Issue: How to fix desktop background turning black automatically in Windows?
Every time I turn on my Windows PC, my desktop is always switched to black automatically. How can I stop this from happening?
The desktop background of a Windows computer serves not just as a visual backdrop, but also as a canvas for personal expression and organization. Users often select images that resonate with their personal tastes, from family photographs to scenic landscapes or abstract designs. This customization feature in Windows allows individuals to create a space that is uniquely theirs, enhancing their computing experience.
Unfortunately, some users encounter an unexpected issue where their carefully chosen desktop background turns black, typically following a restart or bootup of the Windows operating system. This abrupt change can be disconcerting, as it replaces a personalized setting with a stark, black screen. This problem, while not detrimental to the computer's functionality, can be a source of frustration for those who value their customized desktop environment.
There are several reasons why this might happen. One common cause is conflicts with certain software applications that inadvertently modify display settings or interfere with Windows' ability to retain the chosen background. Corrupted system files are another potential culprit, resulting in various display anomalies including the black background issue. Additionally, problems with GPU drivers can lead to similar issues. Outdated or corrupted drivers may fail to properly render the desktop background, resulting in the default black screen.
Another scenario where users might see their desktop background turn black is when using a non-genuine version of Windows. In these cases, the black background is accompanied by an “Activate Windows” watermark in the corner of the screen. This is a built-in feature of Windows designed to alert users to the fact that their operating system may not be legitimately licensed. For those experiencing this specific issue, acquiring a legitimate copy of Windows is the recommended course of action to permanently resolve the black background problem.
For users seeking a more general solution to address underlying Windows issues that might be causing the black desktop background, utilizing a PC repair tool like FortectMac Washing Machine X9 can be an effective approach. Such tools are designed to automatically diagnose and fix a variety of Windows-related problems, potentially restoring the desktop background to its intended state.
Fix 1. Enable Show desktop background image in Display settings
This solution checks if the option to display the desktop background image is turned off in the Windows display settings. If it's disabled, the desktop background might appear black. Turning this feature back on can restore your wallpaper.
- Click on Start and pick Settings.
- Go to the Ease of Access section.
- Make sure you are in the Display section.
- Under Simplify and personalize Windows, find the Show desktop background image section.
- Enable it by ensuring the switch is in the On position.
Fix 2. Change Power Options settings
Adjusting Power Options settings can sometimes resolve display issues, including a black desktop background. These settings can affect how the computer manages power, which in turn can impact display functionalities.
- Type Control Panel in Windows search and hit Enter.
- Go to Hardware and Sound and then select Power Options.
- Choose your current power plan and click on Change plan settings.
- Select Change advanced power settings.
- Expand the Desktop Background settings and then expand Slide show.
- Ensure that both settings – On battery and Plugged in – are set to Available.
Fix 3. Enable Hidden Items in File Explorer
Sometimes, necessary system files that contribute to displaying the desktop background can be hidden. Enabling the visibility of hidden items in File Explorer allows you to confirm if these files are present and intact.
- Open File Explorer.
- Click on the View tab.
- Check the box next to Hidden items to make them visible.
- On Windows 11, click on the Layout and View options and select Show > Hiden items.
Fix 4. Run SFC and DISM
Corrupted system files can cause various problems with Windows, including desktop background turning black. To address this, run SFC and DISM scans:
- Type cmd in Windows search.
- Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
- The User Account Control window will ask whether you want to allow changes – click Yes.
- In the Command Prompt window, paste the following command and hit Enter:
- Once the scan is complete, use the following commands and press Enter after each:
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- Restart your computer.
Fix 5. Update display drivers
Outdated or corrupted display drivers can cause display issues. Updating them ensures that your system uses the latest driver software, which can fix display problems.
- Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager.
- Expand Display adapters.
- Right-click on your display device and select Update driver.
- Choose Search automatically for drivers and follow the prompts.
- For an automatic solution, you can use DriverFix.
Fix 6. Disable Desktop icons
Sometimes, desktop icons can interfere with the desktop background. Disabling them temporarily can help determine if they are causing the issue.
- Right-click on the desktop.
- Hover over View in the context menu.
- Click on Show desktop icons.
- Right-click on the desktop again and choose Personalization.
- Go to Themes and select any available theme with multiple wallpapers.
- Go back to the desktop, right-click and select View > Show desktop icons again.
Fix 7. Perform a Clean Boot
This solution can help to determine if third-party software is causing Windows desktop to go black automatically.
- Type msconfig in Windows search and press Enter.
- Go to the Services tab.
- Mark Hide all Microsoft services and select Disable all.
- Go to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
- In the Task Manager, right-click on each of the items and select Disable, then close the Task Manager.
- Go to the Boot tab, tick Safe Boot, then click Apply and OK.
- If the problem is gone, re-enable services and startup items one by one to identify the problematic software.
- You can then update or uninstall the software causing the issue.
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