Where are desktop backgrounds (wallpapers) stored in Windows 10?

The Windows 10 operating system comes with a set of wallpapers and the ability to refresh wallpapers regularly from a pool of images. The following guide provides users of Windows 10 with instructions on finding these wallpapers on the local system.

Let’s say you want to use them on your other devices (smartphone, TV, Xbox One or PS4), or want to make a background image of the past the permanent background on the Windows 10 device. You need to know where to find these wallpapers, and that is the guide for that.

Even if you are an advanced user, there is a chance you may not know about it. You won’t find them in the Pictures folder, that’s for sure.

Where are desktop backgrounds (wallpapers) stored in Windows 10?

Where are desktop backgrounds (wallpapers) stored in Windows 10

Open File Explorer and navigate to the following folder or copy the path and jump to it directly: C:WindowsWeb.

This is not really an obvious place to find wallpapers, is it? One would think the folder is probably something related to the internet. The Web folder houses 3 sub-folders which are called: 4K, Screen, and Wallpaper. Surprisingly, all three folders have wallpapers and different ones at that.

The default Windows 10 wallpaper, which is the one with the light beams and the Windows logo, can be found inside the “C:WindowsWeb4KWallpaperWindows” folder. The name is once again a bit misleading because the 4K folder also happens to contain the wallpaper in several other screen resolutions like 1024 x 768, 1366 x 768, 1920 x 1200, 2560 x 1600 and 3840 x 2160 pixels.

You may have noticed that the aspect ratios of the wallpaper differs, so you may want to select the one that matches your device’s display resolution. If it doesn’t match the screen size, you can always resize the wallpaper using a tool such as Irfan View, Fast Stone Photo Resizer, Flexxi, etc.

The second folder “Screen” contains photos which the operating system uses for its lock screen and log-on screen. That is probably why the folder is named “screen”.

desktop backgrounds location in Windows 10

The Wallpaper folder has a number of sub-folders of its own: Windows and Windows 10, and then a number of folders based on past usage. You may have folders like landscapes, architecture, or flowers there.

If you are a fan of macro photography and nature, you will probably dig what’s in the Flowers folder. The Windows folder has one wallpaper, and that is the 1920 x 1200 pixels version of the default wallpaper. The Windows 10 folder on the other hand, contains some nice walls related to outdoor activities.

Themes

Another source of wallpapers are themes. These themes, you may install hundreds of them from the Microsoft Store, are not placed in the Web folder when you install them. Instead, they are placed in the user folder.

Use the following path as a starting point in File Explorer to browse the installed themes and the backgrounds they come with: %localappdata%MicrosoftWindowsThemes

Closing Words

Now that you know where to find the wallpapers, you can copy them to your other devices or maybe use it on a multi-monitor setup too. You can drop your own wallpapers in the folders in case you want to switch to a different one quickly from the Personalization section in the Settings app.

I have seen fan edited versions of the default wallpaper which look stunning. Some have different colors for the background while maintaining the art style, maybe you can create something similar with it if you are a graphics designer.

Which among the default Windows 10 wallpapers is your favorite?

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How to import tabs from Chrome to Firefox and vice versa

So, you have decided to switch from Chrome to Firefox, or maybe it’s the other way around. The problem is you have a lot of tabs opened, and you can’t abandon the session. Or, you use both web browsers regularly and want to push tabs from one browser to the other; this may also be useful for developers who need to test their sites in different browsers.

What do you do? Manually copy and paste each URL from one browser to the other? That could take a long while depending on the number of tabs that you want to push to the other browser.

The browser extension OneTab offers a solution that improves the process especially if you need to push multiple tabs to the other browser.

Things you will need:

How to import tabs from Chrome to Firefox and vice versa 2

Tip: you can check out our OneTab review for Chrome here.

How to import tabs from Chrome to Firefox and vice versa

Note: Please be advised that the following process will close all of your tabs and save the session to a list. But don’t worry, you can restore the entire session just as easily.

1. Once you have installed the add-on, you should see its icon in the browser’s toolbar.

2. Click on the button to open OneTab (this closes all open tabs)

3. Select the “Export/Import URLs” option on the right side of the page.

How to export tabs from Chrome to Firefox and vice versa

4. You should see an Import/Export tab that has a list of all the tabs that you had opened. It has the URL and web page title for each tab.

5. Copy this list to the clipboard.

6. Open Firefox and repeat steps 2 and 3.

7. Now you should be on the Import/Export tab. Paste the list of tabs from step 5 in the Import text field.

How to import tabs from Chrome to Firefox and vice versa

8. Click on the import button.

OneTab should open a new tab which displays the tabs that you just imported. Click on the “Restore all” option, and the add-on should open all the tabs at once. You can also choose to restore only the ones that you want, by clicking on the tab titles individually.

That’s it. How simple was that? The process works the other way too, i.e., if you want to export tabs from Firefox to Chrome.

Note that it is theoretically also possible to send the list of exported URLs to a contact. May be useful to share research or let someone pick off where you stopped.

