bunch of entries. Find the key named “Wallpaper” and double click on it and put the path of the picture you want as your new wallpaper (example path is “C:\Users\Big Dan\Pictures\new wallpaper.jpg”)
4. Right-click on the “Desktop” folder in left pane click Permissions.
5. Click “Advanced”
6. Go to “Owner” tab, highlight your name in the box that says ‘Change owner to’ ( There are only two choices the other is Administrator )… once your user name is highlighted click “OK”
7. Click on “Advanced” again
8. Uncheck the button that reads “Include inheritable permissions from the object’s parent”… click “Remove” when prompted
9. Click “Add”
10. Type “Everyone” and click “OK”
11. Check Allow “Read Control” and click “OK”
12. Click “OK” again
13. Highlight “Everyone” and check to Allow “Read” and click “OK”
14. Restart Computer

2. Thanks to Ander [profile]

Starter Background Changer:
[Link to the software]

Tutorial for non French readers:


cretener (author)2011-10-16

I've been dying to change my wallpaper ever since I got this netbook, and now I can thanks to you! Ah, I love you.

JediJon (author)2011-08-31

This has been an awesome aid to me getting rid of that god awful windows wallpaper.....I tried everything and now have my own wallpaper on there At Last!!!!!
This is what mine looks like now.....

pookypoo (author)JediJon2011-09-02

Sexy. Please tell me how (little step, by step) how to change my windows 7 starter netbooks background. I'm sick of mine; the one it came with; boring.



Ollus (author)2010-09-13

For all those suffering problem with icons not reveriting :-)

Trina3771L (author)2016-01-19

Guys you can go to:, to get genuine windows 7 keys in a cheap price, it is not bad.

T0BY (author)2015-06-14

Thank you for this, very helpful!

ShaponS (author)2015-06-13

Sorted very nice post .Useful post .Thank yo.

KaylaE1 (author)2015-01-02

to you guys who didn't succeed following this instructions you might wanna see this it worked for me though :)

latia.carter (author)2014-12-24

Wow! It really worked! I was a little confused in the beginning as to which link to choose but I finally figured it out and it really worked lol! Thank you so much for this, I don't know what many of us would have done without you! :).

weakpa2 (author)2014-07-20

Dummies will love this kind of tutorials but for all who think that they can do advance tricks and tweaks you can visit this site

Abiud.Keng (author)2013-01-18

Thank you very much... Kudos to you dude!!!

hombreadams (author)2013-01-13

Thank you so much. Your directions were clear and easy to follow. Everything worked great!

cryan13 (author)2012-10-30

hi can you help me i did everything in the step by step everything installed fine but when i logged back on to my laptop the wallpaper i selected had disappeared i tried re applying it but for some reason it wont appear on the desktop is there anything i can do im so sick of looking at that bloody windows logo

mehrankpk (author)2012-07-30

who want kissing in bedroom with me alone

toomanyexcuses (author)2012-07-10

Hey everyone! The one that worked for me was this website:

You have to scroll down, to where it says
"OPTION ONE - Using the "Oceanis Change Background Windows 7" Program"
and then click on the download link. You click on the FOLDER that has your picture in it, and then it loads all your pictures from that folder and you can check the box of what one you want. You also have the option to select multiple pictures, and make it change the background after a certain amount of minutes. I chose to change it every 1 minute.

I hope this helps! :)

panflute (author)2010-02-20

This program is a piece of cr-p. It will bog down your machine and is not worth it. If you want to revert back to your original desktop forget about it, it does not go back completely. If you removed your shortcut arrows, they will reappear again.  It also does not properly uninstall itself, especially if you install another theme. After uninstalling the program the theme you downloaded will remain in memory and you cannot delete it. The green theme they include is ugly. Do yourself a favor and pass on this one. If you already installed it try using system restore to go back.

Ollus (author)panflute2010-02-20

Well i did it on plenty of computers and it did actually revert back to normal after the uninstall process...and everything was fine.. either you did something wrong or had a version which wasn't downloaded from the original website, am i right? Or maybe you used Alienware theme instead of Mycolors because that one does alot of no good to the windows 7 starter.?I need proof, if you give me the proof i will write something to fix problem that happened at your PC.

panflute (author)Ollus2010-02-21

This program, Oceanis, worked for me and seems a much more elegant and safer way to change the backround in Win 7 Starter: 

