Desktop background slideshow: 7 things to do when it is not working

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Every once in a while, you’d like to see your best photos and/or pictures saved on your computer displayed using the background slideshow on your desktop.

This is one of the fun parts of owning a computer. But the joy is short-lived when the background slideshow stops working.

You can’t change the themes because they just won’t show, and you end up with a blank screen or the default background theme.

The problem is most likely within your computer’s power settings, which you need to change before the background slideshow can work again.

However, the main troubleshooting problems could be either of three things:

  • The background slideshow option is not working
  • Background slideshow won’t work from previous Windows versions or isn’t found at all
  • Links to your photo album send back the ‘No items match your search’ error message when selecting a folder which has your pictures.

There is good news for you: we have working solutions that can fix the issue of your computer’s background slideshow function not working.

Background slideshow won’t work [FIX]

  1. Change power settings
  2. Save as Theme
  3. Change Personalization Settings
  4. Turn on Desktop background settings
  5. Remove and restore albums folder to fix background slideshow issue
  6. Check if you’re using sub-folders

Solution 1 –  Change power settings

  1. Right-click Start.
  2. Select Control Panel.
  3. Search and select the Power option.
  4. Click Change Plan settings.
  5. Click Advanced power settings.
  6. Click Desktop Background settings.
  7. Go to the Slideshow tab.advanced power options
  8. Change it from Pause to Available.




If your desktop background slideshow won’t change, go to the next solution.

Solution 2 – Save as Theme

In order to change the background slideshow settings to work, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Themes
  2. Save your current background settings as a theme.
  3. Give the theme a name.
  4. Click Save.

Hope this works. If not, try the next solution.

Solution 3 – Change Personalization Settings

This is perhaps the simplest way to go about it. Follow the steps below:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Click Personalization.
  4. On the Background drop down menu, select Slideshow.

background settings

Check whether your background slideshow function is working now.

Solution 4 – Turn on Desktop background settings

  1. Click Start.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Click Ease of Access settings.ease of access
  4. Click Other options.
  5. Turn on Show Windows Background setting.



Usually, when the desktop background is a solid color, it was probably turned off on this setting.

You can also right click on your desktop and choose Next desktop background, and see if it helps.

Solution 5 – Remove and restore albums folder to fix background slideshow issue

  1. Click Start.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Personalization.background settings
  4. Click Lock screen on the left pane.
  5. Go to Background and select Slideshow from the drop-down menu.
  6. Select Choose albums for your slideshow.background slideshow
  7. Remove the folder that holds the photos or pictures.
  8. Restore the folder.



Does the background slideshow error persist? Try the next solution.

Solution 6 –  Check if you’re using sub-folders

temporary folder

Sub-folders are not well supported for the background slideshow function, whether in Settings or Control Panel.

If you set your Picture library to be the root of your subdirectory system, it’s advisable to select the Picture library as your slideshow folder.

Choose a folder that directly contains the images or photos you want to use for your background slideshow.

Did any of these solutions resolve your issue? Share with us your experience in the comments section.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.



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  • A few days ago my pc got version 1903. Since then the slideshow does not work. When I chose a folder with pictures, I get the message that “No items match your search”. I tried some of your suggestions in the article, but not all options exist on my computer. For example there is no Other options as in Solution 4. Until this so called upgrade the slideshow worked perfectly. Every day a different picture, now every day the same one……