Where to Find the Windows Wallpaper Location on Your PC

When you are stuck looking at your desktop monitor for a number of hours a day, the most simple thing you can do to heighten your morale is by looking at a lovely wallpaper. It can be something to inspire you, give you an air of joy, and motivate you to do something great.

Every version of Windows, from the ancient days of Windows 3.1 all the way through Windows 10, has brought with it a library of wallpaper images for users of the operating system to put on their desktop. Wallpapers are the images that you can set as your desktop background, and they serve to remind us that there’s much more in this world than the text and figures that comprise most of our day. 

Wallpapers are a simple way to personalize your workspace and create a little motivation. Although the windows that you have open are likely to cover the image, it is still a good idea to put something that inspires you in the background. Whether it’s your work computer, a personal PC, or you use it for school, you can set your wallpaper to anything you like.

Finding Your Wallpaper Images

Windows allows you to customize how your desktop looks, by letting you choose desktop themes and backgrounds. 

First, you might want to have a look at the images available on your computer.  If you would like to use the images in your Windows 10 wallpaper installation in some other way – for example, as a background on another device, or on an older version of Windows – you will need to find the actual location of the files being displayed. Fortunately, this isn’t difficult.

By default, Windows 10 stores your wallpaper images in the “C:\Windows\Web” directory. You can access this directory very simply by clicking in the search bar in the Windows 10 taskbar and type “c:\windows\web” and hitting return.

The directory will pop right up. There are several subdirectories where your wallpapers could be stored; just click around through the directories and you will find your images.

Using Wallpapers from Microsoft Store

If you want a wider selection of backgrounds for your desktop, you can visit the Microsoft Store website for hundreds of wallpapers to download. These wallpapers come in different categories including animals, art, automotive, games, seasons, landscapes, nature, and plants.

microsoft store

Choose an image from the list of categories, open the image and right-click. Then choose Set as Background.

Using Personal Photos as Wallpaper

If you have scrolled through hundreds of default wallpapers in your computer or browsed the Microsoft Store, but still haven’t found the perfect picture for your desktop background, then maybe you should pick a photo that is closer to your heart.

Surely, you have taken some lovely photographs through your digital camera and stored it on your computer. Well, these photographs could just be what you are looking for!

Windows allows you to use images from your personal files as desktop wallpaper. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on your desktop.
  2. Choose Personalize.
  3. It will take you to settings. Select Background.
  4. On the right hand side of the screen, under Background, click picture.
  5. Then, select browse.
  6. This will take you to your Pictures folder, from where you can select the image that you want to use as wallpaper.

Using Windows 10 Themes

Many Windows 10 users don’t use the standard wallpaper files – instead, they use Windows 10 Themes. Microsoft has made hundreds of themes available for free via the Microsoft Store, and most of them are quite spectacular.

You can browse through the available themes here. These themes can range from your favorite game to a collection of splendid outdoor views, or a collection that gives you that executive je ne sais quoi.  Once you’ve downloaded a theme, you’re ready to access those files and bring them to the forefront.  They are located in your local user directory, which is rather lengthy for typing in – fortunately, there’s a shortcut.

Again, click in the search bar in the Windows 10 taskbar, and this time type “%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows\Themes” and hit return. The themes directory will launch. The image files will be found in the subdirectory for the appropriate theme – for example, in the window shown above, you’d click on “Ancient E” to find the files for the Ancient Egypt theme, which is the only theme installed on my computer. (Any other history fiends out there?)

If you want to find the Windows 10 lock screen images, they’re a little trickier to find – but we have a helpful walkthrough that will teach you how to find the Windows Spotlight lock screen images.

Most of the Windows 10 wallpaper and theme images come in standard pixel sizes ranging from 1920×1200 to 3840×1200, and they’ll look great on most screens and devices without any fuss.

windows 10 wallpaper

Let’s say you really, really like the theme you snagged at work, but you’re not sure you’ll be able to grab it for another device.  Simply copy the desired image to a flash drive or online storage service and then transfer it to your mobile device or other PC and use the appropriate settings there to configure it as your background wallpaper.

