It is extremely frustrating when you right click on your Window XP desktop to get to the display properties and you cannot change your desktop background.
This problem is very common and is most likely caused by a virus or some type of spyware that has altered your registry settings. When you try to modify the background picture, or add a different wallpaper, neither the list of images nor the Browse button is available to click on. If this happens, you can edit your Windows XP registry to restore access to this feature..
Before making any changes to your windows registry you need to make a backup copy of it. Here’s how to backup your Windows registry. You must also be logged in as an Administrator on your computer to complete these steps.
If you are not familiar with the Windows registry you should get a qualified computer technician to perform this restore for you as changing the registry can cause your computer to not boot up.
How to get to your Windows XP registry:
- Go to the Start Menu and choose Run from the menu
- Type regedit in the box and press OK
- The registry editor will appear.
Note: To open folders in the Windows Registry you have to press on the plus sign beside the folder. To close the folder simply press the minus sign.
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoft WindowsCurrentVersionpolicies
- If you see a folder named ActiveDesktop then select it by making it blue.
- If you don’t see this folder then make one by right clicking on the policies folder and choosing new.
- Now got the right column and see if there is a file named NoChangingWallPaper.
- If not right click in the blank space and choose New then choose DWORD.
- Type in NoChangingWallPaper. Press ok.
- Now double click on that DWORD and change the value to 0.
Try changing your wallpaper now. If that didn’t work then repeat these steps but instead of going to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
- If you see a folder named ActiveDesktop then there will be NoChangingWallpaper and a DWORD value for it.
- Now right click on your desktop to get to your Windows Desktop properties and see if it works.
- If you can get to your desktop properties but some tabs are missing try downloading this file. It is a registry file that restores Your display properties tabs. I found it at a great webpage for Tweaking Windows XP http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_tweaks.htm