I Can't Change the Desktop Background on XP

Windows XP Professional has a setting to prevent users from changing the desktop background. This is particularly useful for businesses, where management strives to maintain a professional image and discourage inappropriate desktop backgrounds. If you are unable to change the background on a Windows XP Professional computer that you have purchased, it is likely that the previous owner has enabled this option. You can disable it and restore the ability to change the Windows XP desktop background by using the Group Policy Editor application.

Instructions

    • 1

      Click the "Start" button. Select "Run." Or you can press the Windows key and the "R" key simultaneously. Omitting the quotation marks, type "gpedit.msc" and press "Enter" to display the Group Policy Editor.

    • 2

      Click the plus sign next to "Administrative Templates" under the "User Configuration" category. Click the plus sign next to the "Desktop" folder. Click the "Active Desktop" folder.

    • 3

      Double-click the "Active Desktop Wallpaper" group policy on the right side of the window. Select the "Not Configured" radio button and click "OK."

    • 4

      Click the plus sign next to the "Control Panel" folder, and then click the "Display" folder.

    • 5

      Double-click the "Prevent Changing Wallpaper" group policy on the right side of the window. Select the "Not Configured" radio button and click "OK."

    • 6

      Close the Group Policy Editor and restart the computer. When the computer finishes restarting, you can select the desktop wallpaper of your choice.

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