How to Change Desktop Wallpaper in Windows 10 Without Activation

Even without activating Windows 10, you can change the wallpaper quite easily. Here’s how to change wallpaper without activating Windows 10.

After installing Windows 10, you have to activate it using a valid license key or by signing into your Microsoft account. That being said, even without activating, Windows OS will work perfectly fine even. However, unless you activate Windows 10, Microsoft will block all the personalization options. This means that you cannot change the wallpaper on Windows 10 without activating it first.

If you try to change the wallpaper or other personalization options from the Settings app, you will see a simple “You need to activate Windows before you can personalize your PC” message at the top of the Settings app. Simply put, you are stuck with the default wallpaper.

Windows 10 settings personalization blocked message

Sure, the default wallpaper looks good. However, seeing that same wallpaper every day can be a bit jarring. So, here are a few methods that can help you change the wallpaper in a non-activate Windows 10 system.

Change Wallpaper in Windows 10 Without Activation

There are three different ways you can change the wallpaper in a non-activated Windows 10 machine. All of them are pretty easy to follow. The first two methods require no software installation whatsoever; you can use the built-in apps to change the wallpaper. The third method lets you change the wallpaper and lets you set a new wallpaper every day automatically.

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Note:
1. For this article, I assume that you’ve already downloaded your favorite wallpaper(s). If not, try Unsplash or Pixabay to download some gorgeous copyright-free wallpapers.
2. The below-shown methods to change the wallpaper in Windows 10 without activation will also work on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

#1 – Use File Explorer to Change Desktop Wallpaper in Non-Activated Windows 10

The file explorer method is one of the easiest ways to change the wallpaper in Windows 10 without activation.

  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. Go to the folder where you’ve saved the wallpaper.
  3. Right-click on the wallpaper image.
  4. Select the option “Set as desktop background“.
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That is it. As soon as you select the option, Windows 10 will set the image as your wallpaper instantly.

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#2 – Use Internet Explorer to Change Wallpaper in Windows 10 Without Activation

Internet Explorer is mostly useless in this day and age, and you can uninstall Internet Explorer with just a few clicks. If you still have Internet Explorer lying around, you can use it to change the wallpaper on Windows 10 without activation.

  1. Open the start menu.
  2. Search for “Internet Explorer” and open it.
  3. Drag and drop the wallpaper in the Internet Explorer.
  4. The above action will open the wallpaper in the Internet Explorer.
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  5. Right-click on the image and select “Set as background” option.
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  6. You will see a confirmation window. Click “Yes“.
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As soon as you select the option, Internet Explorer will change the Windows 10 wallpaper instantly.

#3 – Use Wallpaper Changing Applications to Set New Wallpaper in Non-Activated Windows 10

You can also use third-party apps like Dynamic Theme, Artpip, etc., to change wallpapers in the not-activated Windows 10 system. One of the benefits of using third-party applications is that you can configure them to set a new wallpaper every day in Windows 10 automatically. This eliminates the need to download and set the wallpaper every time manually. Moreover, a new wallpaper every day makes the desktop feel fresh.

I’ve already written a detailed article on how to change wallpaper automatically every day on Windows 10, Windows 7, and Windows 8. Follow the instructions in the linked article, and you should be golden.

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Conclusion

As you can see, even if you don’t activate Windows 10 and even if the settings app doesn’t allow it, you can easily bypass those restrictions and change the wallpaper in a non-activated Windows 10 system.

If you like this article, check out how to stop background apps in Windows 10 and add folders to the Send To menu in Windows 10.

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