Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Desktop wallpaper images look grainy and show artifacts

  1. #1


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8

    Desktop wallpaper images look grainy and show artifacts


    Hello guys, I recently installed Windows 8 from Windows 7 and immediately noticed something that continues to bother me. I may be splitting hairs by some people's definition, but I noticed that any image I set as my desktop background, whether higher resolution or matching the resolution of my display, I get a whole lot of little compression artifacts where there previously were none. I can take a pristine quality image, observe it in any viewing application as being pristine, and the instant I set it as the background, I get compression artifacts galore. Well, perhaps not "galore"... It's not quite like looking at a mosaic or anything, but detail all over are muddied and dulled. Colors don't pop and fine lines are all but entirely lost.

    In some cases it is more noticeable than others, but when it's there, it's extremely noticeable and not so easy on the eyes. I have no idea why this would be. I have not yet been able to troubleshoot other windows 8 machines to identify if the problem is isolated to my PC or not, but I will asap and let you all know what I find. For now I am assuming this is a problem that perhaps other people are coming across, as I have no idea what could have changed since I upgraded to 8.

    My computer had no such problems with 7, and I am a digital painter who unfortunately picks up on this stuff extremely easily. Ultimately, it looks in a lot of areas like somebody sporadically sharpened parts of the image, giving a slightly grainy effect, while blurring others. Anybody else noticing this? Google hasn't turned up any results on it, but it's a relatively new product for most people, so perhaps I am not alone. Like I said, I will cross check another computer within the next day and post my findings. For what it's worth, I am using an HP laptop equipped with 8 gigs of RAM, an i7 processor and an Intel 4000 graphics card.

    Thanks in advance.

    EDIT: I apologize, I see now that customization is probably where this thread fits best. If someone with administrator priveleges sees this, I would appreciate it if you could move it there.
    Last edited by CamWitt; 30 Oct 2012 at 22:41.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8


    I was actually able to find another thread about this problem at the bottom of this page in the similar threads list. I apologize for redundancy, but it is worth mentioning that the issue was not resolved.

    Windows degrades Desktop Background images

    Netbox's solution did not work for me.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    My guess would be either your desktop background got problem or try updating your graphics card. That might fix the issue.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8


    Okay guys, I fixed the issue with some help. Here's what's happening - and this isn't a problem isolated to me. Whether or not you've noticed, Windows 8 is downgrading the quality of all of our backgrounds. I believe this is in an effort to speed up the system by working with smaller files and using less memory. When you set an image as your desktop background in Widows 8, Windows saves an extremely lossy JPEG from your chosen image and puts it in a designated folder. This is the image used as your background, and it is a highly compressed duplicate of the file you chose. In my opinion, it looks bad, but if it's not bothering you, then I wouldn't worry about it, it may effectively serve a purpose (but I can't imagine how).

    To get the wallpaper to look good again, you'll have to trick Windows (who doesn't love fooling machines?) into thinking it is using it's compressed file by finding that file and replacing it with a file of the same name and extension, only at a minimum compression setting. Refresh the display by right clicking the background to see if you were successful. In some instances apparently the display will revert after a reboot, but mine has not. To learn where that file is located, look here: Windows 8 Compresses Wallpaper - OverclockersClub Forums Let me mention that to perform this fix, hidden files and folders must be visible.

    Find fredknex's post and follow his instructions. It seems he refutes his own findings by the edit he posted, but it worked for me and I have rebooted and refreshed multiple times since then. Windows 8 may or may not fix this issue in the future, but if it's bothering you as much as it bothered me, you can easily fix it yourself now.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 16
    Windows 8 64bit


    I had just noticed this particular issue this morning.

    JPEG files, no matter the quality of the save, are showing artifacts. PNG files seem to be just fine however, no matter the save quality.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 7
    Windows 8


    Unfortunately, no matter what the clarity of the image, the colors are noticeably dulled.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Desktop wallpaper images look grainy and show artifacts
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