Best Free Wallpaper Changer

 
Introduction

After seeing the same wallpapers on the desktop for some time, most PC users would prefer a change to make it more lively, dynamic and interactive.

Some newer versions of Windows have basic settings to change wallpapers automatically, whereas earlier versions of the Windows system only allow for changing wallpapers manually. Going for a better choice with more features? Check out these free and good wallpaper changers that are reviewed and rated based on the features below:

  • User interface or ease of use.
  • Change wallpapers at time intervals set by users
  • Set position of each wallpaper
  • Synchronise wallpapers with folders
  • Auto close after changing the wallpaper to free up system resources
  • Slide show and other useful features.
 
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Go to details...  Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide

 
Discussion

Wallpaper MasterWallpaper Master has a good user interface with many useful features. The program can be set to auto start at windows logon or auto close after 30 seconds to save system resources.

It allows you to categorize the lists of wallpapers and rate each wallpaper so that better ones are chosen more often. It's easy to add files to the list or simply monitor a directory to update the list of wallpapers.

Wallpapers can be set to change when windows starts or on certain intervals in sequential order, shuffle mode or random order according to ratings. The position of each wallpaper can be set to center, stretch, tile or resize as well.

On the downside, the program allows adding up to a maximum 5,000 images per category in the free version, but that's good enough for most average users.

 

Wallpaper Cycler LiteWallpaper Cycler Lite offers to change the wallpaper on startup with other features such as auto shutdown, timer and cycle wallpapers.

This program manages wallpapers in multi-level categories, which can be linked to folders on your hard drive to automatically detect new wallpapers. Position of the wallpapers can be set to default, center, tile, stretch to fill, stretch to height, stretch to width and stretch with or without aspect to each wallpaper in the categories.

It includes a mode to show a slide show of all your wallpapers in the categories. It can also monitor your CPU load when it wants to cycle and prevent cycling when your CPU is too busy. This free program shows some other features in the context menu but they are only enabled in the paid version. These restricted features include wallpaper layouts, tags, search folders, etc.

 

Looking for a wallpaper changer with a calendar?

MuralPix ManagerMuralPix Manager is well worth trying. It has an option to make a frame around an image as part of the wallpaper. The frame color is calculated so that it corresponds to the overall image color tone. Further, a calendar can be painted automatically to the wallpaper with various settings.

It allows you to add folders and auto detect changes of files in the folders, set time intervals of changing wallpapers, etc. The wallpapers in the folders can be used by a screen saver included in the program.

The program can be set to auto start or run in a silent mode, but auto close is not included. Its user interface is not as good as some other programs, and settings of margins and images apply to all rather than individual wallpaper files.

 

John's Background SwitcherAs an alternative, John's Background Switcher can be used to change wallpapers with optional calendars as well.

The program supports multiple monitors and features setting auto exit, time intervals, selecting images from the folders or from other online resources such as Flickr, Picasa Web Albums, Facebook, etc.

Wallpapers can be set to center, stretch, scale, a thumbnail mosaic, a four-picture montage or a snapshot scrapbook. This setting applies to all but not individual wallpapers.

A picture browser is included to view images either downloaded or used in montage, but no slide show is available.

 

Looking for a cross-platform wallpaper changer?

WallyWally is a good wallpaper changer running on Win32, Linux and Mac OS X platforms. The author of the software re-uses the idea from John's Background Switcher (JBS) and fulfils the universe of wallpaper changers not covered by JBS.

The user interface looks similar to JBS, but it allows the wallpaper position to be set to centered, tiled, center tiled, centered maxpert, tiled maxpert, scaled, center auto fit or scale and crop. The setting of positions applies to all wallpapers in the folders.

The program supports features such as time intervals, selecting images from the folders or from online resources, displaying image EXIF data in system tray tool-tip, saving downloaded photos, run-time folder change detection, etc. No auto exit of the program is noted.

EvJO Wallpaper ChangerIf you don't like this restriction and prefer a simpler program, EvJO Wallpaper Changer is a good choice. It changes your wallpapers at every startup, once a day, at sunrise or sunset or other time intervals.

This program consists of several options such as, auto start, auto close, changing the wallpaper when the program starts or closes, changing the wallpaper in random order or in sequential order of the wallpapers in the list.

