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BingLogoI still use Google as my default search engine, but I sure do love the stunning photographs Bing Bing: The Next Big Thing From Microsoft Bing: The Next Big Thing From Microsoft Read More displays in its homepage. Bing and RSS-powered desktop wallpapers in Windows 7 are neat and cool, so why not combine them? How lovely if you could get new Bing images automatically as your desktop background!

One way to download Bing wallpaper images is by using Bing Downloader. You can also check out how to switch wallpapers Get Cool Flickr Images as Your Desktop Wallpaper Using John’s Background Switcher Get Cool Flickr Images as Your Desktop Wallpaper Using John’s Background Switcher Read More automatically on all Windows platforms, or with our collection of wallpaper changer apps 5 Wallpaper Changer Apps For Linux 5 Wallpaper Changer Apps For Linux Read More for Linux. But if you are using Windows 7, you don’t need a separate third-party application.

Long Zheng of I Started Something started the Bing Image Archive, where images shown by Bing to worldwide users are archived for your viewing (and downloading) pleasure. I asked him to get its RSS feed to work with Windows 7 desktop slideshows, and he was happy to oblige. So thanks to Long, we can now get a Bing powered desktop slideshow in Windows 7 in 4 easy steps.

BingArchive

Step 1: Create Theme File

Copy this text in Notepad or any text editor:

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[[Theme]
DisplayName=Bing

[Slideshow]
Interval=1800000
Shuffle=1
RssFeed=http://feeds.feedburner.com/bingimages

[Control Panel\Desktop]
TileWallpaper=0
WallpaperStyle=0
Pattern=

[Control Panel\Cursors]
AppStarting=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_working.ani
Arrow=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_arrow.cur
Crosshair=
Hand=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_link.cur
Help=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_helpsel.cur
IBeam=
No=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_unavail.cur
NWPen=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_pen.cur
SizeAll=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_move.cur
SizeNESW=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_nesw.cur
SizeNS=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_ns.cur
SizeNWSE=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_nwse.cur
SizeWE=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_ew.cur
UpArrow=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_up.cur
Wait=%SystemRoot%\cursors\aero_busy.ani
DefaultValue=Windows Aero
Link=

[VisualStyles]
Path=%SystemRoot%\resources\themes\Aero\Aero.msstyles
ColorStyle=NormalColor
Size=NormalSize
ColorizationColor=0X6B74B8FC
Transparency=1

[MasterThemeSelector]
MTSM=DABJDKT

Step 2: Save Theme File

Save the file as “Bing.theme” on your desktop. Make sure you do not name it Bing.theme.txt accidentally.

Step 3: Activate Bing Theme

Double-click the file to set it as your visual theme. In the Subscribe to RSS Feed? prompt, click Download Attachments.

SubscribeToRSSPrompt

That’s it! You should now see the Bing theme selected in the My Themes section.

BingThemeApplied

Step 4: Customize Slideshow Settings

You can customize the slideshow settings in the Desktop Background link at the bottom.

Slideshow Settings

You can choose these settings as you like. In resolutions higher than 800×600, the images look better if they are centered. Since the feed contains multiple images from around the world every day, set the slideshow to change pictures every few hours to see all the images.

Make Sure It Works

Depending upon the speed of your internet connection and other variables, it might take time for Windows to download the images. You might need to do these steps if you’ve not used Internet Explorer in Windows 7 too much. In any case, it is a good idea to double-check that the feed is set up correctly.

Start Internet Explorer, go to Tools->Explorer Bars->Feeds or press Ctrl-Shift-J. If you have activated the Bing theme, you should see the Feed URL already added. Click on the feed, so that Internet Explorer loads the feed page on the right.

Feed in Internet Explorer

If you see the following message:

AutoUpdatesMsg

Click Turn on automatic feed updates. Click Yes in the prompt dialog, so that you don’t need to run Internet Explorer to get your Bing wallpapers.

AutoFeedUpdatesPrompt

Now you should see images downloaded from the feed. If you wish, you can view the feed properties by clicking the link on the right.

FeedProperties

Remember that the Automatically download attached files box should be checked. You can click View Files to see the downloaded images.

Finally, sometimes the theme does not change images even though they are downloaded. Simply right-click on the desktop, select Next desktop background. A logout/login also forces a refresh of the theme.

More Cool Wallpaper Feeds

For the RSS powered desktop slideshow to work in Windows 7, the RSS feed needs to have images in an enclosure item. Thus, for example, Deviant Art feeds did not work at the time of this writing. But you can enjoy Flickr feeds! Simply replace RSSFeed= with the URL of your choice and set DisplayName= with whatever you like in the theme file you created in Notepad. You can set your own favorite feed in Flickr, or here are a few you might want to check out:

  • Flickr Wallpapers 1024×768: http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/groups_pool.gne?id=40961104@N00&lang=en-us&format=rss_200
  • Flickr Wallpapers 1200×800: http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/groups_pool.gne?id=78305319@N00&lang=en-us&format=rss_200
  • Flickr Wallpapers 1680×1050: http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/groups_pool.gne?id=594506@N20&lang=en-us&format=rss_200

Do you enjoy your new wallpapers? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Teo
    September 5, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Wow thanks man, awesome work by you guys ! i have always loved bing images and i wanted a way for those images to automatically stay be as my wallpapers.

  2. E. Wormuth
    February 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks -- I've got it.

  3. E. Wormuth
    February 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    What am I doing wrong? When I double-click on the notepad file saved on my desktop, the notepad document just comes up. I must be missing a step somewhere.

