Moving your wallpapers

Microsoft, in all its blessed wisdom, decided to keep Windows wallpapers in the system directory. This can lead to stability and\or security issues (“I was trying to install a wallpaper of my kids at the lake, and I saw this folder called SYSTEM32 taking up a bunch of space, so I tried to delete it, and now my computer won’t boot!”). It can also make disk images needlessly large: because Windows does such a crappy job of using JPG images as wallpaper, I keep around 125MB of wallpapers in my own WINDOWS folder, along with a 300MB archive file of wallpapers not currently in use.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could change the location that Windows looks in when you right-click on the desktop and choose Properties > Desktop? Well you can! Just fire up Regedit and go to the following key:


Look for a string called WallPaperDir. The value will probably be at the default location – %SystemRoot%\Web\Wallpaper. Simply change this to whatever directory you want to use (perhaps F:\Wallpaper) and close Regedit. No reboot is needed – the next time you open the applet, Windows will look in the directory of your choosing!

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