Monday, July 25, 2011

Change the Wallpaper of Windows 7 Starter

How do you change the wallpaper (or even the theme) of your Windows 7 Starter OS? Read on below.

When I was having my usual haircut at a salon near our house, my hairstylist (well, he just cuts my hair and I guess he doesn’t want to be called a barber), asked me for help on a problem in his laptop. I momentarily glanced at his table and there I saw his newly purchased gadget. I was quite surprised that there was already a problem when it was obviously brand new. He told me he’s been trying to change the wallpaper of his laptop for days and he couldn’t change it.

Now right after my haircut, I checked his laptop and saw that it was in Windows 7. When I checked what version/edition – voila! It was Windows 7 Starter.

Change Wallpaper Windows 7 Starter graphic01
Windows 7 Starter Default Wallpaper

I immediately told him that Windows 7 Starter doesn’t allow the user to change the wallpaper. When I saw the long look of his face when I told him that, I knew I had to help this guy.

Windows 7 Starter: How to Change the Wallpaper

I know of two ways to change the wallpaper in Windows 7. Both methods require that you at least install a program to do it. Make sure you only install one.

1. Stardock MyColors

Stardock MyColors is a program which allows you not only to change the wallpaper but also the overall look of Windows. Stardock MyColors primarily changes the standard Windows 7 Aero theme to another theme.

You need to download and install Stardock MyColors (download it from Stardock MyColors official website)

Change Wallpaper Windows 7 Starter graphic02

After successful installation, just launch the application and go to My Themes. By default, there would only be 2 kinds of themes – Windows 7 Aero and Think Green. Choose theThink Green theme.

Now you can download several other themes from the Stardock website itself but the Think Green theme is the only additional theme in the default installation. This step (of choosing a theme other than Windows 7 aero) is important because if you have the Windows 7 Aero theme selected, you won’t be able to change the wallpaper.

After this just go to the Wallpapers tab, and choose any wallpaper which is in yourPictures folder.

Note that Stardock MyColors does not allow you to choose how to layout your wallpaper. By default, it would stretch your picture to fit the screen. So be sure to choose high resolution pictures so that it would not look pixelized in your screen.

2. Starter Background Changer

There are already several programs out there made by helpful people, which can change the background or wallpaper of Windows 7 Starter. Out of these programs, I have a favorite which is the Starter Background Changer by Renaud Gerson which he made available for download in his website His website and the actual installer are in French so I’ll help you on how to make it work. Once you’ve installed it, it would be in English so don’t worry about it.

You can download it at his official website (just scroll down and click on the image saying Download), or you can use the download link I’ve provided below:

StarterBackgroundChanger v0.8

What’s good about this program is that you don’t have to change the overall theme and you can just change the wallpaper. What’s better is you can choose from a set of different layouts like stretch, tile, center, etc. (unlike Stardock MyColors which has the stretch layout only).

To install, just follow the screenshots below. “Suivant” means “Next”, and “Demarrer” means “To Start”.

Just choose “Suivant” on the following prompts.

Change Wallpaper Windows 7 Starter graphic05

Change Wallpaper Windows 7 Starter graphic06

Choose “Yes”.

Then choose “Demarrer”.

Change Wallpaper Windows 7 Starter graphic09

Now once you’ve installed the program, just right click on your desktop and select “Personalize”. Notice that it’s not in French. It actually defaults to your language.

Change Wallpaper Windows 7 Starter graphic10

A new window would pop-up where you can change the wallpaper. It would have banner ads or advertisements at the bottom but it’s not that bothersome.

Note: If you’re going to upgrade to another version of Windows (i.e. Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, etc.) be sure to uninstall these programs.

There you have it! I hope I’ve helped you change your Windows 7 Starter wallpaper.

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