How to use animated wallpapers on Windows 11

With Windows 11, you have a plethora of customization choices at your disposal to personalize both the operating system and your laptop. Sometimes, though, those choices are insufficient. For instance, Windows 11 only supports static wallpapers by default; however, you can switch between other images if you’d like. It does not support animated wallpapers. However, that does not preclude the use of animated wallpapers. All you need to do is utilize a third-party app.

If you want to add some animation to your Windows 11 desktop, there are a few third-party apps that you may utilize. Perhaps the most well-liked is Lively Wallpaper, which can be purchased from the Microsoft Store. DeskScapes 11 is another good alternative; however, it is a premium version and not as good.

What is Lively Wallpaper?

If you’re looking for some very interesting animated wallpapers for your PC, Lively Wallpaper is undoubtedly one of the best programs out there. It is open-source and free, and anyone wishing to contribute can find listings for it on GitHub and the Microsoft Store. It comes with a few pre-installed wallpapers and allows you to alter them in various ways. These are really fascinating, one-of-a-kind wallpapers that react to mouse movements and system information.

How to choose and customize a live wallpaper

Initially, you may want to just pick one of the pre-installed wallpapers and tweak it to better fit your style. That’s what to do, exactly:

  1. Get Lively Wallpaper from the Microsoft Store and install it.
  2. When you launch the application, the home screen will show you a selection of twelve wallpapers at the time of writing.
  3. You can instantly set it as your desktop backdrop by clicking any of the alternatives.
  4. Click the ellipsis button next to the wallpaper’s name to customize its appearance, then select Customise Wallpaper.
  5. You get a variety of possibilities because there are quite a few different wallpapers to choose from. These can contain things like colours and element sizes, among other things. As long as the wallpaper is active, you may see the changes you make instantly.
  6. To save your changes, click OK.

After saving your preferences, use the X button in the upper right corner to minimise the application to the system tray and end your session. Your wallpaper will vanish once you fully close it. Although you can modify this in the program’s settings, the app is also configured to launch with the system, so that your animated backdrop is constantly displayed.

In the main view of the app, there’s a Gallery tab that is likely meant to hold user-generated wallpapers in the future. You’re limited to a select number for the time being, but they’re all excellent.

How to choose your own wallpaper

Majestic mountain peak in tranquil winter landscape generated by artificial intelligence

Lively Wallpaper allows you to post your own wallpapers, even though there isn’t a limitless selection. It supports every type of wallpaper, including GIFs, internet and local videos, and even interactive web-based backgrounds. We’ll skip over how to make these wallpapers and instead point you towards the developer’s instructions for what’s supported. Here’s how to set your existing wallpaper, if you have one.

  1. Launch the software Lively Wallpaper.
  2. In the top menu bar, select the Plus (plus) icon.
  3. Select a source or file to use as your wallpaper. You can utilise a local file by dragging and dropping it into the designated space on the screen, or you can browse for files by clicking Open. Supported video file types include most. Use the Enter URL option to access a webpage or an online video. As long as the video is allowed to be embedded, the app employs a special handler for content like YouTube videos, so you can have it playing in the background. You can make dynamic wallpaper using the Advanced option by using a 2D image as the basis. It can occasionally be erratic, but it uses AI to detect depth and produce a parallax effect when you move your mouse.
  4. As with the default wallpapers, you can still personalise some of these. Local video provides control over contrast, brightness, and playback speed; AI-generated dynamic wallpapers allow you to customise the amount that an image shifts when subjected to parallax.
  5. When you’re finished, simply close the app, and the dynamic background or movie will stay displayed. If there is audio in the video, it will typically be muted while you are focusing on another app.

How to apply wallpapers to multiple monitors

Things should be quite simple if your PC only has one monitor, but you may need to fiddle with additional settings to get these animated wallpapers to function on all of your screens if you wish to use them with multiple screens.

The monitor icon on the navigation bar labelled “X Active Wallpapers” can be clicked to accomplish this (X being the number of monitors having an active wallpaper from the programme). From here, you have three alternatives to select from:

  • Selected screen only (default) : By default, the wallpaper is only applied to the screen that is selected.
  • Span across screens : Displays the wallpaper on all of your monitors at once.
  • Duplicate same wallpaper : Repeat the same wallpaper: This keeps the same image on all of the monitors.

