How to Change Windows 10 Wallpaper without Activation

One of the first things you may do when you get your new computer is change the wallpaper. It’s one of the many ways you can give your computer your own personal touch. Once you get tired of it, you’ll change it over and over again.

When you have Windows activated on your computer, changing your computer’s wallpaper is quick and easy. All you have to do is go into “Settings -> Personalization” and choose your wallpaper. But, even something as simple as replacing the wallpaper can be a challenge if Windows is not activated.

Why Do You Need to Activate Windows?

Activating Windows is a different process if you compare it to the process where you entered the activation code. It also has nothing to do with the post-installation process, so why does Microsoft make users activate Windows on their computer?

Microsoft wants to make sure that the copy of Windows you’re using is only used on one computer. To make sure that’s the case, Microsoft wants to create a link that should prevent a user from using the same copy on another computer.

How to Change the Wallpaper on a Non-Activated Windows 10 Computer

One way you can change the wallpaper is through the file explorer. If you haven’t done so already, create a folder where you want to keep your saved wallpapers. For example, let’s say that you want to create a new folder in Documents.¬†Right-click on an empty space and move the cursor to the New option. Mouse over to find the folder option.


Once you’ve created the folder, save the wallpapers you want to add onto your computer, but make sure you save them to this folder. Open file explorer and go to your recently created Wallpaper folder. Right-click on it, and click on “Set as desktop wallpaper.”


As soon as you click on “Set,” your new wallpaper will be ready for you. You won’t have to look at the same old wallpaper again.

Change Non-Activated Windows 10 Wallpaper Using Internet Explorer

If you’re having trouble with the first method for some reason, you can use Internet Explorer to bypass the Windows Activation. The easiest way to find Internet Explorer is to search for it in Cortana’s search bar.

When it’s up and running, it’s as easy as typing something like Grand Canyon wallpaper in the search bar and right-clicking the image.


This time you’ll see a “Set as background” option that will change the wallpaper automatically. This option is handy if you don’t want to download the image onto your computer¬†to save space. As you can see, there is no need to have Windows activated to change the wallpaper on your Windows 10 computer.


Microsoft will always set things up so things are always done their way. Thankfully, there is usually a way around those limitations. Now, you can change your wallpaper whenever you feel like it and only look at the wallpaper you like. What wallpaper did you add after reading these tips?

Fabio Buckell

Just a simple guy that can't enough of Technology in general and is always surrounded by at least one Android and iOS device. I'm a Pizza addict as well.

One comment

  1. There is NO reason whatsoever for Microsoft to PREVENT you from doing something as simple as changing your desktop background! What the (bleep!) does activating Windows have to do with HOW YOUR DESKTOP LOOKS!? This is nothing more than a “Pay-To-Play” scheme in order to get people to PAY for Windows 10 licenses! Pure bullsh*t. And just one of the many reasons why I left the Windows world in 2002. I’ve been using Linux ever since, and have converted my entire family over to Linux, and Microsoft can kiss my (edit). Seems no one is willing to challenge this practice by MS huh?….since its their product and they can charge hat they want for whatever they want. Well its stupid and there’s no valid reason for it. To prevent people from changing their desktop wallpaper just sticks of corporate might. I guess the work-arounds posted here might satisfy some, but unbeknownst to many, you’re ALSO able to change your “Lock Screen”….and this, too… blocked unless you’re willing to pay up and activate Windows. Crap software, and a crappy business model. SO screw them…I’ll stick to Linux thank you very much!

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