Gizmos Needs You

Gizmo's Freeware is Recruiting

 We are looking for people with skills or interest in the following areas:
 -  Mobile Platform App Reviews for Android and iOS
 -  Windows, Mac and Linux software reviews       Interested? Click here

                  

 

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.
 
In a Hurry?

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

 

Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Jojo Yee. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

 
Tags

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

Back to the top of the article.

 

Share this
3.89796
Average: 3.9 (49 votes)
Your rating: None

Comments

by Jillian on 24. November 2009 - 15:50  (37225)

I had WebShots when I used IE , but when I changed my browser to Firefox , I could no longer use WebShots. It is not compatible with Firefox. So now I use John's background Switcher. I like it just as well as WebShots.

by Jojo Yee on 10. July 2009 - 4:24  (24876)

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out soon.

by Anonymous on 24. June 2009 - 13:52  (24321)

Every site offering free Walpaper's I have visited are all reported by the McAfee site advisor as being dangerous sites with unwanted downloads /malware , does anyone know of any site that are safe to use I know these sites are offering " free downloads " but I have searched loads of sites claiming to be free without finding any that are safe .

Thank's

by Anonymous on 21. November 2009 - 19:47  (37063)

Wally is OpenSource. That means "without-any-...ware" since sources. If you don't believe that, just inspect them :)

And you can always build your executable from sources.

by MidnightCowboy on 9. July 2009 - 22:03  (24854)

Wallpapers infected with malware code are a huge problem. These four links spread over as many years in time scale give just a flavor of what you can expect.

http://www.emsisoft.com/en/malware/?Adware.Win32.Space+Wallpaper
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070701003453AABUwpd
http://forums.techguy.org/malware-removal-hijackthis-logs/737364-red-bio...
http://forums.whatthetech.com/Your_System_Infected_Wallpaper_can_t_chang...

This also serves as a reminder that your security software will not always protect you from stuff you choose to download yourself. My advice would be to never visit any site marked in other than green by either WOT or LinkExtend.

Internet safety freeware in general is featured here:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/best-internet-safety-check.htm

Other than that there are sites like this one which offer to do this process for you.

http://www.wallpaperama.com/forums/safest-websites-for-virus-free-wallpa...

You still need to take great care with how you source wallpapers for your collection.

by Anonymous on 9. July 2009 - 21:07  (24852)

I just posted a comment here about WebShots. It doesn't interfere with any antivirus programs and operates smoothly and effortlessly within Windows and any third party firewall. WebShots can be found on SnapFiles.com.

by Anonymous on 9. June 2009 - 19:30  (23440)

I was searching a free wallpaper changer the other day and found bionix wallpaper (http://www.bionixwallpaper.com/). I have not tested this program yet and would like to know if anybody has used it in the past. It claims that it only uses 1.5M of RAM! and it's portable.

by Anonymous on 16. June 2010 - 5:11  (52211)

=================================
MY OPINION ABOUT BIONIX WALLPAPER
=================================

I really like this web site but I am disappointed to see that the editor forgot one of the most popular wallpaper managers around. I mean, the review speaks about some quite unknown programs and forgets the bigger ones? Everywhere I look for wallpapers or desktop software I see BioniX Wallpaper. Softpedia, Brothersoft, Softonic, cNet, etc, etc, everybody has a review for BioniX. Google lists this program on the first 5 or 10 for miscellaneous keywords. THIS PROGRAM IS A MUST! It's like reviewing audio players without speaking about Winamp, or reviewing computers without speaking about AMD.

Somebody asked on this page about BioniX, so I couldn't stand it anymore. So, here is my opinion about this program I learn to love:

I have found some years ago BioniX Wallpaper and I never changed it since then. It is the kind of program that is complete and you have nothing extra to ask from it. I like that it is updated every 1-2 months. After so many updates, obviously it became a complete and mature wallpaper manager. Maybe the most complete one.

There is many to tell about this program especially about its nice features, but people will start to think that I was paid by BioniX company to do it so :).

Therefore, I will keep it short and list its main characteristics.

===================
Moderators comment:

The restrictions apply here because this is a comments section. If you wish to post an in depth appraisal of something then please use the forum
http://www.techsupportalert.com/freeware-forum/
If you would like to write your own review for a particular product then use the "become a reviewer" button at the top of the page. Extended or repetitive posts here will be regarded as spam and deleted.

by Anonymous on 16. June 2010 - 14:48  (52244)

"BioniX Wallpaper" logo is imposed frequently on your beloved wallpaper, you can only disable it if you're using a paid version. Occasionally the icon disappears from the tray when you minimize the wallpaper manager, a buggy program to me. I've uninstalled it.

There're many other freeware wallpaper managers that I've used and are better than this!

by Anonymous on 16. June 2010 - 19:07  (52265)

I have follow the post and installed BioniX in two computers. This program is a jewelry like no other, jam packed with so many unique features. I wonder how I was able to use poor programs without features like "smart borders" and "smart stretch" feature until now.

