Lively Wallpaper may be the ultimate wallpaper app for Windows - gHacks Tech News

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Lively Wallpaper may be the ultimate wallpaper app for Windows

Lively is an open source wallpaper application for Microsoft Windows 10 devices that is available as a desktop version and a Microsoft Store version. You may use it to display animated wallpapers or interactive desktop backgrounds on Windows 10 machines, including YouTube videos, HTML pages, or games.

Wallpaper functionality has not really changed that much on Windows since the Windows XP days. Microsoft did introduce support for animated wallpapers in Windows Vista Ultimate but removed support for it in future versions of Windows.

Wallpaper applications are still superior in many regards as they add more functionality and give users more control over what is displayed on their desktops.

Lively Wallpaper

lively wallpaper

Lively comes in a huge package; at 187 Megabytes, it is anything but small but the installer includes animated wallpapers among other things. Lively has several dependencies, including .Net Core 3.1, which will be installed during installation if they are missing.

You get options to start Lively with Windows and a short getting started wizard that provides you with some options and explanations. The main interface is accessible via the System Tray icon. Lively Wallpaper needs to run in the background; if you close the program, the wallpaper is removed with it.

Lively Wallpaper displays available wallpapers in its interface. Just click on any wallpaper to make it the default on the system. While that is great already, it is the program's functionality that sets it apart from the majority of wallpaper solutions out there for Windows.

animated wallpaper

Lively Wallpaper supports several formats including video files, animated GIFs, web addresses, or even games. The sample library offers several examples, including an interactive periodic table and a Matrix effect.

Adding new wallpapers is a straightforward process:

  1.  Activate the plus-icon in the Lively Wallpaper interface.
  2. Use drag & drop, browse, or the URL field to add a new wallpaper. You could turn a YouTube video into a wallpaper, select an application (exe), a video, or a local HTML page among other things.
  3. Depending on your choice, you will have to wait a bit before the selected item is turned into a wallpaper. A prompt is displayed to customize the wallpaper's title and some other data points.

Note: Lively Wallpaper supports sound output; if a wallpaper has sound, e.g. a YouTube video, sound is played automatically once the item has been converted to a wallpaper. You may turn off audio playback in the options under Audio.

lively wallpaper youtube

Lively Wallpaper pauses playback when fullscreen applications such as games are run on the system. You get additional playback options in the settings under performance. There you may configure rules for battery use, when an application is focused and the display pause rule.

The application supports multi-monitor systems, and you may configure it to keep running the wallpaper on displays while it pauses playback on the one that is used actively.

Animated wallpapers use more resources than static ones, and you may notice a 4-5% use of the processor with some of the wallpapers. The extent of use depends on the selected wallpaper for the most part; if you run a 4K animation that is hundreds of Megabytes in size, you will naturally notice a bigger use compared to a 480p animated gif with just a few frames.

Still, if performance is an issue on a device, you may not want to run this program as it will take away resources while it is running.

Closing Words

Lively Wallpaper extends the wallpaper capabilities of the Windows 10 system significantly. Users who like animated wallpapers can give it a go, and those wanting to run applications instead as wallpapers, can do so as well.

Now You: what is your wallpaper preference?

Summary
software image
Author Rating
1star1star1star1star1star
3.5 based on 11 votes
Software Name
Lively Wallpaper
Operating System
Windows
Software Category
Multimedia
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Comments

  1. Anonymous said on December 27, 2020 at 8:39 pm
    Reply

    Great app. Probably the only app worth opening Microsoft Store for.

  2. Yuliya said on December 27, 2020 at 10:08 pm
    Reply

    I prefer to download the image in its original resolution and set it as wallpaper myself. I use wallhaven.cc as my source of wallpapers.
    Also I would not allocate 4% (or 1%, for that matter) CPU resources for a wallpaper program, on a high end machine. It’s not like it will make a difference in performance, especially if you set a lower priority, but I like my machines to idle properly, given that I never turn them off or set them to sleep/hibernate.

  3. lee said on December 28, 2020 at 4:29 am
    Reply

    what is your wallpaper preference?

    -> solid color backgrounds.
    I keep an empty icon all the time, I prefer shortcuts and search.
    It is rather convenient because it does not care about the desktop and does not use desktop programs.

  4. allen said on December 28, 2020 at 1:30 pm
    Reply

    Used to be “kill a tree.” Now it’s “kill a megawatt.” Sure, maybe none of that power came from burning fossil fuels, but you never know. Save the planet: don’t burn through stuff you really don’t need to. No “lively” backgrounds, please.

    1. true green said on December 30, 2020 at 11:07 pm
      Reply

      Conservation sounds good, but with our ever growing populations of resource hungry folks, one way or another, such savings will often still be exploited to the maximum by others.

      The best thing we can do for the the environment is to not have kids. The next best thing is always walk or ride a bicycle to get around. After that, always try to buy locally produced food and items, and be frugal.

      But not enough people care, so no matter, where our future is likely doomed regardless.

      Still, I do do what I can, and then some, as perhaps there is still some hope.

      1. Anonymous said on January 6, 2021 at 7:15 pm
        Reply

        too deep no hope left

      2. J Bou said on January 9, 2021 at 12:13 am
        Reply

        “as perhaps there is still some hope”

        That would be nice, but I’m not convinced. We should have taken many issues far more urgently 10s of years ago. Probably too late now … but I guess that’s the kids problem. As long as we get our fun, who gives a damn what happens in 40-60 years? I can see it now, as this generation dies out we’re like “sorry about the mess, but we’re sure you’ll be fine. You’ll figure it out!”

  5. Nikos Geo said on December 28, 2020 at 1:58 pm
    Reply

    The application is great, however the Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) hits high CPU usage levels when an animated background is used. I guess “everything comes with a price”.

    1. matthiew said on December 30, 2020 at 2:21 am
      Reply

      This is why video wallpapers never became popular. Microsoft introduced them in Vista, but the performance hit was too great.

      1. moley said on December 31, 2020 at 8:23 pm
        Reply

        This is why video wallpapers never became popular?

        Actually, it was popular, yet removed due to security issues.

  6. kalmly said on December 29, 2020 at 5:43 pm
    Reply

    I like my wallpapers dark, and medieval, and a little fierce, but I don’t want them moving around.

    1. Corpy said on December 31, 2020 at 8:30 pm
      Reply

      Don’t be afraid, let them move around, as no matter how fierce they look they still can’t hurt you…. yet.

  7. Jimbo said on December 30, 2020 at 7:32 am
    Reply

    Nice idea, but too much energy use just to have a distracting wallpaper.

  8. Man Child said on December 30, 2020 at 10:22 pm
    Reply

    I want all my folders and icons to dance around and sing with lively emoji cartoons. Does this do that?

    I don’t care if it isn’t productive, just as long as it looks cool.

  9. Sean Carroll said on December 30, 2020 at 10:43 pm
    Reply

    what is your wallpaper preference?

    Solid black on all my PCs.

    As for Lively Wallpaper, I’ve been using it on my living room PC/TV for some time now. When no one is using that PC, it plays a 4K video of Earth from space, backed with music from my local collection. I don’t use it for the desktop backgrounds, as that’s too much IMO.

    I also used Lively Wallpaper as a prank, if you can imagine. It involved recording a screen of files being deleted on the target’s PC, ha.

    Also, if you just want a simple wallpaper manager for images, then I think Spews is the best, and it’s free.

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