Fix Black Desktop Wallpaper in Windows 10 and 11

Windows showing black desktop wallpaper? Here is how to fix the black desktop wallpaper problem in Windows 10 and 11 operating systems.

Like with any other Windows version, you can set any wallpaper of your choice as the desktop background. It doesn’t matter whether your Windows copy is activated or not. All it takes is a few clicks to apply the new wallpaper. Generally, it is instantly applied to the desktop and shown as its background when you set a new wallpaper. On Windows 11, the wallpaper even appears as a blurred background in apps that support the new design language.

However, Windows 11 can sometimes act funny and show black desktop wallpaper. No matter what wallpaper you try to set or how you try to change the wallpaper, Windows displays a black background on the desktop.

There are a whole bunch of reasons for this behavior. These reasons include but are not limited to the stuck File Explorer process, buggy Windows services, problems with graphics drivers, locked files, etc. No matter the reason, if Windows is showing a black desktop background and won’t let you change the wallpaper, follow the below steps. They will help you fix the black desktop wallpaper problem in Windows 11.

Without further ado, let me show you how to fix the black desktop wallpaper problem in Windows 11.

Fix black desktop wallpaper problem in Windows 11

Here are a few things you should do to troubleshoot and fix the black desktop background problem in Windows 11. Follow the below sections one after the other. The issue will be resolved.

1. Restart Explorer

Though it doesn’t look like it, many things in Windows are tied up with the explorer.exe process. Wallpaper is nothing different. If the explorer.exe process is stuck or bugged out, it can remove the wallpaper and show black desktop wallpaper. In that case, restarting the explorer process will fix the problem most of the time. The good thing is, you can restart the explorer process from the task manager. Here is how.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu.
  2. Select the “Task Manager” option.
  3. Go to the “Processes” tab.
  4. Select the “Windows Explorer” process.
  5. Click the “Restart task” button.
restart explorer to fix black desktop background

As soon as you do that, Windows 11 will restart the explorer process. After restarting, the black desktop background problem should be fixed.

2. Reboot Windows 11

Sometimes, restarting the explorer process is not enough. Mainly because the black screen might be due to locked system files. In that case, restarting the computer will help. If you are wondering, you have to select the restart option to reboot the computer. You should never shut down and turn on the computer manually to reboot Windows. Follow the below steps to reboot Windows 11.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu.
  2. Select the “Shut down and sign out > Restart” option.
  3. This will reboot the computer.
  4. It will fix the black desktop wallpaper problem.
reboot Windows 11 to fix black desktop background

After rebooting, the black desktop wallpaper problem should be fixed. Try setting a new wallpaper.

3. Change theme in Windows 11 Settings app

If the theme is bugged out or corrupted, Windows 11 might show the black desktop wallpaper. In that case, changing the Windows 11 theme to a default one will fix the problem. Here’s how.

  1. Press “Win + I” to open Settings.
  2. Select “Personalization” on the sidebar.
  3. Click on the “Themes” option.
  4. Select a theme from the available ones.
  5. As soon as you do that, the theme is changed.
  6. The black desktop wallpaper wallpaper should be fixed.
change theme to fix black desktop background

4. Update the graphics driver

If there is a problem with the graphics driver, it will mess with Windows graphics settings. In that case, updating the graphics driver will fix the issue.

To update the graphics driver, go to the Intel, Nvidia, or AMD website depending on your graphics card and download the latest graphics driver. After downloading, double-click on the downloaded file and follow the installation wizard to install the driver. Next, reboot Windows 11.

After rebooting, the problem should be fixed.

That is it. It is that simple to fix the black desktop background in Windows 11.

I hope that helps.

If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.

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