Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Windows 10  

    Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Windows 10

    Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Windows 10

    How to Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Customization
    14 Apr 2020
    Designer Media Ltd



    How to Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Windows 10


    Your desktop background (also called wallpaper) can be a picture from your personal collection or included with Windows, a solid color, or a slideshow playing selected pictures randomly on all displays.

    This tutorial will show you how to allow or prevent changing the desktop background for specific or all users in Windows 10.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to allow or prevent changing the desktop background.

    You will need to activate Windows before you can personalize your PC.



    Contents

    • Option One: To Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Local Group Policy Editor
    • Option Two: To Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background using a REG file



    EXAMPLE: Desktop Background Settings when Prevented
    Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Windows 10-background_settings.jpg






    OPTION ONE

    To Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Local Group Policy Editor


    The Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

    All editions can use Option Two below.


    1 Open the all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators Local Group Policy Editor for how you want this policy applied.

    2 In the left pane of the Local Group Policy Editor, click/tap on to expand User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Control Panel, and Personalization. (See screenshot below)

    Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Windows 10-desktop_background_gpedit-1.jpg

    3 In the right pane of Personalization, double click/tap on Prevent changing desktop background to edit it. (see screenshot above)

    4 Do step 5 (allow) or step 6 (prevent) below for what you would like to do.


    5 To Allow Changing Desktop Background

    A) Select (dot) either Not Configured or Disabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    Not Configured is the default setting.


    6 To Prevent Changing Desktop Background

    A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

    Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Windows 10-desktop_background_gpedit-2.png

    7 When finished, you can close the Local Group Policy Editor if you like.






    OPTION TWO

    To Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background using a REG file


    The downloadable .reg files below will add and modify the DWORD value in the registry keys below.

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ActiveDesktop

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ActiveDesktop

    NoChangingWallPaper DWORD

    (delete) = Allow
    1 = Prevent


    1 Do step 2 (allow) or step 3 (prevent) below for what you would like to do.


    2 To Allow Changing Desktop Background for All Users

    This is the default setting.

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

    Allow_changing_desktop_background.reg

    Download


    3 To Prevent Changing Desktop Background for All Users

    A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.

    Prevent_changing_desktop_background.reg

    Download

    4 Save the .reg file to your desktop.

    5 Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to merge it.

    6 When prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve the merge.

    7 You can now delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 26,203
    Win11 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       #1

    This morning on my "My Topics" page on MSN News:
    Allow or Prevent Changing Desktop Background in Windows 10-image-001.png
      My Computers

  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 60,487
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #2

      My Computers

  3. TairikuOkami's Avatar
    Posts : 5,050
    Windows 11 Home
       #3

    This policy is sort of funny, it prevent users from changing wallpaper using Windows settings, but users can use any other third party software, which can change a wallpaper, like an image viewer.
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 3
    windows 10
       #4

    User Configuration => Administrative Templates => Desktop => Desktop =>Desktop Wallpaper => Enabled => in the “Wallpaper Name” box, enter the full path to the image you want to use as the desktop background => set the “Wallpaper style” drop-down menu to how you want the image handled => ok

    Specify Default Desktop Background in Windows 10 Windows 10 Customization Tutorials
    Last edited by Brink; 15 Aug 2017 at 13:59. Reason: updated link
      My Computer

  5. JohnGray's Avatar
    Posts : 44
    Windows 10
       #5

    Hello Shawn

    Please could you tell me why, if I want to "Prevent Changing Desktop Background" for all users using the regedit value NoChangingWallPaper, it is necessary to specify the HKCU value as well as the HKLM value?
    Obviously the HKCU value applies only to the current user, and not to all the other defined users.

    Am I right to assume that if I have set the Desktop Background to "Solid Colo[u]r", the user cannot change the RGB value of this colour, nor change the background to "Picture" or to "Slideshow"?

    Thanks!
      My Computer

  6. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 60,487
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #6

    JohnGray said:
    Hello Shawn

    Please could you tell me why, if I want to "Prevent Changing Desktop Background" for all users using the regedit value NoChangingWallPaper, it is necessary to specify the HKCU value as well as the HKLM value?
    Obviously the HKCU value applies only to the current user, and not to all the other defined users.

    Am I right to assume that if I have set the Desktop Background to "Solid Colo[u]r", the user cannot change the RGB value of this colour, nor change the background to "Picture" or to "Slideshow"?

    Thanks!

    Hello John,

    The group policy uses the HKCU path, but to have it applied to all users when manually setting it via Registry Editor, you will need to also set it at the HKLM path. It's not required to set the HKLM path if set using option 1 via Local Group Policy Editor. Just one of those quirks.

    Correct, if the policy is set to prevent changing, users will not be able to change the desktop background from what it is currently set as.
      My Computers

  7. JohnGray's Avatar
    Posts : 44
    Windows 10
       #7

    Hello Shawn

    I've been doing a bit of work with variants of your .REG files for this Desktop Background change prevention feature and find:
    1) the HKLM setting, by itself, will (not surprisingly) prevent any user on that PC from changing the desktop background
    2) the HKCU setting, by itself, has no effect whatever on preventing the current user (and not surprisingly other users on that PC) from changing the desktop background

    Do you find the same?
    If correct that would indicate that preventing/allowing a change in the desktop background is a machine-wide setting only, and cannot be particularised to any specific user or users...

    Thanks!
      My Computer

  8. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 60,487
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter
       #8

    JohnGray said:
    Hello Shawn

    I've been doing a bit of work with variants of your .REG files for this Desktop Background change prevention feature and find:
    1) the HKLM setting, by itself, will (not surprisingly) prevent any user on that PC from changing the desktop background
    2) the HKCU setting, by itself, has no effect whatever on preventing the current user (and not surprisingly other users on that PC) from changing the desktop background

    Do you find the same?
    If correct that would indicate that preventing/allowing a change in the desktop background is a machine-wide setting only, and cannot be particularised to any specific user or users...

    Thanks!

    Hello John,

    The group policy using option 1 sets it in the HKCU location.

    I included both the HKCU and HKLM locations in the .reg file in option 2 just to be thorough. HKLM is required when done manually to apply, and HKCU in case option 1 was previously used.

    Option 1 can be used for specific or all users since it gets applied by group policy.

    Option 2 can only be used for all users since HKLM must be used when done manually.
      My Computers


 

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