Cool Backgrounds

screenshot of a background

When I’m conducting a live seminar (remember the pre-coronavirus days?) or when I create a YouTube video, people often comment about the desktop backgrounds I use. For instance, the picture above is a pretty neat background of a vinyl record and the player it’s sitting on.

Oh, I know some people use one of their own pictures for the desktop background but I really like using pictures that are NOT in my own library. Additionally, I get bored with a background series after awhile so you’ll find me changing the backgrounds pretty frequently.

By the way, backgrounds are also called “wallpapers,” especially when used on a computing device other than a computer (i.e., tablet, smartphone).

“So, how do you get these backgrounds/wallpapers?” I hear you asking. Here’s how:

On a Windows PC:

  1. On the desktop – where all the icons reside – right-click anywhere that doesn’t have an icon or shortcut.
  2. From the menu which appears, choose “Personalize.”
  3. In the left column, choose “Themes.”
  4. Under “Change Themes,” currently installed themes will appear. You can select one of those or find more.
  5. To get more themes, choose “Get more themes in the Microsoft Store.”
  6. When the Windows Themes store page opens, hunt through the very large selection of themes until you find one you want. (Most likely, you’ll find multiple ones you like. For now, just pick one.)
  7. Click or tap (if you’re using a touch screen) on the one you want.
  8. The next window will have a description of the theme and a “Get” button.
  9. If you still want the theme, click on “Get.”
  10. After the theme downloads and installs, if you want to change to that theme right away, choose “Apply.”
  11. Enjoy your new desktop theme!

On a Mac:

  1. Open “System Preferences.”
  2. Open “Desktop & Screen Saver.”
  3. Make sure you’re on the “Desktop” tab at the top.
  4. In the left column, click on “Desktop Pictures.”
  5. Scroll through the right column and find a picture you want.
  6. If you want a theme – pictures which automatically change – choose from the “Dynamic Desktop” section.
  7. Double-click your selection and it will install.
  8. If you want a desktop background other than what is installed, open the App Store and search “Desktop background.”
  9. Choose an app from the results and click “Get.”
  10. The app will install and you’ll have a new background. Please note that most of these background apps are free but have in-app purchases so there may be a small cost if you want to eliminate ads or want more features.

On a Chromebook:

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. In the left column, choose “Personalization.”
  3. In the right column, choose “Wallpaper.”
  4. In the new window, on the left side, choose a category.
  5. On the right side, pick a wallpaper. Notice that some choices have a “Daily Refresh” switch. Turn that on if you’d like the backgrounds to change.
  6. If none of the included backgrounds excite you, there’s also the option to open the Google Play Store and search “Wallpaper.” You’ll find a number of wallpaper apps for the Chromebook. Most of these have a small purchase price if they aren’t free.

On an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Find and open “Wallpaper.”
  3. Select “Choose a New Wallpaper.”
  4. You can choose from one of the Apple categories (Dynamic, Stills, etc.) or you can choose from your own photos.
  5. If you don’t like any of the choices, you can install a Wallpaper app from the App store. Please note that most of these background apps are free but have in-app purchases so there may be a small cost if you want to eliminate ads or want more features.

On an Android Phone or Tablet:

  1. Open “Settings.”
  2. Click on “Wallpapers and Themes.”
  3. To see the themes that came preloaded with your phone, choose “My Stuff.”
  4. If those themes don’t do it for you, go back one window and choose from a ton of wallpapers and themes. Note: most of these are NOT free; however, the cost is usually a couple of bucks so they probably won’t break the bank.


So, why are you still here reading? Give your computer a new desktop background and enjoy!

Screenshot of new desktop background

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