Microsoft Turns Wallpapers on Windows 7 Black – Bug or Another Way to Remind Users to Upgrade to Windows 10?

Jan 21, 2020
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Well, it appears spice isn't gone for Windows 7 users because Microsoft has apparently left one last gift for them through the last update released for the operating system. Several users have reported that their wallpapers have turned black after they installed the latest update. While black suits the death of Windows 7, it is definitely not being appreciated by the users.

KB4534310 or the security-only KB4534314 that were released for Windows 7 last week is replacing the existing desktop wallpaper with a black screen. The problem seems to be only appearing for machines with stretched wallpaper and has also affected organizations that have wallpaper set by group policy.

Second Batch of February 2020 Cumulative Updates Out for Windows 10 Versions 1903 and 1909

My PC just restarted after 7 support ended and my background is black. Even if I set a new background, it’s still black. Has anyone else experienced this? Is it some kind of group policy entry or registry key? (Before it auto-rebooted, I had my own background)

Microsoft hasn’t yet confirmed if this is an added attempt at reminding users that they are on an unsupported OS. While the Windows maker had announced it will show full screen notifications to alert users, it never mentioned turning screens black.

Honest mistake or Windows 7 nagware? Who can tell

It could simply be a bug and not an attempt at forcing Windows 7 users out of their beloved operating system, as some have suggested. But if you are experiencing the problem, the timing does make it difficult to see it as anything but another nagging attempt by the company. Microsoft does have a bad history especially with Windows 10 update notifications, which doesn't work in its favour when issues like this pop up.

Some users (via RedditTR) have reported that uninstalling the patch brings back the wallpaper. Considering some important security bugs were addressed, that route is definitely not recommended. An easier way out is to just manually set the wallpaper again. It is unclear if the wallpaper goes back to being black after a certain time or not. One Reddit user wrote:

Found an easy fix:

  1. Switch to Windows 7 Aero Theme
  2. Switch to the background you want

Additionally, since the issue only appears with stretched images, you can try different image sizes to fix the problem instead of uninstalling security updates.

- How to upgrade W7 to W10 for absolutely free, the official way.

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