Tip, Tricks, & Reviews

Windows Reduces the Quality of your HD Images/Wallpapers

Annoyingly, if you select a JPG file as the desktop background, Windows reduces the quality by up to 15 percent! This article will show you how to prevent it.

So really, saving some HD space is nice and good, but you do not have to compromise at the wrong end. Did you know that your background image probably does not have the quality of the image you selected? You might think that Windows uses the selected motif 1:1 as a wallpaper, but that is far from it. If it is a source file with a JPG extension, Windows automatically compresses the image by up to 15 percent. With old computers from the 2000 era, the longer load times may have prompted Microsoft to do this, but in modern computers, such a restriction does not help the user anymore! Luckily there is remedy in the form of a simple entry-edit in the registry. We will show you how to increase the quality of your background images significantly.

Who is affected?
Users with Windows 7 are particularly hit hard. As for wallpaper, only pictures in JPG format are possible. This compresses the system by the motif choice by up to 15 percent. Important details may be lost or the picture looks washed-out. Under Windows 8, it looks similar, but you can also choose an image in PNG format. This works around the problem, and Windows does not impose any restrictions. Windows 10 behaves differently. JPG images will save the system down to 15%, PNG files will only be displayed in full quality if you have deactivated “Theme Sync,” because otherwise Windows makes a JPG file from the PNG file.

Blocks in the picture: To loosen the HD brake
To generally avoid having Windows rely on the quality of your images, you must edit the registry. Do not worry, nothing can go wrong if you follow the steps below. But I cannot accept any liability. A backup of Registry file cannot hurt. This is how it works:

1. Press the Windows key and “S”, then type “Regedit.”
2. Navigate to “Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.”
3. Click on the right mouse button in the large window. In the context menu, select “New” and “DWORD (32-Bit) Value.”
4. Name the new value “JPEGImportQuality.”
5. Set the value to 100 (decimal) or 64 (hexadecimal.)
6. Close the editor and restart the computer. Then select your wallpaper again.

Your pictures should now be much sharper – assuming, of course, the original image is of high quality.

About the author

Adil Khan

Adil Khan

Adil Khan is a 30 years old Nerd who has been playing with his toys, computers and electronics, since the late 90's. His passion lies in the digital world of 1's and 0's i.e. until quantum computers are available for purchase :)

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