Best ways to personalize Windows 11 wallpapers and backgrounds

Best ways to personalize Windows 11 backgrounds/ wallpapers

There are currently more ways than one that you can customize your wallpaper in Windows 11. We go through each of those in this guide, and offer you advice on the best ways to make Windows 11 look like your own.

  1. Use a pre-set Microsoft or OEM wallpaper from the Personalization page in Windows 11 Settings
  2. Set a slideshow with your own photos from Settings, Personalization, and Slideshow
  3. Use a custom wallpaper downloaded from the internet or sites like Wallpaperhub.app with the Choose a photo option in Windows 11's settings
  4. Use a theme or download one from the Microsoft Store the Personalization page in Windows 11 settings
  5. Download and use the Bing Wallpaper app to get a new wallpaper each day
  6. Use the Windows Spotlight option, if you're a Windows Insider to get a new wallpaper each day

One of the cool things about Windows is its customization options when it comes to Windows 11 backgrounds. Like Windows 10, you can change your accent colors, and tweak your wallpapers to your own liking. But did you know that there are now more ways than one that you can change your Windows 11 background to make it your own?

From Bing Wallpapers to the built-in Wallpaper functionality, themes, and now, Windows Spotlight, we got a look at some of the best ways you can personalize your Windows 11 wallpapers. Just keep in mind, though, that all of these methods will apply the same wallpaper to all of your monitors, as Windows 11 doesn't natively let you change the wallpaper for separate displays. That said, let's jump in!

Using a pre-set Microsoft or OEM wallpaper

Best ways to personalize Windows 11 wallpapers and backgrounds - OnMSFT.com - April 14, 2022

First on our list is a setting that's most obvious, using your own wallpaper or a pre-set one from Microsoft or your laptop maker. This is one of the best ways to personalize your wallpaper, as it's easy. Just head to Windows 11's Settings app with Windows Key and on your keyboard. Then, choose Personalization. From there, choose from one of the Microsoft pictures. There are a total of five default wallpapers, two of which are the signature bloom wallpaper in dark and light mode.

If you want some even more personalization, choose the Slideshow option and then browse to a folder on your PC with photos. This will allow your PC to change the pictures every so often, shuffle the picture order, and give you a new look on your desktop in the time period you specify.

Note that if you use either of these options, they will apply to all of your monitors, and you can't customize the wallpaper you see on each one. This is a limit that's set by Microsoft in the current version of Windows 11.

Using your own custom wallpaper

Best ways to personalize Windows 11 wallpapers and backgrounds - OnMSFT.com - April 14, 2022

Next up is a setting option in the Windows 11 settings app to let you use your own background. This could be something downloaded from the internet, or a photo of a pet, family member, or significant other. Just head to the Windows Settings app again with Windows Key and I, and go to Personalization. Look for the Choose a photo option.

From there, click Browse Photos, and browse for a photo you want. Again, the photo you choose will be set on all monitors, as there currently is no easy way to change the wallpaper on each of your displays (without complicated registry hacks that we do not recommend.)  If you want an awesome website to find custom wallpapers, we suggest Wallpaperhub.app. it has a collection of Microsoft and other wallpapers you can download!

Using a theme

Best ways to personalize Windows 11 wallpapers and backgrounds - OnMSFT.com - April 14, 2022

The third option in our list is a wallpaper that comes with a theme. These kinds of wallpapers will change the way your PC looks and feel, as, in addition to accent colors, they will tweak your Windows sounds, and in some cases, your cursor. Windows Themes are available in the Microsoft Store. To find and change themes, go to the Windows Settings app, and choose Personalization followed by Themes. Pick one of the many available, including Windows Light Mode, Windows Dark Mode, Captured Motion, and more. You can download themes from the Microsoft Store by clicking the Browse Themes button.

Using Bing Wallpaper

Best ways to personalize Windows 11 wallpapers and backgrounds - OnMSFT.com - April 14, 2022

As we make our way down the list, we now get to Bing Wallpaper. This one involves an extra download from Microsoft, but with it, you can get a different desktop picture each day. Just download the app, install it, and the app will auto-apply the image of the day from Bing.com to your desktop. If you don't like the photo, just go to your system tray, right-click the Bing Wallpaper icon, and click the back arrow next to Change Wallpaper. This will let you cycle back in time to a previous image from Bing.com's main page.

Using the new Windows Spotlight option

Best ways to personalize Windows 11 wallpapers and backgrounds - OnMSFT.com - April 14, 2022

If you're a bold person and you like to try out early versions of Windows, you can get a new option to change your wallpaper in Windows 11 through what's known as Windows Spotlight Wallpaper. The Windows Spotlight option is what you usually might see on your lock screen. It displays a new image on the lock screen each day. The initial background image is included during installation. Additional images are downloaded on an ongoing basis, sometimes matching what's on Bing.com (as we said above.)

This option was recently introduced in Windows 11 Dev Channel and Beta Channel Build 22598. To get this ability, you'll have to enroll your PC into the Dev or Beta channel of the Windows Insider Program. Once you do, the option should pop up for you in Windows 11 Settings as we're about to describe.

Using the Windows Spotlight option for your wallpaper is kind of like the Bing Wallpaper option. You can get a different image as your desktop wallpaper, and refresh it as you see fit. Once your PC is set up as a Windows Insider system, head to the personalization page in Windows 11's settings (Windows Key + I, followed by Personalization.) Then, from there choose Background. Pick Windows Spotlight from the list where it says Personalize your background. Once applied, you'll see a Learn about this picture link at the top right corner of your desktop. If you right-click it, you can swap between different photos, or provide feedback on the photo, and learn more about it.

How are you customizing your wallpapers?

We hope this guide to customizing wallpapers in Windows 11 was helpful. We'd love to see the wallpapers and backgrounds that you are using. Follow us on Twitter and send us a tweet! We'll feature your wallpapers on our Podcast!

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