An important note, however: these images are owned or licensed by Microsoft for the personal non-commercial use of Windows users. That means you’re free to enjoy them for your own personal use, but don’t use them in advertising, videos, or for any other commercial purpose.  You will be found, and Microsoft will not be amused.

How to Remove a Wallpaper

If you’ve grown tired of your current wallpaper, or you need to change it to something else, you can.

Find a blank space on your Windows desktop and right-click it. Click ‘Personalize.’ Now, you can set the default wallpaper which will remove your current one.

Now that you’ve removed your existing Wallpaper, you can proceed to create a new, better background.

We have some more articles on how to make your workspace an expression of your true, creative self, we have plenty of guides for making the most of wallpapers to liven up your office.

Do you have a dual monitor setup? Check out our guide to where to find dual monitor wallpapers.

If you’re graphically-minded, you might want to create your own image collage wallpapers for Windows 10.

We have a walkthrough of how to add 3D animated wallpapers to Windows 10.

Want to get spooky? See our guide to Halloween wallpapers for your PC.

If the psychedelic is more your thing, check out our guide to trippy wallpapers for Windows 10.

20 thoughts on “Where to Find the Windows Wallpaper Location on Your PC”

Avatar Steven Braun says:
Alok Tiwari had it right. The path for me was: C:\Users\Owner\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Themes\Hawaii
where “Hawaii” was the name of the folder with my background photos.
Avatar Stephen Hansen says:
How do i get rid of a wall paper image i do not want
Avatar Lex Corp says:
Hey friend, can the default wallpaper or default Windows be replaced or replaced at will ???
Avatar Chris says:
Found another location…A coworker changed my background picture to something hilarious. I changed it back to my default image but the picture they swapped it to remained under “Choose your picture”. Location where it was stored: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.Windows.Photos_8wekyb3d8bbwe\LocalState\PhotosAppBackground
Avatar John says:
THANK YOU, I set background but could not find original. Did not want to loose this pic. YOU ROCK!
Avatar George says:
I don’t see why people nowadays are so obsessed with image resolutions. Anything from 1024 x 768 and above looks great.
Avatar disqus_r3vCANizvc says:
Unfortunately, this is incorrect. The listed folders do not contain images which are used on my PC.
Does anyone know how to track down the images used on the “lock screen”?
Avatar HeatOfLisboa67 says:
check show hidden files then C:WindowsWebScreen
Avatar AJ Foyt says:
This showed just a few results from a simple search of C: drive for the word wallpaper but still does not show us the long list of images we see in background on windows 10.
After setting to Change Picture every 10 minutes I have seen some Great Beautiful images but I would love to finally be able to customize the list and drop the few that I don’t like as much. Also did not get anywhere when I received the same answer from Microsoft tech support teams.
Avatar Albu Emanuel says:
ty i found it
Avatar Siim says:
“Where to Find the Windows Wallpaper Location on Your PC” article doesn’t show where to find the windows wallpaper location on your PC… weird.
Avatar Diane says:
I downloaded wallpapers and can’t find them anywhere what’s wrong?
Avatar Rebecca Anne Davis says:
You also have to make sure that you’re checking the “hidden files” option under the view menu in your file Explorer.
Avatar Alok Tiwari says:
I found It under C:UsersAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsThemes
Note 1. MAJA is my computer name. Here u have to go for yours
Note 2. AppData is hidden so make sure you choose to view Hidden else u won’t find it.
Easiest way to find is search by name of the Theme you have downloaded. Let’s say you downloaded theme on NASA then Go to C drive and search NASA..
Avatar Amine says:
Thanks
Avatar yewtuber001 . says:
In the latest version of Windows 10, you can find the individual background images of installed themes at:
%LOCALAPPDATA%MicrosoftWindowsThemes
Avatar Alok Tiwari says:
Easiest way to find is search by name of the Theme you have downloaded. Let’s say you downloaded theme on NASA then Go to C drive and search NASA.
Avatar kornelis bijker says:
I changed mine and now I cannot find the picture I changed it to however it still shows as background. Where are the pictures saved after you change them?
Avatar Oscar De Jesús Corona Parra says:
Did you find it?
Avatar Fatih says:
C:Users{username}AppDataLocalPackagesMicrosoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewyLocalStateAssets
