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Windows 7: Cannot add Picture locations

10 Oct 2010   #1

Cannot add Picture locations

Hi all.

I'm having an issue with personalizing my win7 Home Premium 64 laptop's desktop, specifically selecting new folders @ Display -> Personalization -> Desktop Background. When I click "Browse" to select a different Picture location, no matter what folder I browse to no images appear and the folder is not added to Picture location. The picture location dropdown contains 4 default items (Windows Wallpapers, Solid Colors, desktop, Lenovo_1). I just can't seem to add other folders.

Haven't found any posts describing the same problem but I read similar ones which mentioned to check with a new account. So I created another admin-level account and, yes, that new account is able to browse images in other folders and get them added to Picture location. However, I don't want to have to change accounts just to fix this.

As far as I can tell, browsing for Picture locations worked up until last week where I had a strange bug when rebooting after an Adobe update; my win7 account seemed to have been reset to default settings. I had to re-personalize all my start menu and folder display stuff. Didn't realize the desktop background picture location was broken until I finally got around to attempting to change wallpapers last night.

I ran sfc /verifyonly but it reported no problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Oct 2010   #2


Not a proper fix, only a workaround. Specifically, the "Picture Locations" dropdown box contains several default items, among them Windows Wallpaper. Apparently there is a registry key which defines where exactly this folder is.

Browse to the following registry key: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Wallpaper\KnownFolders\0\Windows Wallpapers\MergeFolders. In MergeFolders there should be a single string named after a folder. It probably points somewhere deep in C:\Windows, didn't really bother looking. Anyway, just rename the string to where your images are as well as edit the string value to the same. E.g. if your images are in C:\Pictures, change the string name to "C:\Pictures" and edit the value also to "C:\Pictures".

Once done, go back to Personalization -> Desktop Background. Picture Location browse for additional folders is still broken, but the registry edit you made will have changed the Windows Wallpaper link in the dropdown to the folder you chose. You'll probably have to edit that registry key every time you change image folders but at least it works, shuffle and everything.

Ta, hope that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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