How to Restore a Desktop Background

Sometimes, personalized computer desktop backgrounds and appearances are accidentally altered, and there is no obvious way to restore them. Luckily, there is a quick and easy way to get your desktop background back.

Low angle view of a young man using a laptop on a surfboard
credit: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

Step

Open the Control Panel. Click on the "Start" menu and from it select "Control Panel."

Step

Click "Appearance and Personalization" in the main Control Panel window, and then select the "Change Desktop Background" option, located under "Personalization."

Step

Click the Browse option, to the right of the "Location" drop-down bar, at the top of the screen. In the resulting dialogue box, select the previous desktop background image file from your hard drive. If the desktop background you want to restore is a preinstalled image, instead of clicking "Browse," click on the "Location" drop-down bar, and select Windows Wallpapers. Scroll through window below the drop-down menu to find the wallpaper you want.

Step

Set the size option for the desktop background. Click the radio button to the left of the image size you want for your desktop background.

Step

Click OK to restore the background to the desktop.