I don't like using rudimentary programs just because they are free. You know what they say: you get what you have paid for.
:)

by Anupam on 16. June 2010 - 19:48  (52271)

Bionix is being mentioned a lot here now since few days. Its looking like an attempt to spam now... with repeated posts. Any more of these posts and these will get deleted now.

by Anonymous on 16. June 2010 - 5:10  (52210)

I get this error when I try to post here:

500 Server Error

Hmm, looks like we've got problems

Please try the home page:
http://www.techsupportalert.com
...or try later.

by rik on 16. June 2010 - 7:18  (52220)

If you could be a bit more specific I might be able to help. To do so I need you to recreate the error and send me the following information:

1. Date and time the error occured, this is very important as I live in the UK so run on GMT.

2. The URL that was displayed in the address bar when the error happened.

3. Any further error information that was displayed.

4. The TCP/IP addresss you were using when the problem arose.

Thanks

Rik - Site Technical Support Manager

by Anonymous on 13. October 2009 - 19:01  (34577)

1st: not affliated with bionix, review is my own opinion of 2 days usage
2nd: not really fond of wallpaper changers
3rd: the lite version is free - with some minor (imo) limitations
4th: has dual-monitor support (i don't need, but, some people do)
5th: small resources used (mem < 3mb)
6th: i like the interface (some don't); skin support (fun, not necessary)
7th: yes, lite version does add it's "Enhanced by Bionix Wallpaper" in upper left corner of image - it's medium black font (unobtrusive imo) - probably not visible in dark wallpapers.
8th: doesn't support categories (it seems), but, can have different playlists for different occasions - similar to categories, just not as convenient
9th: can set different time intervals
10th: many other configureable options

being not fond of wallpaper changers, i find i do like this one (so far :) )

hope this is informative & helpful

by Anonymous on 11. June 2009 - 8:02  (23560)

Not a good choice. Only lite version is free. Limited features, add its Logo over your wallpaper, and you can't disable it!

by Anonymous on 16. June 2010 - 5:22  (52217)

If this is your only problem, then it can be easily solved. Go in to the Settings tab and uncheck the "Show logo over wallpaper" checkbox. Easy, right?

by Anonymous on 16. June 2010 - 10:38  (52234)

You can disable the logo on the wallpaper if you're using the paid version only.

by Anonymous on 8. June 2009 - 15:23  (23320)

I just downloaded and installed the ZIP version of the wallpaper master and it changed the value of the following registry key:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Desktop\Components]
GeneralFlags=dword:00000004
What does 4 mean? And what is the default value of this key? My OS is windows XP MCE. Thanks.

by Anonymous on 18. June 2010 - 3:07  (52367)

That's bad man. Really bad.

Wallpaper master (or other programs) should not mess up with your registry. At least not with that specific system key!!!!!!!!!!
No program should write outside HKCU.

Find something decent that does not alter your system!!!!!!!!!!
Something portable/system independent will be great.

by Jojo Yee on 9. June 2009 - 8:38  (23389)

Sorry, I'm no expert in the Registry. But based on the info here, the policy-applied settings of this value is 1 for Win NT Workstation 4.0 DE. I'm not sure if it's the same for Win XP MCE. Neither am I aware of the value 4. You might want to post it to the developer's forum and hopefully their software team can give an answer.

Note: Changing the registry value incorrectly might cause serious problems to the OS.

by Anonymous on 7. June 2009 - 21:58  (23280)

I would like to add wylik wallpaper manager.

Even though I found it has a bug on vista (the start with windows check box is denied by the my security setting without popup -- an easy bypass is to add it to auto start manually by winpatrol or any other startup controller), the real advantage against many others lies in that the fitting method is much smarter. Many programs simple stretch/center an image to fill in the screen with either distorted image or leave margins, wylik overcomes that.

Other features:
regular interval based changed.
on program start change.
program exit after change.
setting the time out before program exit.
configurable calendar.
...
The effect takes to all images (maybe this can save some space?) Can not auto sync images, can not automatic acquire image from internet. Residential mode take about 11M. For me, these features doesn't matter that much.

by Anonymous on 11. June 2009 - 7:38  (23559)

Doesn't work for me.

by Jojo Yee on 9. June 2009 - 8:42  (23390)

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a try.

by Anonymous on 26. May 2009 - 18:13  (22381)

which one of these has the smallest cpu usage? I want to use it on an eeepc running xp, so performance becomes much more important than features.

by Anonymous on 16. June 2010 - 5:24  (52218)

BioniX Wallpaper was designed special for laptops. Check its CPU/batery related features.

by Anonymous on 27. May 2009 - 3:43  (22421)

I'd use anyone of them with auto-close (a good feature) after changing wallpaper. cpu usage =0 after close.

by Anonymous on 26. May 2009 - 18:17  (22382)

(same poster as above)
by the way, all I need is for the program to change wallpaper on startup and then gtfo.

by MCHAL on 6. May 2009 - 14:14  (21142)

Check out Wallperizer at: http://www.gardenerofthoughts.org/ideas/wallperizer/ . Really worth a look.

aLL tHe BeSt frOM bRaZiL ;)

by Anonymous on 6. May 2009 - 2:48  (21107)

Great selection, but as with a lot of guides at this site, I can't help but think that best should = the best implementation of software, with emphasis on simplicity, that best fits the need of the average user.

In this case I think 90%+ of users will have their needs met by Cyber-D's Wallpaper Shifter, which really should be the No.1 choice here, based on the criteria I've highlighted above. You can leave it in your quick launch and click when you want a change. If this is too much effort then simply schedule it as a task. Easy, lightweight and effective.

Too many of these articles focus on getting the most bang for your (non existent) buck, empathising programs with the most features, whilst ignoring what the majority of users are actually looking for. Life is complicated enough for most of us. :-)

by Bob on 6. May 2009 - 6:06  (21120)

Just my 2c: We have to review for people with different needs, habits or personal preferences. So we often need to make several recommendations. And it's sometimes difficult to pick a single 'top pick'. Which to choose - The simplest and neatest? Or the most powerful?