How can I always have my photos available to use as Windows backgrounds?

I have lots of photos on my computer and would like them to be always available in the list when I click Control Panel, Display Properties, Desktop Background. How do I do this?

Without installing extra software the easiest way to do this is to change the folder Windows looks in for wallpapers. You can do this by changing a setting in the Registry (which is really an operation for advanced users only). If you are not, you need to take extra care, as you can cause serious damage if you make a mistake.

Here’s how to do it. Click on the Start Menu and click on Run. Type RegEdit to open up the Registry Editor. You need to find the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE_SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version
This is where you find the settings for Windows including an entry called “WallPaperDir”. You can Modify this and point it at the folder you keep your photos in. Click OK and close RegEdit to save your changes.

The Registry is a place where Windows keeps all its settings, so changes in here should be taken lightly. It’s a bit like buying automotive performance parts for your car; you always need to make sure they’re the right type, because if they’re not they can cause some serious damage to your car.

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