Position of the wallpapers can be set to auto, center, tile or stretch based on a global setting instead of individual wallpapers.

It has a clean and intuitive user interface, easy to use, and comes complete with extra features such as downloading photos from flickr, search photos by tags, text or user photos, draw a company logo or calendar on the desktop, etc. However, this program does not support synchronisation of wallpapers with folders and has no slide show feature.

 
Other Wallpaper Changers

These are other wallpaper changers which were brought up in comments here or noted from other sources. As they are not rated in this review, I am listing them here with brief descriptions and links to the related sites for ease of reference.

  • Adolix Wallpaper Changer is a good choice if you need a changer with a built-in screen capture utility. The program comes with user friendly interface and other features such as create play lists of wallpapers, set time intervals, etc. Setting wallpaper positions applies to all files while auto close of the program is not included.
  • Wallperizer, another wallpaper changer with a calendar feature, runs directly from the executable file and will be accessible from the system tray menu. The program features an automatic process where bright pictures are made darker and dark ones made brighter. It does not come with auto frames and other options available to MuralPix Manager.
  • WallPaper Changer.de is a smaller program and worth a try. Even though its user interface is less intuitive, this program provides basic and useful features. Some other advanced features such as folders synchronisation and slide show are not included. The program can be run directly without installation.
  • Caledos Automatic Wallpaper Changer allows you to choose multiple images or folders of images for automatic change of wallpapers, center or stretch wallpapers to full screen, set courtesy background and display interval to change wallpapers every logon, few minutes, hours, or days. It has a What I Saw feature to show a list of the latest 100 wallpapers. On the down side, it does not support auto program close, synchronise wallpapers and set position of individual wallpapers.
  • Cyber-D's Wallpaper Shifter changes the wallpaper by picking a random wallpaper from a preset folder. It allows various scale modes such as automatic, crop, fit or center, with background setting by default, blur or edge repeat. Once the wallpaper is changed, the program does not remain running in the background to save system resources. Easy to use, but without support for time intervals, multiple folders, slide show, individual setting for each wallpaper, etc.
  • Any Wallpaper is another choice for a simple yet user-friendly wallpaper changer. It allows you to add multiple folders and choose a change frequency, order and wallpaper position which is applicable to all files in the folders. Auto close of the program and some other features are not included.
  • BioniX Desktop Wallpaper Changer Lite, a free wallpaper manager supporting playlists dual monitor support, and other features. But some basic settings such as, disabling the message on startup and removing the product logo over the wallpaper are only made available in the commercial version.
 
Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 
Quick Selection Guide

Wallpaper Master
5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Low memory usage, change on start-up, change intervals (min), wallpaper position settings, wallpaper ratings and categories, wallpaper folder sync.
Some limitations apply to the free version, cannot have 2 different backgounds (dual monitors).
2.16
759 KB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 95 to Vista
Wallpaper Cycler Lite
4.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Good user interface, auto start and close, folders synchronisation, extra features include slide shows and CPU load monitoring.
Additional features such as wallpaper layouts, tags, search folders, etc., are disabled in the context menu.
3.6.0.180
5.9 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows XP to 7

See the two mirror options on the download page if you wish to avoid the CNet downloader.
View the changelog here

MuralPix Manager
4.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Make frames around images in corresponding colors, auto calendar, auto detect changes of files, screen saver, etc.
Badly designed user interface, setting wallpaper positions applies to all, auto close not included.
http://muralpix.com/
1.07
3.0 - 10.8 MB
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 98 to XP

View the revision history here

John's Background Switcher
4.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Supports multiple monitors and various wallpaper positions, setting auto exit, time intervals, selecting images from local folders or other online resources, optional calendars.
A picture browser is included to view images either downloaded or used in montage, but no slide show is available.
4.7
1.9 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 98 to 7 (except Starter Edition)

Access the revision information here

Wally
4.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Cross platforms, various wallpaper positions and supports features such as time intervals, choosing images from folders or online resources, displaying EXIF data, saving downloaded photos, run-time folder change detection.
No auto exit of the program is noted.
2.4.4
6.89 MB Win32 exe
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Win32, Linux and Mac OSX

View the changelog here

EvJO Wallpaper Changer
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Clean and intuitive user interface, auto start and close, extra features to download and search photos, add company logo and calendar to desktop.
Short of individual setting on position of each wallpaper. No folders synchronisation and slide show features.
3.1.0.225
6.79 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Windows 98 to 7

View changes here

 
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Tags

wall paper, wallpaper, freeware, free wallpapers. wallpaper changers, wallpaper with calendar.

