This document pertains to computers with Windows Vista.
Understanding how spyware can impact desktop wallpaper
If the Windows Desktop background color cannot be changed or you cannot add a picture as your Windows desktop background (wallpaper), then your computer has likely been infected with a type spyware in the past. Even if you have cleaned your system of spyware, you still cannot change your desktop background.
If you cannot change your desktop background, spyware has most likely installed a file that is causing your desktop background to lock up. To resolve this problem, you need to remove the spyware file that has installed itself onto your computer. Perform the steps that are listed below in the exact order given
NOTE:You must be logged into a user account with administrative privileges to perform these steps. The logon account is the name that you select when opening Windows. Normally, on a home computer, the first account that was initially created will work. Do not use a standard user, limited user, or guest account.
Restoring wallpaper selections by removing entries created by spyware
To remove the spyware file that prevents you from changing your desktop wallpaper, follow the steps below:
and type regedit
into the search
field, and select regedit
from the list.
If prompted for permission by the User Account Control
pop-up window, click Continue
The Registry Editor
from the top of the list in the main window.
Figure 1: Select Computer entry in the registry list
To create a copy of the registry before making any changes, click File > Export
, type a filename that is easy for you to remember, and then click Save
A copy of the registry is saved for back-up purposes to the Documents
folder. In the unlikely event that an incorrect key is deleted or problems occur after using these steps, you can browse to the exported file and double-click it to restore the registry.
In windows Vista, click the arrow next to the following items in the list:
Look for a System
folder listed under the Policies
Select the System
Select the file named Wallpaper
in the column to the right, and press the delete
key. Confirm the deletion by clicking Yes
NOTE:If there is no Wallpaper
entry in the registry, the problem was not caused by any known spyware program. You should exit the Registry Editor without making any changes. Try searching the Internet for an alternate solution.
Figure 2: Wallpaper registry value inside Policies registry key
Close the Registry Editor and restart the computer.
You should now be able to change your desktop background.