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Q: Windows Desktop Images - Where are they stored ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Windows Desktop Images - Where are they stored
Category: Computers > Operating Systems
Asked by: bjb-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 15 Apr 2003 09:43 PDT
Expires: 15 May 2003 09:43 PDT
Question ID: 190793
I have some images that are available for selection as desktop
wallpaper.  I would like to change wallpaper but I am afraid I will
delete these images.  What is the file path to get these images so I
can save them to another file (which I can locate)?

Also, does have a large library of desktop images (other
than their clip art gallery)?
Subject: Re: Windows Desktop Images - Where are they stored
Answered By: missy-ga on 15 Apr 2003 09:59 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi there!

Most default Windows wallpaper is located in C:\WINDOWS, as .BMP
files.  However, if you're using 98 or later, and you've turned on
Active Desktop, you can also use ANY image in your C:\My Documents\My
Pictures directory.

These will all show up in your list of available wallpaper - simply
right click anywhere on your desktop background to call up the
Properties menu.  Select the Background tab, and you'll see the list. 
Just click the one you want, click Apply, then OK.

Changing the wallpaper will not delete the image.

Microsoft offers desktop backgrounds here:

Design Gallery Live

...or you can look through other wallpaper sites to find something
that suits your every whim:

Google Search

Happy Wallpapering!


Request for Answer Clarification by bjb-ga on 15 Apr 2003 11:22 PDT
I need to find the directory that temporary stores the images.

Clarification of Answer by missy-ga on 15 Apr 2003 12:25 PDT
Hi again,

Windows wallpaper is not stored in a temporary directory.  

All images available for use as wallpaper are stored in C:/WINDOWS
and, if you turn on Active Desktop, C:\My Documents\My Pictures.

If you right click on an image and select "Set as Wallpaper", the
image will be stored as "Mozilla Wallpaper.BMP" (or "Netscape
Wallpaper.BMP", etc, depending on your browser) in C:\WINDOWS.  To
save the file permanently so you can use the "Set as Wallpaper"
function again, without losing that image, simply right click the
file, select rename, and rename it.

Hope that helps.


Request for Answer Clarification by bjb-ga on 17 Apr 2003 06:43 PDT
I only have a file path that matches this far:
C:\Documents and Settings\{user}

the secondary path doesn't seem to work at all.  I really want ot get
the picture off of my wallpaper and into a findable file...

I also tried to do a search for "Internet Explorer Wallpaper.bmp"
without luck.

Clarification of Answer by missy-ga on 17 Apr 2003 08:36 PDT
What version of Windows are you using, precisely?

"Internet Explorere Wallpaper" will only appear in your files if
you've saved an image from a website by right clicking and selecting
"Set As Wallpaper".

All of the wallpaper that came on your computer is stored in

Clarification of Answer by missy-ga on 17 Apr 2003 09:51 PDT
It sounds as if you don't know the name of your current Windows
background image.

Please follow these steps:

Go to the start button.  Select Settings, then Control Panel.  In the
Control Panel, double click Display.  This will pull up your Display
properties, with the Background tab at the fore.  The name of your
current background will be highlighted in the list of available

Make a note of the name.  Close the Display properties.

Go to the Start button again.  Select Search, then For Files and
Folders, and type the name of your background file into the box. 
Click Search.  In the pane to the right, your file will appear in a
list.  Double click the file to open it, and the exact path of the
file will appear in the address bar of your browser (for example: 
C:\WINDOWS\mybackground.BMP )

Changing your wallpaper will NOT delete your current image.

bjb-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Good try.  I think it was my fault I could get what I wanted to to work.

Subject: Re: Windows Desktop Images - Where are they stored
From: joelpt-ga on 15 Apr 2003 14:27 PDT
There is actually an oddball technical spot where Internet Explorer
stores its wallpapers.  This refers only to wallpapers which show up
in your Desktop->Background properties as "Internet Explorer

The file will be located here in newer versions of Windows:

C:\Documents and Settings\{user}\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet
Explorer\Internet Explorer Wallpaper.bmp

where {user} is your login username used to log into Windows.  

If you don't have a C:\Documents And Settings folder, then replace
that part with C:\Windows\Profiles  ... and you should find it

Here's a great place to find wallpapers of all sorts:

They have a utility which can automatically change your wallpaper
every so often, or do it as a screensaver (automatically can download
new images daily too).

For some really incredible computer-aided artwork wallpapers, check
this out:
Subject: Re: Windows Desktop Images - Where are they stored
From: bjb-ga on 27 Apr 2003 21:05 PDT
I have searched for the file... "Internet Explorer Wallpaper.bmp"
which is the name of the file.  Still no luck...

I am running Windows 2000 Professional.

This question is taking longer than I thought... I will add a tip if
Subject: Re: Windows Desktop Images - Where are they stored
From: d33z-ga on 13 May 2004 08:48 PDT
I found the IE saved wallpaper on XP here:
C:\Documents and Settings\[USERNAME]\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

**Note: Application Data is a hidden folder so you have to enable the
view of hidden files and folders.
Subject: Re: Windows Desktop Images - Where are they stored
From: vinaur-ga on 20 Nov 2004 21:10 PST
Just in case anyone is looking where all of the windows xp wallpapers
are stored (as I've been doing), they're stored in

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