DragonDon (author)panflute2010-10-25

Ya, found that on Google as well, worked great. In a nutshell:\\1. Click start and type regedit in the search box or run
2. Go to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\” folder and click on it
3. On the right hand side you will find a bunch of entries. Find the key named “Wallpaper” and double click on it and put the path of the picture you want as your new wallpaper (example path is “C:\Users\Big Dan\Pictures\new wallpaper.jpg”)
4. Right-click on the “Desktop” folder in left pane click Permissions.
5. Click “Advanced”
6. Go to “Owner” tab, highlight your name in the box that says ‘Change owner to’ ( There are only two choices the other is Administrator )… once your user name is highlighted click “OK”
7. Click on “Advanced” again
8. Uncheck the button that reads “Include inheritable permissions from the object’s parent”… click “Remove” when prompted
9. Click “Add”
10. Type “Everyone” and click “OK”
11. Check Allow “Read Control” and click “OK”
12. Click “OK” again
13. Highlight “Everyone” and check to Allow “Read” and click “OK”
14. Restart Computer

While I can appreciate anyone creating an instrucable to help people out, I simply cannot see any justification downloading some 100MB program that replaces 14 steps listed above....

svasudevan (author)DragonDon2011-06-07

wat is dis abt???

DragonDon (author)svasudevan2011-06-07

Unfortunately this is something that if you do NOT understand, then do NOT try anything. If you want to know more about computers (and windows registry in particular: start here:

Unless you have the stamina to fix a broken windows system, then by all means, do whatever you like. Follow the above steps, become a true hacker (not the over-hyped media portrayal) but someone who is curious about technology and what makes it tick. This is what I do.

Ollus (author)DragonDon2011-06-07

Thanks to DragonDon for support in my instructable :-)

For the guys who don't understand registry:

If you don't understand hacking the windows registry whilst giving M$ middle finger, please settle for the ready-made software available, which was kindly provided by Ander (last page at the end). Other option might be to switch to windows version giving possibility to change wallpaper (switch to Pro, ultimate etc. is as easy as typing serial number in software provided within windows called "Anytime Upgrade"), but this slows down the PC (starter edition was made for a reason you know ;)). Last option i can give is to install Ubuntu operating system :-) It installs as any other application in windows, you get to choose operating system during PC switching on, you have alot more options than windows when it comes to customization and you can call yourself M$ free person. :-)

For the guy who do: ROCK ON! ^^

Take care guys :-)

123jinkai (author)Ollus2012-07-06

i stiil cannot

skyline28 (author)DragonDon2011-10-12

Thanks for posting this walkthrough! Worked great the first time :) So happy to have a new background after an entire year of dealing with the windows 7 starter wallpaper. Such a relief!

j0nahanne (author)DragonDon2011-07-17

when i'm trying to change the path it says "cannot edit wallpaper: Error writing the value's new contents".... pls help me

j0nahanne (author)DragonDon2011-07-17

pls help...the first time i did this it was successful but when i try it again i can't change my wallpaper

kphoutharath (author)DragonDon2011-06-14

worked...thkz alot...

steffyjenille (author)DragonDon2011-05-15

You are a genius! Only thing is that I am not :( I followd your steps but realized too late that I did not type in the right path. I left out the jpg part AND just wrote the name of an entire folder. The end result is that I have a black wallpaper. Everything still works except instead of a green wallpaper...I have black.
Help me please. Is it possible to undo any steps or how can I still redeem a nice wallpaper despite my errors.
Thanks in advance DragonDon.

ddemitrius (author)steffyjenille2011-05-21

Hi Have you been able to find a solution to this I have run into a similar problem

DragonDon (author)steffyjenille2011-05-15

Thanks for the compliment but I will say this, I did not create those instructions, anyone who can do a Google Search can find them.

Now, as for fixing your issue. I suspect that simply following the instructions again should fix that, just steps 1 - 3 will most likely do it.

Since I have not run into your particular issue, I cannot guarantee that it'll work or possibly make things worse. Too many variables to say for sure but if I were in your situation, I would repeat the first 3 steps properly (i.e. use the full path of the background you want).

ddemitrius (author)DragonDon2011-05-21

I have run into the similar situation as steffyjenile my screen has gone black and am not sure what to do now. Are these steps given above correct??? When I try to repeat the steps 1 to 3 to correct the issue opposite desktop i do not see the bunch of entries as specified in the instructions. Can anyone help out???

jwampler (author)DragonDon2011-03-26

I tried this and it works great, only one thing. Is there any way to change the picture each time without the restart? I'm guessing you will always have to keep the same file name unless you want to go through all those steps again, so I just named it 'wallpaper' but I can't help but wonder if there isn't a more easy way to jump to a new one? And yes, I do have a habit of changing mine THAT much. Thanks for this and any help ;)

9cypher (author)DragonDon2011-02-11

bt now i am not able to change back to some other wallpaper..!!!
help DragonDon..!!


