Old and new Windows 10 default desktop backgrounds

Windows 10’s May 2019 Update features a new, brighter default desktop background. It looks great—with the new light theme. If you use Windows 10’s dark theme, you’ll probably want a darker background.

Strangely enough, Windows 10’s original desktop background has been removed from the latest version of Windows 10. You’ll have to download it from the web or copy its files from an older Windows 10 PC.

Microsoft isn’t hosting this wallpaper image anywhere we can find, but you can download it from elsewhere. We found a 4K copy of Windows 10’s original desktop wallpaper on Imgur. Different sizes—and more of Windows 10’s other default wallpapers—are also available for download. (Microsoft makes other Windows 10 wallpapers available here, but not the original Windows 10 wallpaper.)

Just right-click the image file on Imgur and save it to your computer using your browser—in Chrome, select “Save Image As.”

How to download Windows 10's original default background

If you have a computer running an older version of Windows 10, you can also save a copy of the desktop wallpaper. Just head to C:\Windows\Web\4K\Wallpaper\Windows to find the background files in a variety of resolutions. The “img0_3840x2160.jpg” file is the 4K version.

Save it to OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, a USB drive, a network file share, or email it to yourself—however you’d like to store it. Move it to your new PC.

Where Windows 10 stores default wallpapers

WIth the image downloaded to your PC or copied from another computer, you can right-click it and select “Set as Desktop Background” to make it your system’s desktop background.

You can also head to Settings > Personalization > Background and use the “Browse” button to find the wallpaper image on your system.

You can download more free desktop backgrounds by visiting the Windows Themes section in the Microsoft Store. Of course, you can download an image from anywhere on the web and make it your desktop wallpaper, too—just make sure it’s high enough resolution or it’ll look bad when it’s stretched to fill your computer’s desktop.

RELATED: Everything New in Windows 10's May 2019 Update, Available Now

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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