How to clear recently used desktop background images on Windows 10?

October 23, 2018 |

greater than 2 minute

Any time you want to customize your desktop’s background image, the system will store a thumbnail of that image. This eventually will become a collection of background images that you have used: up to 5 will be stored in the memory in case you want to use them again. If you are selling your computer or you don’t want a third party to access these images, you need to get rid of them.

In this article, we will show you how to do a few simple Registry edits to delete these thumbnails. Following the instructions below will help you clear recently used background images.

The easiest way to delete an image from the thumbnail collection is to right-click on it and delete it

But you have to do it in the Registry Editor. Here’s how:

  • Step 1. Open the Registry Editor. You have to click Start and type ‘regedit’ into the search bar.
  • Step 2. When you’ve opened Registry Editor, you have to give it permission to make changes in your computer.
  • Step 3. On the left pane of the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Wallpapers

NB: You can also copy and paste the path above into the search bar, but remember to change your computer’s username first

  • Step 4. On the right side, find the values that are called BackgroundHistoryPath 0 through 4. These stand for the images that you are trying to delete.
  • Step 5. Delete one or all of them. You have to select each one or all, right-click and select the Delete option in the drop-down menu.
  • Step 6. You need to confirm that you want to delete these images.
  • Step 7. Remember that even after you have deleted the customized images, you will not get rid of the wallpapers altogether, but they will revert to the default wallpapers, so no personal pictures will be displayed.
  • Step 8. Close Registry Editor. If the changes have not taken place yet, you need to sign out and sign back into Windows.

We hope that this article was beneficial to you and you have learned how to reset recently used desktop background images on Windows 10. If you are having problems with malicious software that has infected your computer and is adjusting the settings of your device without your consent, try using Auslogics Anti-Malware for better protection.

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