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Windows 7 tips and tweaks

Automatically change the wallpaper

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Windows 7 has some great features and where once we had to install a special utility to automatically change the desktop wallpaper without having to do it manually, now the facility is built in. You can select a folder of your favourite photos and have them displayed on the desktop, changing every few minutes, hours or day. You can temporarily change the wallpaper too and have it restored in an instant by making use of the preview function.

Right click and empty part of the desktop and select Personalize from the menu that is displayed. Click Desktop Background at the bottom and you can choose the image to use for the Windows desktop. As the mouse passes over an image you'll see a tick box in the top left corner and this enables you to select two or more images. When you do this, the Change picture every drop-down list is activated and clicking it enables you to choose the length of time an image is displayed. It ranges from 10 seconds to one day.

You've probably figured this out already, so here's how to show some of your favourite photos. Click the Browse button at the top and then use the Browse for Folder window to find and select the folder that contains the photos you want to show. Click OK when you've selected it and the images are displayed in the window. They are all ticked by default, but you can click the ones you don't want or click Clear All and just tick the ones you want.

Windows wallpaper

If you click the Save Changes button at the bottom then this selection of photos is permanently used as ever-changing wallpaper. However, you might not want to set it permanently like this, so instead, just click the minimise button at the top right corner of the window. The wallpaper continues to rotate, flicking from one image to the next according to the time period you selected. It's actually in preview mode, but it works the same as if it were permanently set.

To instantly return to how the desktop wallpaper originally was, just bring the window back up from the taskbar and close it. You can also right click the icon in the taskbar and select close too. Just don't shut down Windows without closing the wallpaper window or the settings will stick. It's a good way to temporarily change the wallpaper to something different without changing any of the system settings.

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