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Setting DPI and desktop wallpaper using the Registry
Monday 28, January 2019   |   Post link

Don't get me wrong, I am in no way suggesting that everyone keep using unregistered copies of Windows. However, we software engineering folks keep creating and destroying virtual machines like nobody's business and it makes little sense to activate each one of them.

The downside of using non-activated Windows VMs is that you can't do much with the appearance like set custom scaling for making font appear larger or even set a decent wallpaper. Things actually aren't as bad as it may seem, you can still do both:

  • Set custom DPI / scaling
  • Set desktop wallpaper

The trick for doing both is by using the registry directly.

For setting the DPI, you need to access the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop key and set the value of LogPixel to the correct integer value. If you want this to affect your remote desktop sessions, you need to set the value IgnoreClientDesktopScaleFactor under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\WinStations to 1.

For setting the wallpaper you need to deal with the values WallPaper, WallStyle and TileWallpaper under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop registry key.

  • Set the WallPaper key to the wallpaper e.g. c:\wallpapers\sky.jpg
  • The WallStyle decides how the wallpaper is placed. Valid values are: 0 (for tiling and center), 2 (stretch), 6 (fit), 10 (fill). Note you should set TileWallpaper to 0 if you are not tiling the wallpaper.

To make it easy, here are two batch files which help to set the DPI and wallpapers.

Download the batch scripts


Categories: Windows (8)

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