[SOLVED] The “Desktop Wallpaper” Group Policy setting is not applied in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2


HINT: use a .bmp file.

The “Desktop Wallpaper” Group Policy setting is not applied in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2


March 23, 2012 by admin

I came across an issue today while configuring Folder Redirection for the following folders:

– AppData

– Desktop

– MyDocuments

The scenario I was in was as follows. I installed Citrix User Profile Manager on a Windows 7 x86 desktop. Configured the ADM file to enable the Citrix User Profile Manager and also configured Folder Redirection in the same GPO. Rebooted the desktop and when I tried logging in using one of my test accounts and I noticed the background was set to black. After doing a quick search on Google I found this thread:


The discussion is quite lengthy and there are several potential workarounds suggested. So I started to eliminate some of them.

  • The first one I tried was was the permissions on the share where the wallpaper file resided. It passed the check.
  • Then I checked the registry under HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\Wallpaper and it was pointing to the redirected AppData folder inside the \\…\%UserName%\Home\AppData\Microsoft\Windows\Themes. Although it was pointing to a JPG file, it still wasn’t loading it properly when the user logs in.
  • I then tried changing the GPO to point to the local instance of the JPG file located under the %WinDir% folder. Still no success.
  • I then noticed that Microsoft developed some sort of hotfix for this issue here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/977944. After applying this hotfix, the issue still persisted.
  • I then stumbled across someone in the thread suggesting to go with the BMP file instead of JPG. Voila! the problem was solved.

So I am now using a combination of GPOs with Active Desktop, hotfix and BMP file as my wallpaper.


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