How to change your Windows 10 login screen background and desktop wallpaper

Nothing is quite as impersonal and boring as the generic background already loaded on your computer. Whether it’s a drop of water or a landscape view of a place you’ve never been, it’s time to change it to something more reflective of you.

We’re going to show you how to walk through the Settings section of your Windows 10 to show off your favorite photos. Your personalized computer is just a few clicks away.

Step 1: Navigating to the personalization settings window

The shortest route to the Personalization panel is just to right-click on the desktop and select Personalize from the menu. Or, type “personalization” into the search box, and click the first result. Once the window appears, follow steps 2 and 3 below to successfully change your Windows 10 login screen background and desktop wallpaper.

The long route to accessing the Personalization panel is clicking the Action Center icon (which looks sort of like a speech balloon) located next to the system clock on the desktop taskbar. After that, click the All Settings panel (gear icon), and select the Personalization option once the Settings app opens on the screen. You can also simply locate the Settings app and dig into the Personalization section from there.

Step 2: Changing the background image

The first tab in the Personalization window is the Background tab, which allows you to change your desktop image to a saved picture, a solid color, or a slideshow of various backgrounds. After selecting the Picture option, you can choose your desktop picture by clicking Browse and selecting a photo from your computer’s hard drive or Windows’ small selection of themed images.

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If you’re selecting a folder for the Slideshow option, then you can click Browse and select a folder containing pictures you would like your machine to cycle through. Once you’ve chosen a folder, you can decide how long you want each image to be on your screen before cycling to the next.

Keep in mind that if you have multiple monitors, a different picture will be selected for each monitor, and each one will also cycle through your images. For both a photo or a slideshow, you can choose to fit the picture to the screen, stretch it, or select from one of several other options that ensure your images will appear the way you’d like them to on your display(s).

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Finally, you can also select a solid color as your background, either from a palette or by creating your custom colors.

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Step 3: Changing the login screen image

If you intend to change just the login screen image — or already changed your background image — simply click on the Lock Screen tab on the left side of the Personalization menu. Much like with a background image, users can either select a saved picture from the computer’s hard drive or set up a slideshow. Users also have the option to choose the Windows Spotlight variant, which displays a randomly generated image from the Bing search engine. After making a selection, the change happens automatically.

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Note that there are technically two sign-in screens, one for your password and one for the lock screen. To change the password screen as well, look for the toggle in Lock Screen that says Show Lock Screen Background Picture On the Sign-In Screen. Doing so will ensure the image in question will appear in both places, allowing for a smoother transition.

Here, you can also choose which apps display details on the lock screen, as well as the apps that show quick statuses. For each, just click on the icon and select an app from the resulting list. Not all apps can show detailed information, so there are likely more quick status options. As you add more apps to Windows 10, you’ll be presented with more options, allowing you to choose the information you want to be displayed on your lock screen.

The alternative method: Use an app

Maybe you prefer to change your background images more frequently (and with less effort). If that’s the case, you might favor an alternative to regularly diving into the Settings app. In that case, using an app that will do the work for you is an excellent option. There are a few apps that affect background images. One of the most popular is Wallpaper Studio 10. The free app allows you to browse different wallpapers with resolutions up to 8K. Then, you can use the images as your lock screen, home screen, or both. The app uses a freemium model, which means there are ads on the basic version. You’ll need to upgrade to a $1.50 paid license to get rid of ads.

You can also use Wallpaper Studio 10 to set up slideshows of all your favorite wallpapers. The slideshow mode will showcase all the wallpapers that you’ve downloaded through the app. Wallpaper Studio 10 also offers a holiday category, so your background can change with the seasons.

The Wallpaper Studio allows you to integrate with Bing images as well. You can choose from the many pictures available from Bing as your desktop background, which offers additional customization on your Windows 10 device. 

Personalizing Windows 10 with high-quality images takes a little bit of knowledge, but the high-quality images add a little flair and excitement each time you sign on. This guide covered everything you could need to know about changing desktop background images.

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