How-To Geek

How to get DreamScene Animated Desktops Back in Windows 7

Windows DreamScene was a great feature in Windows Vista, which allowed you to put videos as desktop wallpapers but unfortunately it was replaced by a slideshow feature in Windows 7. Here’s how to get it back.

For example, you could put a live aquarium on you desktop like the image above. Fortunately though, we know just a way to bring it back to Windows 7. No more static cling for your desktop; now your wallpaper won’t have to simply stand still, and it can get animated and dance around.

Adding DreamScence Back to Windows 7

We will use a tool called “Windows 7 DreamScene Activator”, the download link is available at the bottom of the article.  After downloading the file, extract it somewhere.  After extracting, right-click Windows 7 DreamScene Activator and choose “Run as administrator”.

The program doesn’t need installation so it will start immediately.  The program’s interface doesn’t need any explaining, you just hit the “Enable DreamScene” button and everything is fine.

Now DreamScene is enabled and ready. To use DreamScene just right-click on any video file and choose “Set as background”.

Just make sure that the video file is .mpg or .wmv because the program supports just those 2 file formats. You can put any video you have on your computer or you can download more from the Internet. Link to the DreamScene videos website is provided at the bottom of the article.

Note: If the icons font color looks blurry, change the background to solid black from personalization then use the DreamScene video you want again.

Download DreamScene Activator [via TheWindowsClub]

Download more DreamScenes [via DreamScenes]

Omar Hafiz is a geeky Linux user who loves customizing Ubuntu to fit his personal style. Whether it's the login screen or his Gnome panels, he's got them tweaked to perfection.

  • Published 04/6/11

Comments (19)

  1. Ali

    @Omar: htg has written 1 or 2 articles on how to activate dreamscene on windows 7 but can you tell us about a software that supports all formats?

  2. Omar Hafiz

    @ Ali – Try changing the extension of the file. For example, if it was .avi change it to .wmv. It may work but I’m not sure. If it works please let me know.

  3. rayden

    in last time few .dream (not wmv) files is not playing (see MasterBaron autor in stardock relised last version of deskscapes but it trial ((( old version (not trial) is good working in windows7 x64 but last time don’t open a lot of .dream… Dreamscene enabler give you only wmv playing in desktop but real dream files use OpenGL libriaries and can offload the CPU and use your GPU resource…

  4. theprancingboar

    Just stumbled over your article. A few month ago I’ve seen a video on which I found very interesting. So as I found your article here I was curious and searched for the video that was swirling around in my head.
    I downloaded the Dreamscene Activator, downloaded the Video from vimeo ( and converted it to a .wmv-file. Everything works very fine but as you can see here the letters of the icons are out of place/invisible. I tried to fix it but without success.

    Anyone with a solution for that?

  5. Hatryst

    @Ali: You can convert the file using any common video converter (Format Factory, for instance)
    WMV is most preferable for dreamscene….

  6. Sundae

    Only problem is that this uses considerable resources. On my Core 2 Duo Dell laptop, CPU use increases by 20% while the DreamScene is running.

  7. Sundae

    And GPU use increases by 35%! Ouch!

  8. rnewby0

    Doesn’t work. When right-clicking video, “Set as Desktop Background” is not in the drop-down

  9. TechGeek01

    @omar You said that the application edited the registry for you. I get an error when i try to run the program, so do you know what the registry key is and what I can change it to to do it manually? If so, that would be of great help.

  10. TechGeek01

    Never mind. It works now, but what is the registry key for this if anybody knows?

  11. dcoonich

    ATI x800 on 64bit Win7 – disable second monitor if dreamscene complains about not having enough textures…. Otherwise X800 works great…

  12. Greg Edwards

    @theprancingboar – try changing your desktop background to solid black before you enable the DreamScene. That should fix the icon caption colors.

    Follow-up question to the group: I noticed my DreamScene video randomly stops playing. When I notice, I just have to right-click and choose Play DreamScene to make it resume. Anyone know what causes it to stop in the first place?

  13. john3347

    It is disappointing that you did not mention that this only works if AERO is enabled. I am glad that I created a restore point before I downloaded the changes to my computer. I hope system restore removes all the entries.

    If any readers (other than myself) use classic interface, be aware that this will not work.

  14. hoop

    Has anyone found a permanent fix for the icon labels getting messed up on the desktop.. if you switch it from a picture back to dreamscene, it fixes it, but I hate having to re-configure everytime I have to restart.

  15. semeno

    no fix was ever released,ist unfixeble I tnink:)

  16. someone

    This is NOT a true solution as the Vista version of DreamScene makes desktop icon labels transparent and it crashes Explorer once in a while making it very unstable. DreamScene is gone :( and there is no way to get it back working bug-free.

  17. Jj-

    OR…just d/l VLC Media Player and watch ANY format (avi, wmv, mpg…etc) as your background…just set “Enable Wallpaper Mode” under Preference / Video…

  18. K-t-G

    Change your desktop background to either black or white to set the opposing icon font color. Then set your dreamscene, and the icon color will stay to match..

  19. knockers

    it works…just take your time and use .wmv files…you can use windows movie maker to change the file type if you don’t want to download things with spyware. thanks.

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