Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can't Change Desktop Background

  1. #11


    Posts : 1,093
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview


    I'm going to go back and read your above post in great detail; however, I would like you to try just a test (as my name implies). So, can you please try and download a different theme (pick any one for a test) and see if you can apply it.

    Themes - Microsoft Windows

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Posts : 1,093
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview


    Quote Originally Posted by Klaw117 View Post
    Unless anyone else has any possible methods, I think I'll just wait until Windows 8.1 comes out and then do a clean install (hopefully that won't take too much life out of my SSD). It's not like this is harming anything.
    You will be fine doing a clean install on your SSD. I have one installed on my test rig and I have done many clean installs and tons of system image restores without instance. BTW, my SSD SMART data still reports the condition of the drive as excellent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Klaw117 View Post
    On a side note, does anyone know how to get rid of one of the duplicate "Wallpapers" locations or why the "DesktopBackgrounds" location doesn't exist according to an error that pops up?
    I noticed the one wallpaper location is located on an "E" drive so maybe you have the other wallpaper location elsewhere? Also, is the E drive an internal drive? On the other issue, the only thing I have in the DesktopBackgrounds location (you are getting an error on) are the backgrounds from any 3rd-party themes I have downloaded. Can't explain how or why you are getting that error unless the folder is missing. However, all things considered, I have to ask if you have had any previous malware infections that might have attempted to lock your desktop image in place and/or attempted to impose an unwanted (and unchangable) theme and you were somehow able to work around that issue but were left with the remnants you are trying to fix now.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Klaw117 View Post
    In the default themes, the picture location is "Windows Desktop Backgrounds." What I kept doing before was selecting "Pictures Library" to find my other backgrounds and that kept messing it up, but I have no idea why. The only locations that don't screw it up are the two "Wallpaper" options (the same folder ended up being listed twice because I think I accessed it once with the "Browse" button and another time by right-clicking on a picture inside and selecting the option to use it as a background), "Windows Desktop Backgrounds," and "Solid Colors." If I click on any other locations, my original problem will resurface.

    I changed my background when trying to follow the last step of Brink's solution, but it was through right-clicking on it and selecting the appropriate option. That caused the picture location in the Personalization window to default to the Wallpapers folder. I decided to mess around and see if I could change the location. I could, but again, it was only to the four locations listed above. All the other ones caused the problem to resurface. Then, just to see what would happen, I switched back to a default theme and tried to see if I could change the location to any of the other folders. Again, it only worked on the folders mentioned above. I don't know if this was the case before I tried any of the solutions since before, I kept trying to click on the "Pictures Library" location, which caused the error. I only started messing around after following the last step of Brink's solution, which had me change my profile picture. If I click on one of the bad locations and screw up the window, closing the window and reopening it will get rid of the screw-up, but if I click on one of the bad locations again, the screw-up will arise again.

    I don't know if this actually helps anyone figure out what's going on. Like I said, this seems like a very odd error. I'll try to elaborate if you don't understand what I'm saying.

    What folders to you have included in your Pictures library?

    Do you have any issues opening your Pictures library?

    If you have a ton of large size images in your Pictures library, then that could sometimes cause a delay or stall in loading them like this.



    Quote Originally Posted by Klaw117 View Post
    On a side note, does anyone know how to get rid of one of the duplicate "Wallpapers" locations or why the "DesktopBackgrounds" location doesn't exist according to an error that pops up?

    The tutorial below will show you how to clear the location history to only have the defaults again.

    Desktop Background - Remove Picture Location History - Windows 7 Help Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Posts : 18
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by JustATest View Post
    I'm going to go back and read your above post in great detail; however, I would like you to try just a test (as my name implies). So, can you please try and download a different theme (pick any one for a test) and see if you can apply it.

    Themes - Microsoft Windows
    I can install themes just fine. I don't think this was ever part of the initial problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustATest View Post
    You will be fine doing a clean install on your SSD. I have one installed on my test rig and I have done many clean installs and tons of system image restores without instance. BTW, my SSD SMART data still reports the condition of the drive as excellent.

