Microsoft is no longer updating Windows 7, but there is a problem: In the latest Windows 7 update, released Jan. 14, Microsoft introduced a bug that can replace your desktop background with a blank black screen.
As we reported, Microsoft says it’s fixing the bug, but only for those businesses that pay for extended security updates. If you are a home user, Microsoft is obviously not going to fix this bug for you. You’re on your own. Home users can’t even pay for advanced security updates. Fortunately, there is a way around this bug.
If your Windows 7 computer background has suddenly gone completely black, this guide will help you fix the problem and reapply the right background to your desktop. By following the simple steps in this guide, you can replace the black wallpaper with any custom wallpaper on your desktop.
What causes a black screen background error in Windows 7
In the meantime, relax and don’t worry! This is a known bug caused by the recently released update KB4534310. This update was released on January 14, 2020, the day Windows 7 EOL (End of Life) or EOS (End of Support) stopped supporting the Windows 7 operating system.
If you manually installed this update on your system or if Windows 7 automatically downloaded and installed this update on your computer, the desktop background will automatically turn into a solid black screen after reboot. Many people call this the “end of support screen” or “end of life screen”.
Why does this happen? It happens when the desktop background has been applied as a stretch. In Windows 7, the screen background can be set in different image positions, which are as follows:
If you have applied the background image as a stretched image in the past, you will be affected by this error. If the background image was applied with other image positions, you will not be affected by this error.
If the user’s desktop background was previously displayed as a stretched image, it will be replaced with a solid black screen after you install this update. For this reason, even if you try to reapply your custom wallpaper, the wallpaper is not applied because the image position is selected as stretched. It seems that the stretched image position is no longer supported by Windows 7 after installing this update. When using the wallpaper in the stretched position, Windows 7 does not display the wallpaper on the desktop or a solid black screen.
To fix the black screen background error in Windows 7
Change the screen background
After disabling a third-party application, you should try changing the screen background. Here are the steps:
- Click on the “Search” icon.
- Enter “Settings” (without the quotes).
- Select “customize.”
- Select “Background” from the menu.
- Select Slideshow from the drop-down list below the background. This way, you can check if removing the third-party app solved the problem.
- If the slideshow works well, you can replace the background with a static image.
You can also try using other images if you set the corrupted photo as the background.
Removing the corrupted file TranscodedWallpaper
In some cases, the black desktop screen may be caused by a corrupted TranscodedWallpaper.jpg file. Because of this problem, Windows may not display the wallpaper you selected. To restore this file, simply follow the steps below:
- Open File Explorer.
- Paste the following text into the address bar and press Enter.
- Once in the folder, find the file named “TranscodedWallpaper”.
- Change the file name to “TranscodedWallpaper.old” (without the quotes).
- If you see a file named “Settings.ini”, open it in Notepad.
- Delete the contents of the file.
- Save your changes, then close Notepad.
- Follow the steps in Method 1 and select the new image as the screen background.
Update the video driver
If you are using an old graphics driver, updating it may solve the black screen problem in Windows 7. In this case, you should check your computer manufacturer’s website for updates for your video card and motherboard.
Be sure to download the correct file, as installing an incompatible driver can cause further damage to your computer. Therefore, we recommend using a reliable tool such as a third-party driver update program. This program automatically searches for outdated drivers and updates them to the latest versions recommended by the manufacturer.
The advantage of this tool is that it captures all the drivers that need attention. This means that at the end of the process, you’ll be able to solve your screen background problem and enjoy increased speed and performance on your computer.
Fix the settings for easier access
If you’ve changed your accessibility settings, you may have unknowingly removed the wallpaper. This may be the reason why you can’t fix the black screen on your computer. To fix this problem, simply disable the button. Follow the instructions below:
- Click on the search icon.
- Type “Control Panel” (without the quotes).
- Click “Ease of Use,” then “Ease of Use Center.”
- Select “Make Computers More Accessible.”
- Look for the option that says: “Remove wallpaper (if any) is not checked.
- If checked, click it to uncheck it.
- Click Apply.
- Set a new wallpaper for your computer.
Perform a system restore
If a black screen background appears after updating Windows, you need to restore your system settings before the error occurred. Perform the following steps:
- Restart your computer.
- Press and hold the F8 key while your computer boots. This will allow you to boot into safe mode.
- In the search box, type “restore” (without the quotes), then press Enter.
- Select system restores from the results.
- Enter any administrator password when prompted.
- Follow the steps of the wizard and select a restore point.
- You should be able to reboot the system into configuration mode.
You can also try cleaning the system registry to see if the repetitive, corrupt or erroneous files accompanying the update can be fixed. However, we do not recommend doing this manually.
The system registry is a sensitive database. It is so sensitive that even an inappropriate comma can damage your computer. For this reason, we recommend using a program like a third-party registry cleaner.
This tool creates a backup before running a scan, so you can easily undo changes and avoid further damage. A third-party registry cleaner looks for registry files that need attention and repairs them accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
From the menu, select Customize. If you are already using a theme with one screen background, select themes with multiple screen backgrounds. Your desktop should turn black, with no wallpaper on the screen. To solve this problem permanently, you will have to re-activate and de-activate your desktop icons.
- Right-click any open area of the desktop.
- Click the Customize button.
- Click on "Wallpaper."
- Click on "Browse."
- Navigate to the location of the image you want to use, then click OK.
- Check the box next to the image you want to set as your Windows background.
- Click the Start button, type services.
- Find the Desktop Window Manager session service and double-click on it.
- Find "Startup Type" in the drop-down menu and change the value to Disabled.
- Find the Stop button and click on it.
- Click the "Apply" button, then click the "OK" button.
If you notice that your Windows background periodically disappears, there are two possible explanations. The first is that "Shuffle" is enabled for the background, so your software is set to periodically change the image. The second possibility is that your copy of Windows has been activated incorrectly.