How-To Geek

Turn Your Desktop into a Picture Slideshow in Windows 7

Are you looking for a way to easily change your desktop background periodically throughout the day? Today we look at using the desktop slideshow feature in Windows 7 that will automatically change the wallpaper at different time intervals.

Using Desktop Slideshow 

To create your slideshow right-click on the desktop and click Properties.


Click on Desktop Background located at the bottom of the window.


Now hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard and select each picture you would like to show on the desktop. Then choose the amount of time to to change the pictures, you can select from 10 seconds all the way up to a full day. Click the box next to Shuffle to vary them up even more.


After you’ve enabled this setting you’ll notice it says Slide Show under Desktop Background.


If you’d rather not muck around in the properties panel to add new wallpaper, you can simply head into the folder with all of your pictures, wallpapers, or photos, select the ones you want and use “Set as desktop background” from the right-click menu.

Once you’ve enabled the desktop slideshow, if you want to skip over to the next wallpaper you can simply right-click on the desktop and then use “Next desktop background” from the menu.


This is a great way to add variety to your desktop, show off some pictures you’ve taken, or just mess around with while you’re bored at work.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 11/4/09

Comments (13)

  1. TheBigOldDog

    There is an annoying limitation in that you can’t add photos from multiple folders (if there’s a way, I haven’t found it). All of the wallpaper changers I can think of, dating back to Win95 days, allowed you to add as many files from as many locations as you wanted and you could even change it (add or remove photos) on the fly. None of this is possible with the native Win7 wallpaper changers. How could they mess up something so simple and basic? It just makes them look bad!

  2. Brendan

    Has anyone answered this as it’s very frustrating that you can only add one folder as the desktop wallpaper……..

  3. kenpmason

    If you have Windows 7, there’s a new screen saver:PhotoScereenSaver.scr. It allows you to pick any folder, and play a sideshow, with your choice of transitions.

  4. CGIMana

    We aren’t talking about ScreenSAver Pictures, we rae talking about the background pictures you see while using your computer, not looking at a slid show.

    The rest:
    I found this trying to find a way for the Desktop Slidshow to use all pictures in a folder, not just the ones you select.

    About the can’t add from multiple folders, just put them all into the same folder. I am sure you have enough space to have doubles. unless your talking about tens of thousands of pictures.


  5. wendy

    Is there a way to make Vista have rotating desktops? I had the RC and really miss this feature.

  6. Ivo

    On MCE you have the option show pictures while playing music. This is an awesome slideshow, is it possible to have that on my background?

  7. Abhijeet Pathak

    You can create a new Library in Windows 7. Then add all your picture folders to it. They will be linked, not copied. And specify that library as source.

  8. TaxTom

    OK, guys, how about a static “picture-in-picture” desktop background wallpaper in Windows 7? In other words, not a slide show, not changing the wallpaper at a pre-determined interval, not changing the wallpaper at all, just having two (or more) photographs (or “wallpaper” files) showing at the same time, and being able to adjust their dimensions, and where they are located on the monitor. Does anyone know how to do this?

  9. boyd musonda

    windows 7 its great…i like it.

  10. HackToHell

    You guys need a Ytb account .. I hate pictures

  11. abul

    i like you

  12. Unknow

    I dont need that desktop slideshow on my W7…..because that can be disturb anti-virus scanner will take a little longer till completed. so forget desktop slideshow. best is use a desktop background picture. that will not disturb while anti-virus scanning.

  13. Birta

    Hi my computer doesn’t have a personalized. I have windows 7 and i think that has just been forgotten to download or som. Can someone help me cause i would really want to have a picter on my desktop? :)

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