    • E. Wormuth
      February 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm

      I see what the problem is -- I should save the file as Bing.theme, rather than Bing.theme.txt. But in Windows 7, I can't see an option to save without the .txt -- can you advise how to do that?

      • Mahendra Palsule
        February 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm

        @E. Wormuth: From the "Save as type:" drop-down, choose "All Files (*.*)".

  4. adigayu
    December 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    thanks for it

  5. dr3d
    December 11, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Hi - great article! However I couldn't get the Flickr wallpaper feeds to work - wasn't getting enclosured jpgs. So I changed &format=rss_200 to &format=atom in the URLs. Works fine now! Thanks again!

    * Flickr Wallpapers 1024×768

    * Flickr Wallpapers 1200×800

    * Flickr Wallpapers 1680×1050

    • Mahendra Palsule
      December 13, 2009 at 8:40 pm

      @dr3d: Thanks for sharing the info!

  6. Chris
    December 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I would love to have this in high resolution (I'm running 1920x1080). MS released a Best of Bing theme, which came with the high-res images. Anyone have an idea where to get the daily image in high-res?

  7. diagg
    November 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    hi, i just made an RSS FEED to bring interfacelift.com to the desktop :http://zany-openeyes.blogspot.com/2009/11/interfaceliftcom-on-desktop.html

  8. Jack Jackson
    October 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    A very useful tips, I also love with bing and I will apply this on my windows 7.

  9. Jason
    September 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Try Bing Wallpaper Downloader: http://www.bing-wallpaper.com/download.html

    It will do everything automatically for you: download all the wallpapers (including old ones) and set them as your desktop wallpaper.

  10. Mahendra Palsule
    August 10, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Cap: You guessed right. Unless Long changes the feed settings, there is no way you can go further back. Once you've subscribed to it however, you will get all the images from that point onwards.

    We need to be grateful to Long for providing this for free!

    • Aaron
      November 14, 2009 at 1:36 am

      Any chance you can get country specific rss feeds made? The RSS feed that is currently being used is great but pulls all of the Bing pictures from all of its counties (US. UK, AUS, JPN ex...) Looking back in the archives the same picture is used on the same or differnt days in each country, so when I first subscribed to the feed I got 10 photos only 4 of then were unique. By clicking the individual countries flag on http://www.istartedsomething.com/bingimages/ you get only that countries photos. Is there anyway we can get an rss feed of that made?

  11. Cap
    August 6, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Thanks for the instructions Mahendra. Quick question though, I notice the feed has only aggregated the last 10 images/items, is there a way to go much further back? I'm guessing for those that want older images showing up in the feed will have to request Long to change the feed setting so that it shows more items per feed.

  12. Adam
    August 5, 2009 at 11:13 am

    When I double-click the .theme file and the Theme control panel comes up, the icon for the theme does not include the RSS logo as part of it as shown in your screenshot. The images do not download. I have verified the attachments checkbox is checked and that the feed is synching in IE8. Any suggestions on where to look next?

    • Mahendra Palsule
      August 5, 2009 at 11:31 am

      Adam,

      1. Did you get the 'Subscribe to RSS' prompt and clicked Download Attachments?
      2. Are you seeing the images on the right in IE8?

      If the answer to both is yes, I don't see why it is not working. If not, try creating the theme file from scratch.

      • Adam
        August 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm

        Had to delete everything and now it works. I did that before but this time I even deleted the RSS feed from IE. That's the only thing different, but it works. Thank you!

  13. SOHIN
    August 5, 2009 at 10:16 am

    How to do it for Vista ?

  14. anonymous
    August 2, 2009 at 9:41 am

    does it work on vista?

    • Mahendra Palsule
      August 2, 2009 at 9:56 am

      @anonymous: No, unfortunately it doesn't. The Windows RSS Framework is first implemented in Windows 7.

      • ahdman
        August 5, 2009 at 6:44 am

        Could I use any RSS address for this wallpaper??

        • Mahendra Palsule
          August 5, 2009 at 7:55 am

          As mentioned in the last section, this works only with RSS Feeds that have images in an {enclosure} tag. Best way is to try it out and see if it works!

  15. whizkid
    August 1, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Excellent post! was looking around for this information for quite some time..

    • jojo bhai
      May 16, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Mera mobile me vi chahiye

  16. Mahendra Palsule
    August 1, 2009 at 3:18 am

    @dub: Glad you got it working! The glitch in Windows RSS Framework as implemented in Win7 is that the dropdown is not available on a Win7 default install, until you activate a RSS-powered theme.

  17. dub
    August 1, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Ah, I should have played around more before posting. All I had to do was go revert to the basic theme and go to Personalization -> Desktop Background and select the dropdown for 'http://feeds.feedburner.com/bingimages'. So easy.

    I blame it on the Evan Williams.

  18. dub
    August 1, 2009 at 2:14 am

    I'm trying out Windows 7 on a laptop with only a gig of RAM, so I use basic themes instead of Aero. I've looked at the C:\Windows\Cursors directory and tried to match up the filenames (basically removing 'aero_' from the filename), but haven't had much success. Can you post the text for a 'bing.theme' for us poor people using basic themes? With only so much RAM, I don't mind opaque windows...

  19. Bing Wallpaper
    July 31, 2009 at 2:04 am

    If you like Bing wallpapers, please check out bing-wallpaper.com.

    You will see everyday Bing wallpapers of its worldwide sites. You can also view and download past Bing wallpapers.

    • shraqs
      August 7, 2009 at 2:09 am

      Thanks for the link. Appreciate it

    • mottey
      August 13, 2009 at 12:19 am

      Too bad their isn't an rss feed for this feed...
      Long Zheng's Bing feed just gives me feed normalization error!

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