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13. Use an Image As Your Desktop Wallpaper



About Finding Images with Image Search

Browse Through Image Search Results

Perform an Advanced Image Search

Use the Image Viewer Interface

What can you do with images you find online? One great thing you can do is use an image as your background wallpaper in Windows. It's really quite easy to do, as you'll see in this task.

Key Term

Wallpaper The background image on your PC's desktop.

Use an Image As Your Desktop Wallpaper

Find Your Screen Resolution

Finding the right picture for your background wallpaper isn't as easy as you might think. One of the key factors you should look for when searching for images to use for wallpaper is that the image be the same general dimensions and size as your computer screen. If the image is much smaller than your screen's dimensions, the image looks extremely distorted.

Computer monitors are wider than they are tall and have a ratio of 4:3 (width compared to height). Common screen resolutions are 800x600 pixels, 1024x768 pixels, and so on.

If you don't know the resolution for your screen, right-click a blank area of the desktop, choose Properties from the context menu that appears, and then click the Settings tab. Look for the Screen resolution section; it tells you your current resolution.

Find the Right Picture

After you know your screen resolution, you need to find a picture of that approximate size. Use the Advanced Image Search, as outlined in Perform an Advanced Image Search. If you have a screen resolution of 800x600 or more, specify the large option in the Size drop-down list. Unless you want a line drawing or a simple graphic, you can limit your search to photographs and more complex graphics by selecting .jpg from the Filetypes drop-down list. Press Enter or click Google Search to perform the search using your search terms and options.

After you do a search, look at the file sizes of the images on the results page. Try to find one that best matches your screen resolution. Don't worry if it's not exact, but do try to find one as close as possible to your screen's size and dimensions.

Go to the Full-Size Image

When you find the right image, view it at full size, as outlined in Browse Through Image Search Results.

Set the Image As Your Background

When you are viewing the image at full size, right-click it and select Set as Background from the context menu. This command makes the image appear as your Windows wallpaper. (The image is stored in the Windows\Web\Wallpaper folder.)

Look at Your Desktop

Minimize or close the web browser window to go to the Windows desktop. The image appears as your wallpaper.


These instructions show you how to set an image as your wallpaper when you use Internet Explorer. The name of the command you choose might vary if you're using a different browser. For example, in Firefox, you right-click the image and choose Set As Wallpaper from the context menu.

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