Windows 7 Starter: Like my background? Well, you're stuck with it!

When we get Windows 7 Starter Edition Build 7068,  we are treated to this nice desktop as a default:


Pretty, right? No.  This is a take off of the fish wallpaper in the beta of Ultimate: 



Well, you say, I don’t like these very much.  I’ll just change them.  Wrong!  In Windows 7 Starter Edition Build 7068, you may not enter the Display Prefrences control panel section to change the background.  You are stuck with a gray fish forever.

Even other methods of changing it such as from Windows Photo Gallery do not work. Rafael from Within Windows explains the situation like this:


As for the technical side, a new licensing bit was introduced –ChangeDesktopBackground-Enabled. On Starter Edition SKUs, this bit is set to 0, disabling background setting capabilities in Windows Photo Viewer and the Display/Theme Control Panel applets. The infection goes deeper into system files shell32.dll and themeui.dll too, hard-coding the wallpaper to %windir%\web\wallpaper\windows\img0.jpg.

As many times before, he has found a workaround, suggesting that one can log in as adminstrator and reset the permissions on img0.jpg, then overwrite the file. Another alternative would be to use third-party software. 

The inability to change wallpaper now adds on to Microsoft’s list of features to take away or dumb down in Starter.You can view a chart showing full comparison of major features in each of the SKUs here. Here are a few of the main ones:

  • Three application limit (not counting Antivirus software and background processes)
  • Aero Theme
  • Windows Touch Features
  • Windows Media Center
  • DVD Playback
  • Less games


Starter will not be for sale in the US, except on some netbooks, so this is not a problem for us, but this is sad for other users.  We will keep you up to date on all Windows 7 News.

About The Author

Jamie is a co-founder and senior editor at Technigrated, covering all facets of the tech industry. In addition to working at Technigrated, Jamie is a Founding Partner of NBR Design Studio, a graphic and web design and hosting firm headquartered in Bethany Beach, DE.


  1. Hence the name, "Starter." This is not Ultimate, and it is priced accordingly. If you want to use the features Ultimate offers then buy Ultimate! Besides, anything is better than Mac OS.

  2. Use Stardock MyColors to bypass restriction and change wallpaper on Windows 7 Starter.

  3. Thanks for the instructive comment, Mark. Very helpful. Thanks for reading our blog and contributing.

  4. Hi,

    You have a Great Blog, I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep it up.


    • Thanks for checking us out and adding our blog to your News reader.

  5. the fact that, people are ready to pay money ($40) for something that is going to restrain their abilities, is amusing, indeed! instead, they could download and install Ubuntu or Ubuntu Netbook Remix, which will be absolutely free and will work with superpowers. but no! they stick to buying licences from Microsoft and using OS-es which need extra expensive applications for kepping them alive! this is unbelievable like all the most stupid things you could ever imagine.

    • Good point. I guess you could say that there are apps and cloud computing ans such these days which make tech and the internet what it was originally intended to be until commerce and the dollar got in the way.



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