    However, all things considered, I have to ask if you have had any previous malware infections that might have attempted to lock your desktop image in place and/or attempted to impose an unwanted (and unchangable) theme and you were somehow able to work around that issue but were left with the remnants you are trying to fix now.
    Thanks for the reassurance. And I've only had Windows 8 running for three days (which is why it took so long for me to migrate here from the Windows 7 Forums), so I doubt I was ever infected. Windows Defender never complained about anything. I haven't downloaded anything unusual and I haven't visited any shady sites yet. The only site that could even remotely be considered fishy that I've visited was a site that hosted console game .iso files. Even so, I never ran anything that I downloaded from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    What folders to you have included in your Pictures library?

    Do you have any issues opening your Pictures library?

    If you have a ton of large size images in your Pictures library, then that could sometimes cause a delay or stall in loading them like this.


    The tutorial below will show you how to clear the location history to only have the defaults again.

    Desktop Background - Remove Picture Location History - Windows 7 Help Forums
    I only have the two default folders and one self-created folder from my E:\ HDD (I didn't want to keep my files in my SSD). The two default files don't have anything in them except for one Nvidia folder since the driver installer puts it there by default and the E:\ folder only has the picture I use for my Downloads library and five pictures that I'm using as backgrounds right now. I have no issues opening my Pictures library through Windows Explorer. Also, thanks for the location history fix.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10


    Klaw,

    As a test, remove the E:\ folder from your Pictures library to see if you still have this issue afterwards.

    Library - Remove Folder from in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Posts : 1,093
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview


    The reason I suggested you try and download the third-party themes was an attempt to try and further isolate the issue, and, if your response is that you can apply them OK, then that helps a bit. However, with an installation only 3 days old, why not just opt to do a clean install; however, if you took the upgrade route, I can understand why you might be hesitant to do so. However, upgrades don't always work that well and especially when you are attempting to upgrade to a preview edition. Good luck.

    UPDATE: OOPS, don't know where I got that 8.1 idea from... sorry about that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Posts : 18
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Klaw,

    As a test, remove the E:\ folder from your Pictures library to see if you still have this issue afterwards.

    Library - Remove Folder from in Windows 8
    Thanks, but that didn't work.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustATest View Post
    The reason I suggested you try and download the third-party themes was an attempt to try and further isolate the issue, and, if your response is that you can apply them OK, then that helps a bit. However, with an installation only 3 days old, why not just opt to do a clean install; however, if you took the upgrade route, I can understand why you might be hesitant to do so. However, upgrades don't always work that well and especially when you are attempting to upgrade to a preview edition. Good luck.

    UPDATE: OOPS, don't know where I got that 8.1 idea from... sorry about that.
    I originally didn't want to do a clean install of Windows 8 again because of SSD concerns, but since you said it's really not that bad, perhaps I'll consider it. Another issue was having to re-download my Steam library, but I suppose I could just leave my computer on overnight and have it download while I'm sleeping. This all seems a bit drastic for a mostly unnoticeable, albeit weird issue though. I'm perfectly content with waiting until Windows 8.1 comes out.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Posts : 1,093
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview


    You will not have any issue with SSD wear. Go for it! Steam library? I would definitely do a clean install and test at these intervals:

    Right after the clean install
    Again after all Windows Updates have been applied.
    (This is a good time to make a system image BTW)
    Start installing your programs and see if the problem surfaces again.
    (If it does, you have a system image ready for emergency recovery)

    Good luck.

    Note to Brink: The pop-up issue just happened again while typing this response. Laptop, 8.1, IE 11.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Posts : 1,093
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview


    @Brink: Just a thought. Do you think it would be appropriate for the OP to try the SFC + DISM combination at this point? I've seen David Bailey recommend this combination a few times with success; however, I have never personally used those two in tandem so I can't determine if there would be any destructive effects in this particular case. Your thoughts please.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Posts : 22,564
    64-bit Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by JustATest View Post
    @Brink: Just a thought. Do you think it would be appropriate for the OP to try the SFC + DISM combination at this point? I've seen David Bailey recommend this combination a few times with success; however, I have never personally used those two in tandem so I can't determine if there would be any destructive effects in this particular case. Your thoughts please.
    Already did from post #4 and #6, but it didn't help.

    Can't Change Desktop Background

    I would say at this point, a clean install may be best.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Can't Change Desktop Background
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