How to set live desktop wallpapers on Windows 11

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UPDATED 9/11/2023: On Windows 11, you can set live wallpapers on the desktop, but not officially. You can use a live background on Windows 11 similar to those animated wallpapers on Android with the “Lively Wallpaper” app available through the Microsoft Store.

Lively Wallpaper is an open-source application that allows you to set videos, webpages, and GIF images as desktop wallpapers and screensavers. The application offers a library with many live wallpapers you can choose from to set as background on Windows 11, but you can always add custom ones.

This guide will teach you how to set live wallpapers on Windows 11.

Set live desktop wallpaper on Windows 11

If you want to set moving desktop wallpapers on Windows 11, you must install the app and select the animation.

Install Lively Wallpaper app

To install the Lively Wallpaper app, use these steps:

  1. Open Lively Wallpaper app on the Microsoft Store.

  2. Click the Get in Store app button.

    Lively Wallpaper install

  3. Click the Install button.

Once you complete the steps, you can use the app to set living wallpapers on your desktop.

Set live wallpaper

To set a live wallpaper as a background on the Windows 11 desktop, use these steps:

  1. Open Lively Wallpaper app.

  2. Click on Library.

  3. Select a live wallpaper.

  4. Click the menu (three-dotted) button and select the “Set as Wallpaper” option.

    Set live wallpaper on Windows 11

  5. (Optional) Click the Customize option from the context menu to adjust the settings depending on the wallpaper features.

    Lively Wallpaper customization

After you complete the steps, the live wallpaper will apply to the desktop. Also, depending on the animation, you may get some interactions. For example, if you set the “Fluids” option, the desktop will react to the system volume and cursor. And the “Periodic Table” option highlights each element, and you move the cursor over the table.

The app also has a “Gallery” section but doesn’t offer anything now. On the settings page (click the gear button on the top-right), you can control the startup behavior and rules to minimize performance impact, and there’s even an option to control the Taskbar theme to make it blurry, fully transparent, and more from the “System” tab. You can learn more about this project on GitHub.

Lively Wallpaper settings
Lively Wallpaper settings

Since these wallpapers are animated images, they will require extra system resources. However, the wallpaper will pause automatically when using an app or game on full screen or accessing the device through a Remote Desktop session. And you can set a rule to stop the animation when running on battery.

The application also includes support for multi-monitor setups. You can span a single wallpaper across all the monitors or duplicate the same across the displays. Also, HiDPI and Ultrawide resolutions are supported.

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