None of the above solutions worked for me, but the following one did. In my case, the desktop went black right after rebooting following some required MS Updates that were automatically applied. Attempting to change desktop image following that update stopped working, and I got a black background. Examining the registry key HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper
showed an empty value (hence the black background).
I finally discovered that I had a corrupted TranscodedWallpaper.jpg. The fix for this, is to find that file, rename it to .old (or whatever you like), retry the set background image, and reboot. The corrupt image is probably here: C:\Users\your username
Full details at microsoft support article 2504610
(excerpt recopied below, in case they bring down that page):
- Copy the following text, and then click Start and past the text into the search box and click the Enter key on the keyboard:
- Right-click the file that is named TranscodedWallpaper.jpg and then click Rename
- Rename the file to TranscodedWallpaper.old, (change .jpg to .old) and then click Yes when prompted
- Double-click slideshow.ini. Slideshow.ini should open with Notepad. Select all the text in slideshow.ini if any exists and press Delete on the keyboard, and then click File and Save to save the changes.
- Close Notepad and close the Windows Explorer window and browse to the picture that will be set as the background image
- Try to apply a background picture again