How to fix error cannot change desktop background in Windows 10

If you cannot change the background image or set a new background image on Windows 10. You can easily enable the wallpaper change function on Windows 10 by making changes in Local Group Policy or the Registry.

By default, changing the background image or desktop wallpaper is very easy in Windows 10. Just right-click on any image file and select the Set as desktop background option to set the desktop background.

Or you can also go to SettingsPersonalizationBackground → Select a background image you like.

Fix error cannot change desktop Windows 10

Step 1: Check the activation status Windows

First, check the activation status of Windows 10.
How to: SettingsUpdate and Security (Windows Update, recovery, backup) → Activation.

In the right pane, you can see the current version of Windows 10 and its activation status. If Windows 10 has been activated, you will see the Windows is activated line appear next to Activation.

If Windows 10 has not been activated, you cannot change the background image using Settings. However, you can still set the background image by right-clicking on the image file and selecting the Set as desktop background option.

Step 2: Turn on the background change function on Group Policy

If someone could have prevented you from changing your desktop wallpaper by enabling policies in Group Policy. Follow the instructions below to make sure the background change functionality is not disabled on Group Policy.

Type gpedit.msc into the Start window or search box on the Taskbar. Press the Enter key to open Group Policy Editor.

Step 3: Access path: User Configuration → Administrative Templates → Control Panel → Personalization.

In the right pane, find the Prevent changing desktop background policy and double click to open its properties window.

cannot change background windows 10

Select Not Configured or Disabled to turn on the background change function.

Step 4: Enable the function to allow changing the background image on the Registry

Open Registry Editor by typing regedit in the Start window or the search box on the Taskbar and then pressing the Enter key
Click Yes button if you see the User Account Control dialog box appears.

In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ ActiveDesktop

Double click the NoChangeWallpaper value, and set its value to 0 to enable the ability to change the background image in Windows 10.


The above are 4 steps, you can apply in case you cannot change the background image on Windows 10. Hope it will be useful for you.

Please share with us if you have other ways to handle this error..

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