If you have not activated your Windows 10 installation, Windows 10 doesn’t let to personalize the operating system. In other words, you can’t change the desktop background, change the accent color, change lock screen image, and access Start menu settings. In fact, most of the settings in the personalization section of the Settings app are grayed out on an unactivated installation of Windows 10.
The best way to access all personalization settings is to activate Windows 10 using a valid key or purchasing a new license. And if you’re having issues with activation, you can always contact the Microsoft support team using the built-in Get Help app. Using the app, you can have a chat with the support team and request a call back as well.
At times, when you’re unable to activate Windows 10 or when you are waiting for a solution from the Microsoft support to fix the Windows 10 activation issue, you might want to change the default desktop wallpaper to a picture that you like.
If you’re wondering how to change the desktop wallpaper on an unactivated copy of Windows 10, you will be glad to know that there is a way to change the desktop background without activating Windows 10. And the good is that we are not using any third-party software or unsupported way to change the desktop background.
Follow one of the two given below solutions to change Windows 10 desktop wallpaper without activation. Note that we here at IntoWindows in no way encourage our readers to run unlicensed version of Windows 10.
Tip: 5 ways to change wallpaper in Windows 11.
Method 1 of 2
Change desktop background from File Explorer
Step 1: Visit the folder containing the picture that you want to set as the desktop background.
Step 2: Right-click on the picture file that you want to set as the desktop background and then click Set as desktop background.
The new picture should now appear as your desktop background. As simple as that!
Method 2 of 2
Set a picture from the web as Windows 10 desktop background
Step 1: Open the Internet Explorer browser by typing Internet Explorer in the Start menu search box and then pressing Enter key.
Note that you must use the Internet Explorer browser as the new Edge browser doesn’t let you set an image as a desktop background.
Step 2: Visit the webpage displaying the picture that you want to set as your unactivated Windows 10 desktop wallpaper.
Step 3: Right-click on the image and then click Set as background option.
Step 4: Click Yes button when you see the confirmation dialog with “Are you sure you want to replace your desktop wallpaper” message.
I hope this helps!
Thank you so much! The first method worked. I really appreciate it.
Dan Alcero says
Is there a way to change the wallpaper size/ resolution without activation? Some wallpapers only fit if you have the write wallpaper resolution.