How-To Geek

Enable DreamScene in Any Version of Vista or Windows 7

Windows DreamScene was a utility available for Vista Ultimate that allowed users to set video as desktop wallpaper. It was dropped in Windows 7, but we’ll take a look at how to play DreamScenes in all versions of Windows 7 or Vista.

Downloading DreamScenes

First, you’ll need to find some DreamScenes to download. We’ve found some nice ones at both and DeviantArt. You can find those download links at the end of the article. They’ll come as compressed files, so you’ll need to extract them after downloading.


Windows 7 DreamScene Activator

If you are running Windows 7 you can use Windows 7 DreamScene Activator. This free portable utility enables DreamScene in both 32 & 64 bit versions of Windows 7. Users can then set either MPG or WMV files as desktop wallpaper.

Download and extract the Windows 7 DreamScene Activator (link below). Once extracted, you’ll need to run the application as administrator. Right-click on the .exe and select Run as administrator.


Click on Enable DreamScene. This will also restart Windows Explorer if it is open.


To play your DreamScene, browse for the file in Windows Explorer, right-click the file and select Set as Desktop Background.


Enjoy your new Windows 7 DreamScene.


Although it says it is for Windows 7 only, we were able to get it to work with no problems on Vista Home Premium x32 as well.


You can Pause the DreamScene at anytime by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Pause DreamScene.


When you are ready for a change, click Disable DreamScene and switch back to your previous wallpaper.


Using VLC Media Player

Users of all versions of Windows 7 & Vista can enable a DreamScene using VLC. Recently, we showed you how to set a video as your desktop wallpaper in VLC.  Since DreamScenes are in MPEG or WMV format, we will use the same tactic to display them as desktop wallpaper. We’ll just need to make a few additional tweaks to the VLC settings.

You’ll need to download and install VLC media player if you don’t already have it. You can find the download link below. Next, select Tools > Preferences from the Menu.


Select the Video button on the left and then choose DirectX video output from the Output dropdown list.


Next, select All under Show Settings at the lower left, then select the Video button on the left pane. Uncheck Show media title on video. This will prevent VLC from constantly showing the title of the video on the screen each time the video loops. Click Save and the restart VLC.


Now we will add the video to our playlist and set it to continuously loop. Select View > Playlist from the Menu.


Select the Add file button from the bottom of the Playlist window and select Add file.


Browse for your file and click Open.


Click the Loop button at the bottom so the video plays in a continuous loop.


Now, we’re ready to play the video. After the video starts playing, select Video > DirectX Wallpaper from the Menu, then minimize VLC.

 sshot-25 copy

If you’re using Aero Themes, you may get a pop-up warning and Windows will switch automatically to a basic theme.


If looping one video gets to be a little repetitive, you can add multiple videos to your playlist in VLC and loop the entire playlist. Just make sure you toggle the Loop button on the playlist window to Loop All.


Now you’ve got a nice DreamScene playing on your desktop. Another cool trick you can do with VLC is take snapshots of favorite movie scenes and set them as backgrounds.

When you’re ready to go back to your old wallpaper, maximize VLC, select Video and click DirectX Wallpaper again to turn it off the video background. Occasionally we were left with a black screen and had to manually change our wallpaper back to normal even after turning off the DirectX Wallpaper.


Note: Keep in mind that using the VLC method takes up a lot of resources so if you try to run it on older hardware, or say a netbook, you’re not going to get good results. We also tried to use the VLC method in XP, but couldn’t get it to work. If you have leave a comment and let us know.

While the DreamScene feature never really caught on in Vista, we find them to be a cool way to pump a little life into your desktop on any version of Vista or Windows 7.


DreamScenes from

DreamScenes from DeviantArt

Download VLC media player

Windows 7 DreamScene Activator

Andrew is a media center geek with some serious Windows skills. He's never far from a WiFi connection or a great cup of coffee.

  • Published 06/14/10

Comments (23)

  1. KBPrez

    This is SOOOO COOL. Thanks Geeks!

  2. barış

    i works on normal vista too :D

  3. Kishan Bagaria

    Vista already has DreamScene enabled so you don’t need to enable it.

  4. Erez

    It does work on xp!!

  5. DigitalGeekery

    Only Vista Ultimate had DreamScene.

  6. Dylan

    I’ve enabled DreamScene and put on a video wallpaper from the site but my icon text on my desktop has gone funny and disappeared. Only the shadow on the text is shown, anyone know why?

  7. mvp12


    If you have windows 7 ,Just right click on desktop, click> Personalize > desktop background > change how the picture fill the desktop, and again go to your dreamscene video and select as desktop background. That worked for me!

  8. Wes

    I have exactly the same problem like Dylan, it’s annoying :/

  9. Taylor

    The vlc method doesn’t take up many resources at all, I am doing this right now with a ten year old pentium III laptop :)

  10. Dylan

    Thank you that worked perfectly but once I did that it paused the DreamScene so I right clicked my video and set as the desktop background again and its working again, with the text. Thank you.

  11. steve

    I am confused. I have downloaded both VLC and dreamscape and nothing happens. On VISTA

  12. Roi

    Hey! I gave you this idea for an article The Geek!

  13. Vecuccio

    Does it work in XP ??

  14. Russell

    Thanks for the article, I just had to have my dreamscenes!!

  15. ray

    the vlc method works my xp, strange………

  16. Chronosome

    I downloaded it for my Windows 7, got too many errors, transparent icon text, and a slight slowdown, so I tried to uninstall it. That wasn’t easy (it doesn’t register with Control Panel), so I found a registry hack to help rid Windows of all traces of this annoyance. Unfortunately, this caused my slight slowdown to become even worse — now my icons won’t appear on my desktop until I refresh it. What a headache.

    Have you tried to “uninstall” this from your own machine? Any insights on how to fully do so?

  17. Chronosome

    Follow-up for any who are interested:
    It turns out that the desktop-organizing program Fences is what caused the icon-load problem. It doesn’t seem to play well with Dreamscene; for me, anyway.

  18. sicoy

    ok so i had this vid wallpaper working well…then i had shut down my laptop. when i turn it on again, the vid wallpaper dont work in a way that it only make my wallpaper black while showing no video that i playe…in desperate need of help please ?!?!?!?!

  19. UnderWaterHound

    Any fix on the transparent text?

  20. eXplorer

    ^The updated version fixes that.

  21. sully

    i ran it as admin, and now the “set as wallpaper” thing doesn’t come up, I’ve restarted my laptop (Intel i5 windows home premium 64 bit) and it still doesn’t work!! plz help!!

  22. Stephanie

    Thank you so much for putting this detailed step by step guide to turning on the Dream Scene feature on. I absolutely love it. I do have one minor issue that I’d appreciate if you can tell me how to fix it. I am running Windows Vista with the Vista Sidebar 64 bit. When the Sidebar is up my dreamscene does not completely cover my screen. There is a black bar behind my gadgets . I did turn off my sidebar and then the dreamscene did completely cover my page. How do I fix this and make it so my dreamscene covers the whole page and have my sidebar on too. I’d love to have both working at the same time. You are awesome! Thank you :)

  23. Chill Will

    doesn’t matter if i DL zip file or EXE file, DreamScene Activator stops working and windows looks for a solution that is never found. i have windows 7 home on a turion x2 64 accer laptop with 4gb. can any of you geeks help me?

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