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Prevent Wallpaper and Screensaver Changes in Windows 7

If you share your computer with other family members, office colleagues or friends- you might want to restrict them from changing Windows wallpapers and screensavers. This is because you may want to keep a permanent wallpaper and screensaver on your desktop and prevent other users from installing their own wallpapers, which might be distracting at times.

In this article, we will learn a Windows registry trick which prevents other users of the same computer to change Windows wallpapers and screensavers.
Here are the steps that needs to be done:

Note: You will be editing the Windows registry in this tip. if you are unsure of how to proceed, please consult a professional. You have been warned!!

1. Type regedit in Windows search box and hit the Enter key.


2. This will open the Windows Registry Editor. Click the File menu and choose Export


This will open a file dialog box where you can enter a name and save the current settings of Windows registry to a .reg file. You will need this registry backup, in case you want to revert to the earlier settings at a later point of time.

3. Switch back to the Registry Editor window and find the entry HKEY_CURRENT_USER in the left pane.


Click the small arrow to expand the entry and then navigate to the Software subkey.


4. Click the small arrow placed to the left of the Software subkey and navigate to the Microsoft subkey. Your goal is to find the following key down the left pane of the registry editor window:


5. When you have reached the end of the above path, the registry editor window will look like the following:


6. Now right click on the right pane of the Registry Editor window and select New > String Value.


7. Enter the name of the value as wallpaper. Double click the new string and edit the value data field, thus entering the location of the custom wallpaper you want to display.


Remember: You have to enter the correct path of the wallpaper stored somewhere on your hard drive. Do not ignore the extension of the image.

8. All done – you have just defined a permanent wallpaper on your system. Now other users won’t be able to change wallpapers because this registry setting will override their display preferences.

Now it’s time to define a permanent screensaver on your system which can’t be changed by other users.

9. Switch back to the registry editor window, right click and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.


10. Set the value name as NoDispScrSavPage and set the value of the data as 1.


11. You are all done, now close the registry editor window and restart the computer for the changes to take effect. The next time any other user reboots Windows, they will be greeted with your defined image as the desktop background. If other users try to change the wallpaper by right clicking on desktop and choosing Personalize > Change Desktop background, the action will be denied.

Should you want to revert the changes, simply double click the registry file backed up in step 2. This is a neat way to make sure that your desktop always has the same background image and no one else can change it with their own wallpapers.

~Amit Banerjee