Another use for this method: Backup your sessions

I use this method for a different purpose. Over the course of a week or two, I accumulate several dozens of sites in tabs that I find interesting or have opened for future research purposes.

When I don’t have the time to go through the list just yet but want to start fresh because the browser’s tab bar gets convoluted, I use the extension to save the entire list of open sites in a text document.

You can use the import option to restore the tabs anytime you want to. You can even backup your session, clear the browser’s data and cookies and restore the tabs right back. This has been helpful for me quite a few times over the past few years.

Note: OneTab hasn’t been updated for a while on Chrome, but it still works perfectly. The Firefox version is updated frequently. There is an open source alternative for OneTab, called better-onetab, which I haven’t used much since it was pulled and re-released by the developer.

This post was inspired by something I saw on reddit’s Firefox sub yesterday. It was an interesting post, but they used the developer console to move tabs from Chrome to Firefox and it also involved using two different extensions which made it a slightly more complex method.

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How to whiteout text in PDFs using DocHub and Google Docs

Filling up a PDF form is pretty easy. You fire up a PDF editor application, use the text tool in it and type away.

How to whiteout text in PDFs using DocHub and Google Docs
Editing a PDF which already has text in it? It’s not that easy.

Say for example, you have an application form which has a few text fields but instead of blank boxes to type in, there is already text in some of the fields like “Write in CAPITAL letters”, “Include your State”, etc.

I know this is a rare example, and your use case scenario might be a lot different. Editing such forms can be a lot more difficult. Why? Because PDFs are meant to be finalized versions of documents, hence you can’t delete text from them like you would do in Microsoft Word or LibreOffice Writer.

The hard way

You could try taking a screenshot of the PDF and use an image editor to erase the text. Then you could print and scan the edited version to create a new PDF. Use a PDF editor to write what you wanted to in it. That’s a lot of work. And what if you don’t have a printer or a scanner?

The easy way

There are a few ways to do this including using paid applications like Adobe Acrobat. Inkscape is a free option which supports PDF editing and it could work well (depends on the PDFs content).

If you have Microsoft Office, you could try using Word to edit PDFs. LibreOffice supports editing PDF documents as well. During my tests, all three programs rendered parts of a test document useless (for e.g. check boxes were missing or distorted, images/logos were blurred etc).

Even if I could erase text using these applications, I would not be able to use the document because the programs had modified other parts of the PDF. Offline free PDF editors that I tried didn’t have a whiteout or eraser option either.

There are quite a few online services that let you edit PDFs. And one of the most popular ones is Google Docs.

How to whiteout text in PDFs using DocHub and Google Docs

1. Upload the PDF to your Google Drive.

2. Double-click on it to preview it.

3. There is an “Open With” option at the top of the screen. Click on it and select “DocHub”. (This is a third-party service but is trusted by Google).

4. You will be prompted to grant DocHub permission to access your Google Drive. It needs this to read/write your PDFs. Once you allow this option, you can use the DocHub website directly in the future (as long as you’re signed in to your Google account).

5. The PDF should load in DocHub and you will see a toolbar at the top of the screen.

How to whiteout text in PDFs using DocHub

6. Select the Whiteout tool (eraser icon).

7. Draw a box over the text that you wish to delete. And it will be deleted.

8. Save the PDF and it’s ready for use.

Edited PDF DocHub

In case of our application form example, this method can be used to make the text field appear blank. After which you can use the text tool in DocHub or any PDF editor to fill the form.

There you go, a free cross-platform to whiteout text in PDFs. All you need is a web browser, and a PDF, obviously you need one.

Closing Words

Online services may not work in all situations as you may not want to upload confidential documents to an online service. If the PDF document is generic however, it is a valid option that should work in many contexts.

Now You: Which tool or service do you use for editing PDFs?

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How to use the first page as the icon for Microsoft Office documents

Microsoft Office documents that you save on your computer or device use the same generic icon by default. The only distinguishing factors are the filename and the location of the document because of that, the latter only if save Office documents to different folders.

Core Microsoft Office applications support a handy feature to add another distinguishing factor to the documents that you save: to change the generic icon to a thumbnail preview of the first page.

The feature does not require the installation of third-party applications or special file handlers as it is a feature of Microsoft Office 2016 and older versions.

word document preview no preview file icon

The feature is not enabled by default and you have the option to enable it for individual Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents only, or globally so that all Office documents are saved with a thumbnail that depicts the first page of the document.

Save preview images for individual Microsoft Office documents

word save thumbnail file icon

The feature works in all supported versions of Microsoft Office including Office 2013, 2016 and 2019 except for Office 365. Microsoft calls the feature “thumbnail” and not preview image or Word file icon; this makes it a bit difficult to understand when you encounter the option.

Do the following to save individual Word, Excel, or PowerPoing documents with thumbnails:

  1. Open the Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document that you want to add a thumbnail to.
  2. Select File > Save As or use the keyboard shortcut F12 to save the document.
  3. Select a save location.
  4. In the Save As dialog, check “Save Thumbnail” at the bottom to make the first page the file icon on the system.
  5. Click Save to complete the process.

