Here is how you can set Live Wallpapers on the Windows Desktop Screen
Microsoft’s approach to an operating system for PCs is much like how Google has approached operating systems for its Android line of phones and is in sharp contrast to how Apple tackles designing an operating system. Both, Microsoft and Google, license their operating systems to other manufacturers rather than making their own devices.
In addition to that, both are pretty lenient in terms of customizability, allowing the manufacturers to add their own little personal touches to the Operating System. This approach is a two-edged sword – it can be a bad thing by adding unnecessary clutter (also known as bloatware), it can also be a good thing, allowing the user to choose from a range from different choices rather than just one universal choice for everyone.
Thanks to this, you can customize your PC (as well as your smartphone) to your own liking, even adding support for features which Microsoft didn’t originally intend for use, like a Live Wallpaper.
A computer wallpaper is a digital image used as a decorative background of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) on the screen of a computer. They were first introduced by the X Window System and since then, have become a default feature for almost every GUI-based operating system introduced since.
However, Live Wallpaper, first introduced by Google’s Android, is now a pretty popular feature for smartphones. Instead of a static image, it uses animation as the backdrop, making for a visually appealing home screen.
Why you should not use a live wallpaper?
A live wallpaper, unlike a static image, is basically an animation that plays continuously in the background, giving your PC a more visually appealing look. However, you should also keep in mind a few disadvantages of using a live wallpaper; it comes at the cost of an impact on your battery life and speed.
Since the animation has to continuously play in the background, it means it will utilize a small percentage of your CPU. That impact should be small enough to ignore but the impact on the battery might be a little more noticeable. The exact impact may vary depending on your PC.
There are a number of different ways you can set a live wallpaper on your Windows PC,
Use an Animated GIF as a Wallpaper
One way to go about setting a live wallpaper is to make your own GIF and use it as an animated wallpaper in Windows. Since Windows doesn’t natively support animated wallpapers, you will have to use a Third-Party software to do this. Here are two softwares we suggest you can use,
- Plastuer | Paid
Plastuer is a paid tool (Pay What You Want). It can help you set up videos, GIFs, and even HTML5 webpages as your Windows wallpapers and it will use WebGL and the Open Source Chromium browser to render animation on the desktop.
- BioniX Animated Wallpaper | Free
A free program, it allows you to set a GIF as your Desktop background on a Windows 10 computer. Here is how you can use it,
- Download the program from the link given above.
- Go through the installation wizard to install it.
- Once it is installed, you can click on the Tools option and click on Wallpaper animator.
- It will let you select the GIF and then will set it as the desktop background.
Use a Video as a Wallpaper
A video may be able to play in high quality, making for a better viewing, but it will also have a significantly bigger impact on your CPU and battery utilization. Here are some tools you can use to set a video as a wallpaper,
DreamScene was originally introduced in Windows Vista Ultimate by Microsoft, allowing you to set a looped video as your wallpaper. However, it was removed when Windows 7 was released. Fortunately, you can still download and install it on your PC.
Here is how you can use DreamScene,
- Download it for Windows 7 | Windows XP.
- Right-click on the .exe file and click on Run as Administrator.
- Click on Enable DreamScene.
That’s it. One thing you should keep in mind is that DreamScene only works with .mpg or .wmv files. To set a video as your wallpaper, right-click on the file and click on Set as Desktop Background. That’s it.
- VLC | Free
VLC Media Player is one of the most popular free and open source multimedia players today, available on Windows, Mac, and even smartphones. Apart from being a great multimedia player, it has a ton of neat little tricks and one of them is allowing you to set a video as a wallpaper. Here is how you can do it,
- Download and install VLC Media Player.
- Open any video you would like to set as wallpaper with VLC.
- Click on the Video menu and choose “Set as Wallpaper“.
That’s it. Now, that video will play in the background on your PC. The catch over here is that the video will close if you close VLC so you will need to keep VLC opened. You can also make a full playlist or play the video in a loop so it can play in the background continuously.
Use a Third-Party Tool
There are dozens of third-party tools available today that come with their own host of live wallpapers for you to choose from. Here, we have listed down some of the tools you can use,
- Wallpaper Engine | Paid – $5
- StarDock DeskScapes | Paid – $7.99
- Blue Ocean Aquarium | Free
- Space Wormhole | Free