While certain wallpapers seem great when you select the duplicate option, some might function better when stretched. You can experiment with this based on your current background. Check the box labelled “Always select a monitor before applying wallpaper” if you’d prefer that option. Select the screen whenever you choose a wallpaper. When you’re finished making changes, click OK.

How to set a screensaver with Lively Wallpaper

You may use Lively Wallpaper not just as a desktop background but also as a fullscreen screen saver, which fills the screen with your active wallpaper while the machine is idle. There is some setup involved, though.

  1. Download the screensaver from this ZIP file.
  2. After extracting the Lively file from file, move it to the C:\Windows folder. Administrator rights are required for this.
  3. To install the screen saver, double-click its file.
  4. Look for Change Screen Saver in the Start menu. It ought to appear as the top search result.
  5. Select Lively from the drop-down menu under Screen saver.

Whatever wallpaper you currently have selected in Lively Wallpaper will serve as the screensaver. This should alter in the future, though, as the app already has a place for screensaver settings. You can locate it by doing the following actions:

  1. Launch the software Lively Wallpaper.
  2. Press the previously mentioned X Active Wallpapers button.
  3. Navigate to the tab for screensavers.

Once more, not much can be done here during writing time, but that ought to alter in the future.

Ensure Lively Wallpaper is always running, and tips to save power

Galactic night sky, astronomy and science combined ,generative artificial intelligence

Your Lively Wallpaper must constantly be running in the background if you want your dynamic wallpaper to be visible at all times. Lively Wallpaper will activate your wallpaper as soon as your computer boots up because by default it will configure itself to start with Windows. However, you can take the following actions to ensure that it is functioning:

  1. Launch the lively wallpaper.
  2. In the upper right corner, click the gear (Settings) symbol.
  3. Verify that the option to “Start with Windows” is turned on.

Additionally, if you use a laptop, you may want to consider taking some power-saving precautions. When a fullscreen programme is running, Lively Wallpaper will automatically suspend the wallpaper animations. However, you may adjust these settings by opening the app’s settings and selecting the Performance tab. Here are the available options:

  • Applications fullscreen : Select the animated wallpaper behaviour (default: Pause) for each application when it is accessed in fullscreen mode.
  • Applications focused : Select an action to take (by default, nothing) when another application is the focus.
  • When on battery power : When running on battery power: Select the action to take in the event that a laptop is not near a charger (default: Nothing).
  • When on battery Saver : When the battery saver is activated: Choose what happens in the Windows settings (default: Nothing) when Battery Saver is enabled.
  • When on Remote Desktop : When on Remote Desktop: Select the action to take (default: Pause) when a computer is accessed over a Remote Desktop session.
  • Display pause rule : Choose if pause rules should be applied globally or just to specific screens (default: Per screen).
  • Pause algorithm : Select the pause algorithm that will be used to detect if another application is running. Foreground procedure is the default, and we advise leaving it alone. Additionally, there’s a Direct3D option that turns off all other performance options and only pauses the wallpaper when a Direct3D software is running in exclusive fullscreen mode.

All of these settings allow you to modify how Lively Wallpaper operates in order to conserve power and use less resources. You can save more power by setting more options to Pause, but in certain cases, this can lessen how alive these wallpapers feel.

Make your monitor pop

That concludes the overview of how to use Lively Wallpaper in Windows 11 to obtain an animated wallpaper. This is undoubtedly one of the greatest apps available for this level of customisation, and it’s even better because it’s free (though you may support the developer by clicking the Patreon icon). Moreover, more choices are being added over time. For instance, when I first used the app, the depth-based wallpapers and a few of the basic settings weren’t available, but they appeared by the time I finished writing this guide. Over time, more features will undoubtedly be introduced.

While there are alternative choices, such as DeskScapes 11 by Stardock, it’s difficult to suggest anything else Lively Wallpaper. Revitalize your space with custom-designed 3D wallpaper.

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