It used to be easy to set animated backgrounds on a Windows desktop. With Windows 10, it's not that easy anymore – but it's still possible. Do you want to liven up your Windows 10 desktop with animated backgrounds? How to set an animated wallpaper in Windows 10.
Why you should set a moving wallpaper in Windows 10
If you've used live wallpapers on a smart TV, phone, or tablet, you know the impact it can have. Instead of a boring photo of a distant place you've never visited, it suddenly looks more interesting. Your smartphone offers you something that moves – perhaps celestial bodies in slow motion or swimming fish.
They're not for everyone, but animated backgrounds are visually rich and always look awesome.
However, they can also prove problematic. While your desktop PC may not be affected, live wallpapers on battery powered devices can be a headache.
Constant animation of the background puts a noticeable load on the power cell and leads to reduced performance and battery life. For Windows 10 animated wallpapers and live wallpapers, make sure your laptop is connected or you're using a desktop computer.
In this guide, we are going to show you how to set the live wallpaper in Windows 10.
Windows 10 gives you four ways to get live wallpapers and animated backgrounds. Each of these options allows you to add your own backgrounds or those created by others.
Stardock DeskScapes 10
PUSH Video Wallpaper
Let's look at each of these options in turn.
1. Wallpaper Engine for Windows 10
By default, Windows 10 is less customizable than previous versions. Aside from themes and backgrounds that sync with your Microsoft account, the desktop options have been greatly reduced.
So what can you do It's worth getting started with Wallpaper Engine on Steam. You can make your own animated backgrounds for Windows 10 using this tool, which sells for under $ 5. You can even import more backgrounds from other Steam users.
The wallpaper engine supports common aspect ratios and native resolutions. A moving background for Windows 10 can be made from static images, websites, and video files. Supported video formats are MP4, WebM, AVI, M4V, MOV and WMV.
The options with this tool are vast and easy to use. Once started, simply choose from a preset group of live desktop wallpapers or import your own. Various items can be edited using the settings dialog box in the system tray.
While Wallpaper Engine runs better under a dedicated graphics card (GPU), it is not required. It can be configured to run on low-resource devices when needed. For best results, animate your Windows backgrounds using Wallpaper Engine on a powerful desktop PC.
Download: Wallpaper Engine ($ 5)
2. Stardock DeskScapes 10 for Windows
Another option for Windows 10 users is Stardock DeskScapes. This solution is available for just $ 7.99 and also includes a 30-day trial.
After the installation (make sure you are not installing any additional software), click Start the 30-day trial version and enter an email address to continue. You will then need to validate the 30-day license by clicking on an email link.
Then switch back to the app and choose from seven video backgrounds and many breathtaking static images. Often times, these images can be customized using the DeskScapes settings. colour, Effects, and To adjust let them optimize. Video background options are listed under the settings.
When you are satisfied with the results, click Apply on my desktop. You can also use DeskScapes 10 pictures and videos as screensavers. If you're looking for more Windows desktop customizations, Stardock DeskScapes has the Object Desktop variant for $ 29.99. This encompasses a range of tools including the popular Windows Start Menu replacement, Start10.
Download: Stardock DeskScapes 10 for Windows 10 ($ 7.99, 30-day free trial available)
3. PUSH Video Wallpaper for Windows 10
Your third option is PUSH Video Wallpaper, again a paid solution with a free trial. This starts with an animated background image that plays in a loop when started.
The PUSH Video Wallpaper interface can be opened in the system tray. Here you can add a single video to a loop or create a playlist of videos. These are played in the order listed, and the volume for the clips can also be adjusted.
In contrast to Stardock DeskScapes 10, you can use the PUSH Video Wallpaper to run feature-length videos as your desktop background. Alternatively, you can just enjoy a subtle, looped clip. Regardless of your preferred type of live wallpaper, PUSH Video Wallpaper will do it when you have a suitable clip.
Download: PUSH Video Wallpaper ($ 9.99, free trial available)
4. Create a Windows animated background image with Rainmeter
Rainmeter is the premium desktop theme editor for Windows 10 that has everything from widgets and docks to stunning themes.
Unsurprisingly, it also supports animated wallpapers. All you need is an eye-catching picture or a small GIF. With Rainmeter you can give an image the impression of movement. Alternatively, you can use all or part of a GIF. Rainmeter is extremely configurable and customizable, so the results of your wallpaper GIF are completely under your control.
5. Create your own Windows 10 background image with Plasteur
If you want to easily turn a GIF into a desktop wallpaper on Windows 10, consider Plasteur.
This tool is simpler than Rainmeter and focuses on converting custom or downloaded GIFs into animated PC backgrounds.
How to use a GIF in Plastuer:
Copy or save the url of the GIF you want to use on your PC
Paste the URL of the GIF into the Please enter a valid url field
Alternatively, you can also select a file from your PC Select file
click to save
When prompted, select the display (your monitor).
Click Save again to use the GIF
You can also find GIFs in the online Plastuer library. You can even make a playlist of GIFs stored on your PC.
Plastuer is easy to use and a great option because of its support for GIFs as Windows 10 animated desktop backgrounds.
Download: Plastuer ($ 5.00)
Use a moving background in Windows 10 today
With so many options for creating a moving, animated Windows 10 background, it should be easy to find a solution that suits your needs. Do you need to animate a GIF? Plastuer and Rainmeter are ideal.
Would you like to use a standard video file for the desktop wallpaper? PUSH Video Wallpaper, Wallpaper Engine and Stardock Deskscapes 10 are perfect ways to tweak the Windows 10 background with impressive videos.
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About the author
(1464 articles published)
Deputy Editor for Security, Linux, DIY, Programming and Technology explains. He also produces The Really Useful Podcast and has extensive desktop and software support experience.
Christian writes articles for Linux Format magazine and is a Raspberry Pi hobbyist, Lego lover and retro gaming fan.
By Christian Cawley
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