How To Find The Current Desktop Background Image In Windows 10

Windows 10 remembers the last few images you set as your desktop background. It has an easy switching feature in the Settings app that lets you set a recently wallpaper image as the background in one click. If you open the Settings app and go to Personalization>Background you can see the last five images you used for your desktop background, including the current one. Windows 10 saves a copy of these images so, even if you accidentally delete the original image, you don’t lose your desktop background. In the event you do delete the image by accident, you can get it back from the copy Windows 10 keeps of it. Here’s how you can find the current desktop background image in Windows 10.

If you’re looking to get a copy one of your recent background images, go to the Settings app first and set the image as your background.

Next, open File Explorer and type in the following in the address bar. Hit enter. You don’t need administrative rights for this and you don’t need to edit anything in the address.

%AppData%MicrosoftWindowsThemesCachedFiles

A copy of the current desktop background image is saved here. Don’t move/cut the image. Make a copy of it some place you won’t lose it or accidentally delete it.

If you don’t find a copy of your current desktop background image here, try this address instead. As before, you need only enter it in File Explorer and you don’t need administrative rights to access the location.

%AppData%MicrosoftWindowsThemesTranscodedWallpaper

When you enter this location in File Explorer, you will be asked to select an app to view the image. The Photos app, or Windows Photo Viewer will both work.

This location, and this little tip has its limitation. For example, if the wallpaper you’re looking for is no longer visible in the ‘Background’ tab in the Settings app, you can’t recover it. It will work for your last five wallpapers but nothing older.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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