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Windows wallpaper changes without user intervention

By Rabbit_Runner ·
I have a Lenovo laptop that came with Window 10 Pro. I've joined the insiders program and recently installed Windows 11. My problem is that the background picture will change without any user intervention. It always changes to the same picture. If I modify the background picture to something else, the next day about mid morning (10:30 - 11:00), the background will again change to what it was before.

The laptop sits on a shelf in my office with no apps running, and with no user touching the keyboard or mouse. It is plugged in to an outlet, and all power settings are set to not blank the screen. I can view the screen on the shelf, and it will suddenly change. I've attempted to modify the picture multiple times, but it "always" reverts back to one that I do not want.

This problem has been going on for several weeks. I've been monitoring the laptop screen for over a month, and I cannot find any reason which would cause this to happen.

As an added note, this problem happened even before I upgraded to Windows 11.

This problem doesn't affect anything on the laptop, but it's very annoying.

Has anyone encountered this problem? If so, what was the solution?
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Solution? (sort of)

by Rabbit_Runner In reply to Windows wallpaper changes ...

This problem has been making me crazy, trying to figure out what's going on and what's causing it. For the past several days, I've been working to find an answer to this problem.
I created a local account and checked daily if the wallpaper would change. Well, it did on some days, and other days it didn't. There didn't appear to be any rhyme or reason to the difference.
I logged into the Local Administrator's account and tried that to see if the wall paper would change. Again, it did on some day, and on other days it didn't.

I became so frustrated, that I copied all my documents and files off to a thumb drive. Then I wiped the computer and reloaded Windows 10. Thus far over the past five days, the wallpaper has not changed. Yea.

I don't know the reason for the original problem, but something was in the operating system that kept making the change. I'm guessing that perhaps Lenovo, when they loaded the computer before I purchased it, they installed some app or setting or something that kept changing the wallpaper. I couldn't find it, even though it was driving me batty.

Therefore, the problem has been solved.

Thanks, everybody for your input.

This thread can be closed.

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All Answers

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Do you know about Wake Timers?

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Windows wallpaper changes ...

Even with power off, an update/change can happen.

Windows 11 is not released and therefore no support for it except from Microsoft.

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Explain

by Rabbit_Runner In reply to Windows wallpaper changes ...

I'm fully aware that windows 11 is not supported. But I stated that this problem happened with Windows 10, before the upgrade.

What are wake timers? Explain. I don't understand.

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Since this was an issue before you played with W11.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Explain

I too can't see how it's relevant.

For now disable Wake Timers: Article about at
https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/63070-enable-disable-wake-timers-windows-10-a.html

You didn't mention and I forgot to ask if you use an email login and have a Microsoft account. Because these are known to SYNC DESKTOP SETTINGS you want to disable that. Many articles about that such as:
https://www.groovypost.com/howto/stop-windows-10-syncing-themes-between-pcs/

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I'll give it a try.

by Rabbit_Runner In reply to Windows wallpaper changes ...

I checked and the top option was disabled. I set the second one to disabled also.

I'll test that and get back to you.

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Re: wallpaper changes

by Kees_B Moderator In reply to I'll give it a try.

If you see the screen changing, it's not a wake timer issue, since it's already running.
- It could be a scheduled task. Check Task planner.
- Any events in Event Viewer showing the change?
- Does it help to set the background to a fixed color in stead of a picture (Settings>Personalization>Background, choose Solid color)?

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That's why I gave a thought about Desktop Sync.

by proffitt In reply to Re: wallpaper changes

I've seen scheduled tasks wake in the night, make the change and it not change on startup so I wanted to cover both areas.

Most likely? Desktop Sync. For me it wouldn't be that since I use a local login but I am seeing a lot of folk use the Microsoft login now and Desktop Sync has them wondering why their other PC changes on its own.

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I disabled the Wake Timers

by Rabbit_Runner In reply to Windows wallpaper changes ...

I disabled the Wake Timers, and changed the wallpaper to something I want. However, this morning about 11:00 am, the same problem happened, the wallpaper changed back to what I don't want. Again, there was no user intervention, and no programs (apps) were running.

I'm using a local login, with my Microsoft email account. I don't know if that has any affect. I'm just pointing it out.

Any other ideas?

Does anyone else have a suggestion?

Thanks in advance.

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Check Task Scheduler.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to I disabled the Wake Timer ...

That's next. Remember that any app can change this so there is no way I can know if you installed an app that does this. My thoughts are about native Windows things.

Tutorial at https://www.windowscentral.com/how-create-automated-task-using-task-scheduler-windows-10 (besides learning how to create, it shows how to see what's scheduled.)

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Re: Microsoft email account

by Kees_B Moderator In reply to I disabled the Wake Timer ...

Logging in with a Microsoft email account is NOT what proffitt meant with "local login".

He meant logging in into a local account, not linked to the cloud. Like you did in Windows 7 or 8 with user names like "Rabbit" and not user names like "rabbit@live.com". Those local accounts are easy to make in Windows 10, even if in recent versions you have to create an email login first (if you're connected to Internet when starting the setup).

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Thank you Kees.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to Re: Microsoft email accou ...

The OP wrote "I'm using a local login, with my Microsoft email account. I don't know if that has any affect. I'm just pointing it out."

This means you could be seeing either a desktop sync or a bug introduced by Microsoft (not unheard of.)

I'd test this out with a true local account and local login.

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