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Comments

by eikelein on 5. June 2010 - 3:01  (51351)

Thanks to Jojoyee for the update!

No matter what each of these programs does or doesn't do, I feel that we should not even bother any longer with software whose usability ends with XP.

My request: Please review primarily software that is usable including Windows 7.

Okay guys, I know, there is still a lot of XP out there but trust me, the holdouts will all have to upgrade to Win7 rather sooner than later.

by Sancman (not verified) on 20. January 2012 - 16:54  (87484)

Some of us can not afford to upgrade to Windows 7, so we are stuck with XP......

by MidnightCowboy on 20. January 2012 - 17:37  (87489)

This is a very good point, and not just from a software cost perspective. There are stacks of machines in developing countries which will be continually fixed and kept running, instead of scrapped or recycled. Many of these are incapable of running Windows 7, so whatever you might think about the pros and cons between the two systems, XP is guaranteed to be around for some time to come yet.

by Anonymous on 4. June 2010 - 23:31  (51323)

I have tried a lot of Wallpaper Changers ( Screensaver ). The one that is the best is: Endless Slideshow Screensaver. The reason I say it's the Best, is because it will go out on the Internet and Automatically Download more Wallpapers in any Category you choose. There is no other Wallpaper changer like this on the market. The Free version does this also. You must give this a try. I think you will really like it!!! Go to: www.exisoftware.com/slideshow-screensaver

by Anupam on 5. June 2010 - 7:36  (51376)

Its mainly a screensaver builder and not a wallpaper changer.

by Anonymous on 4. June 2010 - 15:20  (51199)

Have settled on Gaia long ago after extensive search and trials of others...found it the best...by far.

by Anonymous on 4. June 2010 - 14:10  (51142)

This has probably been mentioned already but Wallpaper master is listed above as "Windows 98 and higher" ... but the free version does not support Vista or Windows7

by Jojo Yee on 4. June 2010 - 15:08  (51194)

Thanks for the heads up. I've amended it.

by Anonymous on 4. June 2010 - 14:06  (51138)

Great stuff, but already been using Wallpaper Master for sometime...

I'm using Windows XP, but what i have really been looking for is a freeware version of what Changer XP does. Not only wallpaper changer but also gives you options to change boot up graphic, login screen and close down....i.e. you can effectively take XP brnadingoff and totally customise the lot!

Anybody know a freeware version of that?

by garrettnorris on 4. October 2010 - 13:04  (59015)

You could try Stardock's Bootskin, and Logon Studio. They are free, but they do have additional features if you pay. I use them. Stardock makes alot of different customization programs too. Check them out here, http://www.stardock.com/

by Anonymous on 31. May 2010 - 15:18  (50706)

Hi!

I looked around for days.
Still can't find wallpaper changer that changes in milliseconds.

Can someone refer me to the site?
I found irfanview but it is a slideshow not a wallpaper changer.

-am

by Elijah (not verified) on 27. December 2011 - 18:02  (86081)

Please have a look at Wallpaper Updater http://www.elangroup-software.com/WallpaperUpdater.aspx. Maybe it can satisfy your requirements.

by Anonymous on 10. May 2010 - 13:23  (49463)

What about Windows 7 Starter? There are free tools online to provide this denied-by-Microsoft ability; could we get a review? Thanks guys.

by Rizar on 6. May 2010 - 22:29  (49242)

Wallpaper Cycler Lite came out with a new version. It claims to be Vista/7 compatible now. I'm in the process of downloading it to try it out later.

