Rotate desktop backgrounds automatically in XP using Microsoft’s own tool

On my previous article I’ve already explained how to rotate desktop backgrounds automatically in Windows 7. And I hope you also know that there are many 3rd party softwares that can perform this job for XP too. But did you know that Microsoft has their own tool to do this in XP and Vista?? Lets see what it is & how it helps.


Back in 2003, Microsoft released a powertoy for Windows XP named Winter Fun Packs 2003. You can see the released notes here. This tool included numerous things like

  • Windows Media Player 9 Series
  • Windows Movie Maker 2
  • Digital Photography
  • Games

But for now we will be discussing Digital Photography only. This section contained several other components like :

  • Winter Fun Photo Screensaver
  • Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer
  • Holiday Greeting Card Templates
  • Photo Story 2 LE
  • So as you can notice the 2nd tool which is Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer is the one I am going to talk about now. This is the tool that does the task for us i.e change desktop backgrounds automatically after every periodic interval that you wish to.
  • Follow the steps below to get the job done
    1. Download Winter Fun Packs 2003. Install the program.
    2. Right-click the Wallpaper Changer icon in the Taskbar notification area i.e in the system tray and select Configure Winter Fun Wallpaper. You can also double-click the Wallpaper Changer icon to launch the tool.
    3. Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer Options dialog box is opened. Now at the top of it select Change Wallpaper at Intervals.
    4. Now select a folder by locating the folder whose images you are wishing to appear as your desktop backgrounds. You can also select the winter images(default) that are located in My Documents\My Pictures\Windows XP Fun Pack\Winter 2003\Wallpaper.
    5. After you click on a folder(containing images) you can see a quick preview of the images in it. The change duration in the quick preview does not represent the original time interval at which the pictures will change. To disable the quick preview, uncheck the Quick preview of all images box.
    6. You can also choose the background color from the drop-down menu.
    7. Now the slider that you can see determines how often your wallpapers are going to change. The minimum value you can set is 15 minutes and maximum value is 1 week. Click and drag the slider to determine the frequency.
    8. Uncheck the Override Wallpaper on Special Days box and check the Skip Tiled Images box.
    9. Click Apply or OK.

    TIP 1: If you change your mind and want to settle with a single wallpaper just select Show One Still Image in place of Change Wallpaper at Intervals mentioned in step3.

    TIP 2 : Instead of downloading the whole Winter Fun Packs 2003 you can download only the Winter Fun Wallpaper Changer powertoy separately clicking here. It requires Genuine Windows Validation check.

    TIP 3 : Copy the main “WinterWalltoy.exe” file from [SYSTEM DRIVE LETTER]:\Program Files\Windows XP Fun Pack\Winter 2003\WinterPowerToy folder to any other system, it’ll work same and you wouldn’t need to install the whole Winter Fun Pack.

    I hope you will be quite happy to use this tool, as most of the other 3rd party softwares that performs this job are either malicious or are paid. Very few of them are free & without bugs & hence hard to find.

    So from now on you won’t get bored looking at one single wallpaper all the time. Share your experiences via comments & share this with your friends.

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