The saved document, regardless of whether it is a new document or one that you have created in the past, shows up with the preview image as its file icon on the system after the operation.

Save all Microsoft Office files with the thumbnail image

save thumbnails all office documents

If you like the thumbnail feature of Microsoft Word, you may want to configure Word to always save the thumbnail image so that you don’t have to make sure that the box is checked whenever you save a file.

This should work in Office 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 but not in Office 365.

Here is how that is done:

  1. Open any Word, Excel, or PowerPoint document on the system or create a blank one.
  2. Select File > Info.
  3. Click on the small arrow icon next to Properties and select Advanced Properties.
  4. In the Window that opens, check the “Save Thumbnails for all [..] Documents”.
  5. Click ok.
  6. Repeat the process for the other document formats as the dialog makes the change for the Office application that you have used to make it only.

All Office documents that you save from that point on are saved with the preview image.

Now You: do you make use of the thumbnail feature in Office?

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Basic things to do after a clean install of Windows 10

Whether you have just finished installing Windows 10 on a computer or updated to Windows 10 for the first time, there are a few things that you may want to do; this isn’t a list of essential software or tweaks but essentials that Windows admins and users should consider. Tech savvy users may well be aware of them.

These aren’t mandatory, but more of a precautionary measure and include backing up the system, installing updates, making sure proper drivers are installed so that all hardware is recognized and working to its fullest potential, and more.

Basic things to do after a clean install of Windows 10

Basic things to do after a clean install of Windows 10

Install all Updates

This is literally the first thing you should do in my opinion. Some may prefer to create a backup of the system first, and that is a good strategy as well as it provides restoration options if updates misfire.

Note: The guide is for most systems. Some Windows 10 users prefer to keep in control over the updating and that is fine as well. You may use third-party tools to install updates selectively only.

clean install of Windows 10

Check for updates and install all available ones. You should disable the Delivery Optimization option (download updates from other computers) from the Advanced options under Windows Updates. I would advise activating Windows immediately as well there’s no point in waiting to do that. The operating system may be activated already under certain circumstances.

Check your hardware

Windows comes with a lot of drivers pre-loaded, so your computer should be working fine. But in case it isn’t, you can install drivers manually. e.g. If your GPU isn’t working right or if  a device is not recognized at all or functioning properly.

Tip: If you have a graphics card, you’re better off downloading the driver from the official website. I have had my fair share of buggy Nvidia updates, which I had to resolve using Display Driver Uninstaller.

A good way to check if all things are working would be to play a video. Optionally, you can run Microsoft Edge (install Ublock Origin) and stream a YouTube video. This should help you test whether your internet, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and graphics card are functioning, all at once. Plug in a USB drive to see if the ports are working too. Don’t forget to test other components like a Wi-Fi adapter and Bluetooth if you have those.

Backup the OS

This is the most important step, after a clean install of Windows. Some may argue that this is even the first thing that you should do. But I prefer installing updates on the computer, and then imaging the drive.

You can use Windows’ built-in Backup & Restore tool, or use a third-party program like Macrium Reflect Free to backup your computer’s C: Drive. Save the backup image on a different drive, like a portable or external HDD. I cannot stress this enough, if you save it on the same drive on your computer, you may not be able to access it if the drive/OS fails.

Tip: Don’t forget to create a Recovery Media (USB Flash Drive) after backing up the OS. Also,  delete the browser data completely after downloading the backup application.

Things not to do before backing up the OS

Do not install any software just yet

Apart from your drive imaging program, you should not install any third-party software on a clean install of Windows before you have backed up the OS. Even the installation of antivirus can wait if you plan to switch from Windows Defender to another security solution.

Why is this so important?

The backup is a fallback option should problems arise. Let’s say you install some software or driver and your PC crashes. BSODs, freezes, or something else. And if your hard drive crashes? Do you want to spend time re-installing the OS and all those updates again with multiple reboots along the way? What if a malware infects your computer? You could disinfect the PC or even format the entire drive.

Re-installing Windows is a chore that has ruined many a weekend for me. But you can save time if you have a backup of the OS, especially if it is of a clean Windows 10 installation. You get to start from scratch, without spending hours fixing the issues.

You may also create regular backups of the system, with software installed, to go back to that state and not the initial clean after-installation state of the operating system.

What are the cons of this process?

The only real con is that the backup will age rather quickly. Microsoft releases updates for Windows on a regular basis, surely you know what Patch Tuesday is. So, your backup will be missing these updates should you restore it, say after a few months. But since the updates are cumulative even a slightly older backup can still be a good option.

Get into the habit of backing up your OS from time to time. And don’t forget to take a new backup before Microsoft releases a major OS update (officially called feature update), the most of recent of which is Windows 10 version 1903.

Other things to consider

 

May I take this as an opportunity to remind you that Windows 7 reaches end of support in January 2020.

Now you: what are the first things you do after a clean install of Windows 10.

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