3.6.0.180 Lite (5.6 MB)

by Anonymous on 17. April 2010 - 20:05  (47857)

MuralPix appears to be pretty good. YES, it is a pain to config at times, BUT it has the ONE feature I like a calendar added to the desktop. VERY few of the free ones do that.

by Anonymous on 6. May 2010 - 14:13  (49209)

John's background switcher has a calendar option, fwiw.

by Anonymous on 26. February 2010 - 4:04  (44511)

Fairly new here, but have been searching the web for a wallpaper changer that meets all my needs for some time now. Thought I would share it with you as I found Mural Pix through your site. Agrowi seems like a pretty good wallpaper changer. It has many good options. Have a look... you will find it at http://www.kruit-software.nl/agrowi/index.php?lang=en

by Anonymous on 26. February 2010 - 5:23  (44518)

I can create a new folder in the Agrowi program interface but I can't add or link my collection of pictures to the folder list of the program. Something is missing?

by Anonymous on 8. March 2010 - 8:28  (45191)

I know Agrowi has it's limmitations. I'm now working on an update with a new option to direct link a folder with all it's images to a collection.
If you have suggestions to modificate Agrowi please let me know.

Best Regards,
G.Kruit

http://www.kruit-software.nl/agrowi/index.php?lang=en

by Cyberlightning on 19. February 2010 - 5:17  (43927)

Ever heard of Magentic? http://www.magentic.com/. It's a decent quality free wallpaper changer/screensaver manager (for its own screensavers). Users can download hundreds more free wallpapers from Magentic's site, or they can use their own wallpapers. Wallpapers can change as fast as every 15 minutes, or sloawer change rates. I tried a small number of wallpaper changers, but I like this one. Has anyone else tried it?

by rKAnjEL on 19. March 2010 - 18:01  (45825)

I thought I'd give it a try and so far I like it, it has an eye-candy GUI and it's pretty straightforward to use, it reminds me of Webshots.

The only thing I didn't like is the limited options regarding setting the wallpaper.

All in all, it's worth checking out.

Thanks for the suggestion.

~Yaser

by Anonymous on 16. November 2009 - 16:42  (36729)

Came across this wallpaper changer called WALLY in a Lifehacker article. The creator says the software is inspired by John's background switcher which is reviewed here, and it is very similar in appearance..

The best feature for me was that it is cross platform.. Runs on Linux/Windows/Mac... I tried it out on Ubuntu Karmic, and it worked much better than any of the other changers that I tried out...

Also the creator says that Wally doesn't require .Net unlike JBS..

What do you think about it??

by Jojo Yee on 17. November 2009 - 1:45  (36741)

Thanks for the link. I'll try it out on my recently installed Ubuntu 9.10.

[Update]
I've tested it and it runs quite well on Ubuntu 9.10. Added in the article.

by Anonymous on 22. October 2009 - 11:16  (35241)

There seems to be a new kid on the block.
I'm probably ever-so slightly biased towards this as a friend of mine wrote it :)
You can find it over here: http://the-asylum.com in the software section.

It's extremely clean interface and clean program. Uses 0% CPU when idling - jumps to around 1 when changing but only for a split second. I don't even notice it running.

Also supports dual monitor and is totally 100% free with no restrictions on usage.
Also seems like the source code may be up for sale soon :)

by Anonymous on 26. August 2009 - 23:33  (31594)

Strongly suggest you look at

by Jillian on 24. November 2009 - 15:44  (37223)

I installed John's Background Switcher and can recommend it highly. It has to be the best one I have tried. It is a keeper for me.

by Jojo Yee on 27. August 2009 - 8:21  (31630)

Thanks for the suggestion. I've added it in the review.

by Anonymous on 17. August 2009 - 6:06  (27276)

CoreDownload Free Wallpaper Changer.. works a treat :D

by Anonymous on 17. August 2009 - 9:55  (27290)

Isn't it look like Adolix's wallpaper changer? A copy of the same interface and options?

by Anonymous on 9. July 2009 - 21:02  (24851)

I didn't see any reviews for WebShots in your forum. I've been using WebShots for several years now. It's the best free program I've found out there to date. No restrictions on the amount of wallpapers it will allow you to add to the program, either. The "free" version allows you to download 5 photos per day. You can also download any wallpaper from any site on the web quickly and easily. It doesn't interfere with the OS and it has a built in screen saver (you can use WebShots to use the entire photo collection saved on your hard disk as a screen saver) and calender you can place on your desktop. Unlike most of these "wallpaper" changing programs, it will detect any digital camera and you can download your images straight from the camera to your hard drive and then install them into the program. One of the best features of the program is the ability set the settings so the wallpaper never changes. If you want a good program that doesn't contain any spyware/adware/malware, etc. then check this baby out. You will NOT be disappointed.

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