The Windows operating system comes with special images, desktop wallpapers, that serve as the background on your computer screen. Microsoft has added several modern home screen backgrounds to Windows 11.
The user can independently select the image (graphic file) he likes on the Internet or on his device, which the system will use as a background on the PC screen. Desktop wallpaper (wallpaper) can be changed regularly or used as a permanent background.
In this regard, the user has a question about where the Windows wallpapers are stored. In the operating system, some of the standard wallpapers are used as the current desktop background, others are used for the lock screen, and in Windows, you can use wallpapers from themes.
If you try to find out where the Windows wallpapers are by looking for them yourself in different folders on your computer, then you will not find the wallpapers in the Pictures folder because they are located in several places on the system drive. You can find wallpapers in the “Windows” folder and in the user’s profile.
In this guide, you will learn where Windows 11 desktop wallpapers are stored, which folder contains wallpapers from operating system themes, and how to automatically use wallpapers from the Internet.
Using default wallpapers for personalization
Wallpaper is an image in the form of a graphic file used as a desktop background in Windows. In addition to the background for the screen, these images are suitable, for example, for video intros, or for other purposes on a computer, on the Internet, on another device.
If you open Settings → Personalization → Background, you will see that only 5 recent backgrounds are displayed there. Thus, if you have changed your desktop wallpaper multiple times, the Settings app will not display the default operating system backgrounds. Other images will be displayed there.
You will need to look for them manually, and this folder is not so easy to find if you do not know where to look for it. That being said, there is an easy way to restore the default background:
- In Windows Settings, open the Personalization tab.
- In the “Select a theme to apply” option, click on the theme’s picture, and then you will get the corresponding image as your desktop background.
Where are Windows 11 wallpapers stored
Now we will see where the standard Windows wallpapers are stored. In order to access these images, we need to go to the system folder with the operating system.
You can find out where Windows desktop wallpapers are stored by navigating to the following directory using File Explorer:
As the name of the folder suggests, this is not a very obvious place to look for wallpapers. You might think that this folder is probably connected to the Internet.
In Windows 11, the Web folder has four subfolders, and each of them contains several images of different sizes and resolutions:
- 4K – standard wallpapers;
- Screen – lock screen images;
- touchkeyboard – wallpaper for the touch keyboard;
- Wallpaper – images from various sources.
The main stock wallpapers, called Bloom, and their dark mode variant are in the following folder:
The name is again a little misleading because the “4K” folder contains wallpapers with different screen resolutions.
The “touchkeyboard” directory contains colorful abstract backgrounds.
The “Wallpaper” folder contains a mixed batch of images. There are several images in the corresponding folders with the names of standard themes, and in the “Spotlight” folder there are pictures from “Windows: Interesting”.
If you have a laptop with an OEM version of Windows 11, the device manufacturer’s default wallpaper, if available, can also be found in this directory:
Wallpapers in Windows 11 themes
The Windows 11 operating system comes with 6 themes, each with its own wallpaper. By changing wallpapers manually, you can mix and match images (including hidden ones) with built-in themes of your choice.
Another source of wallpapers are themes that you can install from the Microsoft Store. They are not placed in the “Web” folder when they are installed on a computer. Instead, they are installed in the user’s profile folder.
To enter the user profile on a computer, you need to enable the display of hidden folders in Windows, and after completing the work, return the settings back.
Third party themes can be found in a folder named after the specific theme in the following directory:
The new theme can be activated in the Windows personalization settings. Images displayed on the desktop can be changed in slideshow mode, or you can use only one picture from the theme as the background.
The current skins synced with your Microsoft account are located in the following path:
The current desktop background image is located here:
The file without the “TranscodedWallpaper” extension is the current theme image. There is also a CachedFiles folder with a cache of background image files.
Images downloaded from the Internet can be found along the path:
Windows downloads some data, including images, from the Internet to your computer. Among files without an extension, there may be images suitable for desktop wallpaper. To make the right choice, you need to be guided by the file size – more than 300 KB.
Copy the large file to another location, and then give it the “.jpg” extension. After that, you can open the image in any graphic file viewer and decide whether it is suitable for the background on the desktop or not.
Using Bing Wallpaper
The official Bing Wallpaper app from Microsoft allows you to update your desktop wallpaper every day. The Bing search engine provides new quality wallpapers every day from its home page. The Bing collection includes beautiful images from all over the world.
To use Bing Wallpaper, you need to install the Bing Wallpaper app on your computer or phone. You can install Bing Wallpaper on Windows 7 and above. The utility only changes the background without changing other theme settings.
Installing and configuring Bing Wallpaper:
- Download the Bing Wallpaper app from: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/bing/bing-wallpaper .
- During the installation of the program, uncheck the two checkboxes in the options that do not change the current search engine to Bing.
Now every day you will see a new image as the Windows desktop background, which changes automatically without your participation. The application icon is located on the taskbar in the notification area.
- Right click on the Bing Wallpaper icon.
- If you come across a stunning image, you can turn off the daily wallpaper update to make that image your permanent background.
- You can also get information about the current image here.
- Click the “Previous” or “Next” button to see and apply other photos from Bing as your background.
A discreet Microsoft Bing watermark will be displayed in the lower right corner, which does not interfere with the use of the desktop.
If you do not wish to use the Bing Wallpaper application, you can download the appropriate wallpaper without a watermark from the Bing Wallpaper Download site.
Do the following:
- Follow the link to the Bing Wallpaper Download site: https://www.bwallpaperhd.com/ .
- Select and then view the appropriate image.
- Right-click on it and then save it to your computer using the context menu.
- Put the picture in a convenient place on the disk.
- Click on this image with the right mouse button.
- In the context menu, click “Set as desktop background”.
Some users need to know where the desktop wallpaper is in order to be able to select an image to use as the background on the computer screen. Windows 11 wallpapers are located in different system folders that you can open to choose a different background image or copy a photo for other purposes.