Black wallpaper bug from Windows 7's 'final' update will get fixed

Dead OS walking

Credit: Unsplash

Windows 7 may have gone end-of-life earlier this month, but Microsoft’s preparing a postmortem patch to fix a bug introduced in what was supposed to be the final update.

After installing the KB4534310 update on Patch Tuesday, many users complained that their wallpaper turned black.

While some forum-goers were quick to grab their torches and pitchforks, convinced it was a last second-middle finger to lingering Windows 7 users, that’s not the case whatsoever. It’s a bug, and Microsoft’s readying a fix for it despite Windows 7 being out of support.

“We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release, which will be released to all customers running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1,” the update’s support page now says.

At first, Microsoft only promised a fix for organisations paying for Extended Security Updates, as the Verge noted, but a change of heart’s occurred and now everybody’s getting it. Good.

In the meantime, the black screens happen when you set your wallpaper to Stretch. Using another configuration option when you’re setting your wallpaper works around the issue—Center or selecting a custom-sized image matched to your screen resolution are probably the best Stretch alternatives, but FillFit, and Tile work too.

Once you’ve switched away from a stretched wallpaper, your imagery should return.

Better yet, you could move to a still-supported operating system at no cost, as Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade is still officially-unofficially available.

Staying on an operating system that isn’t receiving security patches is a bad idea. But if you’re dead-set on sticking with an end-of-life OS, be sure to grab a security suite and read our guide to staying safe on Windows 7 after the security patches stop. It’ll keep you as protected as possible.

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Brad Chacos

Brad Chacos

PC World (US online)
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