DragonDon (author)9cypher2011-02-11

A couple of things.

1/ I found those instructions while searching Google.
2/ I suspect that if you followed the same instructions again, you will probably find a step that you may have missed, or at the very least the ability to change the desktop like you did the first time.
3/ The 14 steps listed don't add the 'change desktop background' menu item
4/ In a work around, you could probably do the simply thing and find another picture that you want, change it's name to the same name as the current background and copy it to the same folder. I'm sure this is the easiest way of accomplishing your task.

goeon (author)DragonDon2011-02-09

Messed up the eeepc that my school gave me, i was able to get into regedit from the setup. Thankfully.

Anywho. i wouldn't try that again

ed vince ruiz (author)DragonDon2011-01-25

thank you so much for this short instructable.... it's amazing, i find it so easy rather doing their way! now, i have my new wallpaper!!!

PaulRaposo (author)DragonDon2010-12-21

Excuse me quick question? ive completed the steps my background went from the main blue starter screen to just a blank green background, how exactly do i get say a picture from the net to be my background? if you can help me id appreciate it!


Koowip (author)DragonDon2010-12-19

I signed up to say that this worked great! My problem is now I am not able to change the image to something different.

I thought I might be able to change the directory for teh image file in the reg; but I just get an error.

Happen to have a similar write up for changing the image after these steps were taken? Thanks!

Ollus (author)DragonDon2010-10-26

I made this instructable for my gf, who is skilled in computers, but is afraid to dig into her registry ( i even tried to manipulate the registry so that it uses original program to change themes, but failed to). This instructable is aimed at people who don't like or are afraid to do much stuff they don't understand. I really do appreciate you adding to our little project, what i dislike is the way how you just treat it like a piece of crap nobody is using. If you give me your permission i will add your method to my method so people have some choices (i decided not to add homebrew software before, cause some of them had viruses back then, but this one is just change in registry).

Thanks :-)

panflute (author)Ollus2010-02-20

I apologize for my bad choice of words. It did not work FOR ME. Since I have had Windows 7 Starter for less than 24 hours I can't say exactly why, and I have come across other programs not running as they should and had to deinstall them. I am downloading a ton of MS updates and service packs now and maybe that will help this computer.

Ollus (author)panflute2010-02-20

I've heard somewhere that GUI options come back when you create new user and delete the old one. As for the service packs ad updates keep me informed, since Windows 7 Starter is my new obsession :) There is nothing to apologise for ;-) So keep me informed about it ^^:-)

missmonkey8 (author)Ollus2011-01-03

how do you create a new user and delete the old one?? i got my computer from my grandma who only had it for a month and I'd like to get rid of her name on there and have my own. I was able to change the computer name and change myself to an administrator but her name is still on the documents stuff...the folder seems to be locked..Help?

1337mrblackops (author)panflute2011-06-26

pirate windows 7 dude, (
just download utorrent

andreaborman (author)panflute2011-06-12

Yes You are right. Stardock My Colors or Windows Blinds, it's other name was a disaster for me. It took out my original Windows 7 wallpaper leaving me with nothing but a black screen on my desktop. Instead of the default wallpaper. AND it corrupted my files I think, because it left them green. And even when I uninstalled that program,my screen was still black, and my files and folders green.

So I had to do a complete restore to factory condition recovery,where the Netbook is restored to the condition it was before you bought it. Which also reinstalls Windows. Which was no fun.

So- DO NOT WHATEVER YOU DO download Stardock My Colors,Window Blinds,or you will have the same problem I did.

Instead use Oceanis or Personalization Panel to add wallpaper to Windows 7 Starter. Both these software's is approved by Seven Forums and they say it is safe to use. I use Personalization panel,which also works if you set your theme on windows Classic like I have. and I made a video about it here. Andrea Borman.

hdafler (author)2012-05-11

I LOVE YOU!!! I'm saved from the forever boring default wallpaper!!!

calbertyn (author)2011-11-25

Worked like a charm first time, thank you very much, in Afrikaans:" Baie Dankie"

ViperSniper (author)calbertyn2012-05-11

Hey its nice to meet other Afrikaans people here

mlomarda (author)2012-03-26

My taskbar is gone, and it only left the picture.. :(

jsnwrd (author)2012-02-26

Thank you for posting and sharing the instructions on changing the background. I've changed the wallpaper with no issues but now have a problem with my screensaver that I think is related: I turn off the screensaver or change it but it just reverts back to the previous settings. I think I need to change something in the previous changes to allow changes to the screensaver. Any ideas?

buek05 (author)2011-12-29

do we have to pay for stardock

About This Instructable




Bio: A g33k...a artist..and on top of it a retro gamer
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