copy and Rename file extensions to jpg
Avatar Faye Green says:
Justmeok… IT WORKED!!!!
I went into pictures, made a folder then went to C:____LocalMicrosoftWindowsTheme. where i left blank that is your user name for PC.
click on themes and you will find the background.
I put every pic in the Slide Shows folder I made. Now I go to settings and personalization,
set background to slideshow, and click browse to find your folder that you created and choose this folder and set when you want the slideshow to rotate the pics… I chose to change my pics once every day and turned on shuffle to randomize it.
Avatar Justmeok says:
Excellent! Good to hear it worked -shouldn’t have been so difficult though….
Thanks for letting me know :)
Avatar Faye Green says:
This was done easily in Windows 7 and 8.1. Windows 10 took out this. I guess wait and see if this will be fixed in W10.
I do the suggestion C/Windows/Web and there are the folders, but the theme wallpapers set from Microsoft site isn’t there. I searched everywhere to no avail.
I want to put every single wallpaper in on folder to show slideshow daily instead of picking a theme.
Avatar Justmeok says:
Hi Faye
I wanted to do the same and found the images from the downloaded theme packs here on my win 10 pc
C:UsersUserNameAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsThemesThemeNameDesktopBackgound
Hope this works for you too!
Avatar Faye Green says:
I found the files, and was able to extract all the pics in each theme, but it only showed up blank in the theme pack.
I am trying to get all the pics out of each of the 14 theme packs and have them all together so the slide show would be continuous and random pics. I was able to do this in windows 7 and 8.1.
I just don’t want one theme looping the same pics.
I have different themes that I want to mesh all the pictures together… nature, butterflies, birds, wolf, scenic landscape, spring, fall, summer, winter, spectacular skies, etc. Do i need to make a separate folder for this and take out the pictures from each theme.
Avatar Justmeok says:
Hi Faye,
This website has nice clear instructions and I think it’s exactly what you want to do? http://www.windowscentral.com/enable-windows10-slideshow-and-battery
Let me know if it works :)
Avatar Vamsi Nath says:
Thank you, i was able to find them.
Avatar Justmeok says:
My pleasure Vamsi glad this post helped :)
Avatar NJ says:
Finally, after spending a couple hours trying to search the system files reading several blogs, it appears MS has made these photos (full *. jpg) readily available to download from the main website now at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/wallpaper It’s great, now you can get all the images from around the world, not just your default country profile. You can also download a theme but it does hide those individual files. Enjoy either way.
Avatar jeff4justice says:
How do you delete a theme after installing it? I see no option for doing that.
Avatar TekRevue says:
Right-click on your desktop and select Personalize. Click on Themes and then Theme Settings. Find the them you want to remote, right-click on it, and select Delete Theme.
Avatar jeff4justice says:
I could swear that option was not there earlier. Maybe it needed a reset. Thanks!
Avatar zoso says:
I don’t find all the images that I see as lock screen in that folder. Some are downloaded on the fly ? I wonder where they get stored. I searched all jpegs but to no avail.
Avatar A Fred says:
I wonder the same thing
Avatar Alice Huynh says:
I downloaded file.themepack from microsoft website. Usually, I can find a path to the theme and add more picture to it. But I’m using windows 10 and I can’t find the path the theme anymore. It was neither at the web nor the resource folder.
Avatar Christian Verreault says:
The wallpaper I want the most is the one in the right bottom corner of the 5 wallpapers presented in this short article. But I want it in the highest resolution available because I have a 27 inch Full HD screen. Could someone tell me where I could find this specific wallpaper?
Avatar TekRevue says:
Avatar Christian Verreault says:
Thanks a lot, I appreciate it very much.
Avatar Zsuzsanna Szugyi says:
I like the win 8 wallpapers handling more. Now I have to put my photos in separate file if I want to see them as slide shows. In Win 8 I just had to mark them. How can I do that in Win 10?
Avatar DancingDirty7 says:
there are some wallpapers in the lock screen in windows 10 build 9926 that are not located in c:windowsweb I am puzzled! I want to find the jelly fish, I will set it up as my wallpaper!
Avatar Fatih says:
C:Users{username}AppDataLocalPackagesMicrosoft.Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewyLocalStateAssets
copy and Rename file extensions to jpg . done :)

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