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  • #2140878

    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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    • #2413157

      Do you know about Wake Timers?

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to Windows wallpaper changes without user intervention

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

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

    • #2413156

      Explain

      by rabbit_runner ·

      In reply to Windows wallpaper changes without user intervention

      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.

    • #2413154

      I’ll give it a try.

      by rabbit_runner ·

      In reply to Windows wallpaper changes without user intervention

      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.

      • #2413150

        Re: wallpaper changes

        by kees_b ·

        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)?

        • #2413146

          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.

    • #2413145

      I disabled the Wake Timers

      by rabbit_runner ·

      In reply to Windows wallpaper changes without user intervention

      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.

      • #2413143

        Check Task Scheduler.

        by rproffitt ·

        In reply to I disabled the Wake Timers

        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.)

      • #2413138

        Re: Microsoft email account

        by kees_b ·

        In reply to I disabled the Wake Timers

        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).

        • #2413137

          Thank you Kees.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to Re: Microsoft email account

          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.

      • #2413132

        Another thing to try.

        by kees_b ·

        In reply to I disabled the Wake Timers

        Disconnect that laptop on the shelf from Internet. If it doesn’t happen then, that most likely means that it’s not a local action, but something related to your cloud settings.

    • #2413098

      Delay in replying

      by rabbit_runner ·

      In reply to Windows wallpaper changes without user intervention

      I haven’t replied for a few days because I’ve been testing a few eyes.
      First, I disabled the Task Scheduler service and waited through the next daily cycle. Result: that didn’t work.
      Second, I checked the location of the file used for the background, and learned that it’s sometimes attached to a ‘theme’. I modified some files dealing with ‘theme’ but, again the result did not work.
      Third, the time of the change in the wallpaper is at 10:33 AM everyday. I searched the registry and deleted an entry for that particular time (after exporting and saving it, of course). The result was negative.
      Fourth, I disconnected the laptop from the network. That included external connection. Again, the result came up negative.

      I’m asking if anyone knows how to create a event in the Windows event log that’ll happen whenever the wallpaper is changed? I’m not a scripter, so any suggestions will have to be detailed.

      Are there any other suggestions? I’m all ears.

      • #2413097

        So you’re still using a Microsoft Login?

        by proffitt ·

        In reply to Delay in replying

        Given what Microsoft does on an email login I would not call this complete until it was a true local login.

        • #2413096

          I’ll give that a college try.

          by rabbit_runner ·

          In reply to So you’re still using a Microsoft Login?

          I just created a new, local account without any elevated privileges.

          the laptop will remain off network through this next test cycle.

          Are there any other ideas or suggestions? This Rabbit is all ears.

    • #2413095

      I’m sticking to “things that Windows does.” (for now.)

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to Windows wallpaper changes without user intervention

      Windows 10 does have a wallpaper rotation feature. Here’s a good writeup about it -> https://www.windowscentral.com/enable-windows10-slideshow-and-battery

      Why we wrote about logins is that Microsoft has Desktop Sync and we can’t be sure of settings if such is used. And we can’t be sure there’s some bug there (not unheard of.)

      So we’ll have to try the usual but I wouldn’t be surprised if some app you installed or a bug from Microsoft is the cause. BUT for now we’ll work the areas that are stock and can do this.

      • #2413094

        Thanks for the suggestion.

        by rabbit_runner ·

        In reply to I’m sticking to “things that Windows does.” (for now.)

        Thanks for the suggestion. However, I’ve been there and done that. That feature is utilized on my desktop PC (not the laptop) where I’ve accumulated ~2000 Bing wallpaper pictures.

        On my laptop, I’ve also utilized that feature but have used the existing pictures that were supplied when the OS was installed.

        I, too, have wondered about some app I installed that could be causing this behavior, but can’t think of what it would be. That’s why I requested a means to get an event in the Windows Event Log whenever the background picture is changed. Perhaps such a logfile would point to the offending culprit, such as a service, program, registry setting, or whatever.

        Any suggestions?

    • #2413093

      I’m back to Desktop Sync feature as suspect.

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to Windows wallpaper changes without user intervention

      You wrote about using the wallpaper rotation on your other PC.

      Since Microsoft accounts share settings, there you go.

      As to events, you could research that but with Microsoft/email logins, you are not in control of the PC.

      • #2413092

        I don’t think so

        by rabbit_runner ·

        In reply to I’m back to Desktop Sync feature as suspect.

        I don’t think my PC settings are affecting the Laptop settings. The PC rotation works beautifully. The laptop will work the rotation until 10:33 the next day. Then the wallpaper is set to the same picture, and the “rotation” has been changed to “picture”.

        About the local account not being in control of the laptop, that would be correct. But wouldn’t it be possible to have the local admin create a way to generate an event whenever the wallpaper changed, that would work for all users? I think it would, but am not knowledgeable on how to do the settings or write a script to accomplish an event in the windows logs. That’s why I was asking if anyone out there may have a method that worked for them.

        • #2413091

          Desktop Sync does things like this.

          by proffitt ·

          In reply to I don’t think so

          From a quick review you were logging in with your Microsoft login so this continues to be a known reason. Now there’s that other issue with Microsoft and “bugs.” I’m not writing about Bugs Bunny here and it’s not nearly as funny.

        • #2413090

          New local account

          by rabbit_runner ·

          In reply to Desktop Sync does things like this.

          For testing purposes, I’ve created a NEW LOCAL account, “Rabbit”. This account does not have any administrative rights. It is a user, from first to last.

          I did some checking on line and, (I think) found a way to generate an event in the Windows EventViewer. I opened:
          c:\users\Rabbit\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes. This is the location that the OS uses to store the current wallpaper. If the background scheme is modified, then the file in this folder is modified.

          I logged on then as the Local Administrator and enabled auditing of that particular folder. I set it to raise an Event flag anytime anyone (anything) modifies the files in this folder.

          I haven’t tried this before, so I’ll wait until tomorrow to see what exactly will happen. I’m praying to the Lord that I may learn something that will lead to a correction of this problem.

          Stay tuned. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

        • #2413087

          Re: new local account

          by kees_b ·

          In reply to New local account

          There are 3 things you can change:
          1. Local account or Microsoft account
          2. Administrator or not
          3. Connected to Internet or not

          It’s up to you to test (once a day, that’s 8 days at most) which combinations change the picture at 10:33 and which don’t. But it seems to me you can check a local account and a Microsoft account at the same time, so then it only takes 4 days.

          It would be interesting to see the outcome.

    • #2419495

      Solution? (sort of)

      by rabbit_runner ·

      In reply to Windows wallpaper changes without user intervention

      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.

      • #2419493

        Re: reinstalled Windows

        by kees_b ·

        In reply to Solution? (sort of)

        Good to read you found this “solution”, although it’s rather brute force. It’s still unclear what caused it. Luckily, it doesn’t appear to happen often, since it’s the first time I heard from it on the forums.

        Thanks for telling.

      • #3939114

        Re: reinstalled Windows

        by kees_b ·

        In reply to Solution? (sort of)

        Good to read you found this “solution”, although it’s rather brute force. It’s still unclear what caused it. Luckily, it doesn’t appear to happen often, since it’s the first time I heard from it on the forums.

        Thanks for telling.

    • #3939116

      Solution? (sort of)

      by rabbit_runner ·

      In reply to Windows wallpaper changes without user intervention

      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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