Where are the desktop wallpapers located in Windows 11?

Ashwin
Nov 3, 2021
Windows 11 Help
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6

When Windows 10 was released, Microsoft shipped it with a modern home screen background. With Windows 11, the company took it to a level further with multiple abstract wallpapers.

Windows 11 desktop wallpaper

Microsoft also packed 6 themes in the operating system, including some really cool dark themes.

Where are the desktop wallpapers located in Windows 11?

The folder is sort of hidden, it is not located in the Pictures folder like common sense would have you believe. Instead, you can find the Windows 11 wallpapers in the following directory: C:\Windows\Web\

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Tip: Windows 10 users can find the wallpapers in the same folder, read about it here.

Where are the desktop wallpapers located in Windows 11

There are four sub-folders in this directory, and every one of these contains a few pictures in various sizes and resolutions. The primary wallpaper, which is called Bloom (it was inspired by flowers), and its dark mode variant are placed in the following folder: C:\Windows\Web\4K\Wallpaper\Windows

You can read about the Bloom design on Microsoft's blog.

The Touch Keyboard directory is home to even more colorful abstract backdrops. The C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper is sort of a mixed bag and contains several images, some of which are Nature-themed ones, if that tickles your fancy. There are a couple of image sets with different colored versions of the same wallpaper, you can set the operating system to switch between them by enabling the slideshow option. But I should warn you, toggling the setting can have an adverse result in that it can cause screen flickering issues.

Tip: If you have a laptop or an OEM desktop that included Windows 10 or 11, the manufacturer's default wallpaper can be found in the C:\Windows\Web\Wallpaper directory.

What is the big deal about the Windows 11 wallpapers folder? Why is this important?

Windows 11 personalization wallpapers

Windows 11 only lists the 5 recent backgrounds that you used in the Settings > Personalization screen. So, if you changed wallpapers several times, the Settings app will not display the default backgrounds of the operating system. You will need to browse for them manually, and the folder is not exactly easy to find if you didn't already know about it. That being said, there is a simple way to restore the default backgrounds. All you have to do is to change the theme, and you will get its corresponding image set as your desktop background.

Windows 11 themes

As I mentioned earlier, Windows 11 comes with 6 themes, each of which has its own wallpaper. But keep in mind that there are more backdrops available in the wallpapers folders, so you actually get some extra customization options. By manually changing the wallpaper, you can mix and match the images (including the hidden ones), with the built-in themes of your choice, to keep things fresh.

If you don't have Windows 11 on your computer but want the wallpapers from it, head over to our previous coverage to download them. Do you like Bing Wallpapers? You can have your desktop wallpaper refreshed everyday with the official Bing Wallpapers app from Microsoft, or the third-party program, Bingsnap. If you have an Android phone, you can use a combination of the Muzei Live Wallpaper app, and the Bing Image of the Day add-on, to get a new home screen image everyday.

Do you like Windows 11's wallpapers? Which one is your favorite?

Summary
Where are the desktop wallpapers located in Windows 11?
Article Name
Where are the desktop wallpapers located in Windows 11?
Description
We show you where to find the default wallpapers in Windows 11.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Nico said on November 3, 2021 at 9:35 am
    Reply

    @Ashwin:

    Tip:
    Save screenshots in .png format.
    Then you won’t have these ugly jpeg compression artefacts. ;)

    Screenshot of first image @ 500%:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/6ot7ucppamm6jl7/screenshot_20211103.png

    1. Tom Hawack said on November 3, 2021 at 12:53 pm
      Reply

      Side-note : find a .bmp file (file0) then,
      1- Convert file0 it to .png -> file1
      2- Convert file0 it to .jpg/jpeg -> file2
      3- Convert file2 to .png -> file3

      You’ll notice that file1’s size is extraordinarily smaller than that of file3
      So, if you wish to convert a file to the .png format, choose the .bmp source rather than any other compressed format :=)

      1. Nico said on November 3, 2021 at 3:06 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack; November 3, 2021 at 12:53 pm

        My – rather rudimentary – screenshot tool can only save as .png. ;)
        But the quality is excellent.
        File size is not a problem for me. We don’t live in 1998 any more. ;)

        For use on blogs like this however, .webp is preferred (good compression and little quality loss).

        Conversion to .webp can be done with ‘cwebp’.
        https://www.systutorials.com/docs/linux/man/1-cwebp/

    2. ULBoom said on November 3, 2021 at 2:52 pm
      Reply

      Windows saves wallpaper at 85% by default, there’s a simple registry tweak to remove that compression.

      This is for Win 10, not sure if 11 is the same. Go to, using regedit:
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

      Create a new 32bit DWORD named JpegImportQuality and give it a value of 100. Log out, log back in and changes will be applied.

      The value can be lower or higher than 85. Going lower can be useful to blur the background making desktop shortcuts and icons more prominent.

      If you use desktop slide shows, a reduction in image size can be useful.

  2. John G. said on November 3, 2021 at 11:22 am
    Reply

    Nice info, thanks! :]

  3. Teiji said on November 4, 2021 at 3:25 pm
    Reply

    Ironically, the 4K folder contains wallpapers that are size 1920×1200 for me, even though I have a 4K display. So not even true 4K wallpapers…

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