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As someone who spends at least 12 hours a day in front of two computer monitors, my desktop wallpaper has become very important to me.  After all, this is what I am staring at all day, and I’ve found that having the same picture on my screen is rather boring to say the least.  Wouldn’t it be nice instead to see a wide variety of rotating images, so that you never know what is coming next?

Enter Desktoppr, a web service currently in beta which enables you to change your wallpapers on a pre-set interval using your Dropbox folder.  It’s simply brilliant and it has me addicted to desktop wallpapers again.  It seems to work with any operating system that also works with Dropbox, but since I only have a Windows system, that is what I will be showing you today.

Setting up Desktoppr is very easy.  First, you will need both a Dropbox account (you can set up a Dropbox account here) and a Desktoppr account. MakeUseOf has negotiated 2,000 beta invites with Desktoppr.  So if you happen to be one of the lucky first 2,000, just go to the Desktoppr site and where it asks you for a beta code, enter MAKEUSEOF01.

Upon successful completion of the signup process, it will then ask you to link up your Desktoppr account with your Dropbox account.  This part is absolutely essential for the whole thing to work.


Now you’ll be taken to your Dropbox account and after logging in (if you’re not already logged in), you will be asked to grant permission for Desktoppr to access your Dropbox account.  Go ahead and click “allow“.

By clicking “allow”, what happens now is that a special folder is created inside your Dropbox folder called “Desktoppr“. This is the folder where all your synchronised wallpapers will end up.

The next thing to do is tell your computer where to pull the wallpapers from.  On the Windows system, go to your desktop, right-click and choose “personalize” and then click on your wallpapers section (bottom left).

I have a German language computer so I apologize in advance to all non-German speakers. But my screenshot should be clear enough. Click on the search button, (durchsuchen in my screenshot), and navigate to the Desktoppr folder in your Dropbox folder. Save that location as the default source for your desktop wallpapers.  Also at the bottom of that window, indicate how often the wallpapers should change and if the selection should be random or not.

So now that everything has been set up on the computer side, it’s time to get some wallpapers! Go to the site and if you are logged in, you will be able to access the wallpapers already there, uploaded by other members (you can also upload your own wallpapers for others to use, provided you own the copyright to them). You can filter by monitor size, whether you want NSFW (Not Safe For Work) images included, and you can also sort by newest, most liked, most downloaded and most viewed.

To download a wallpaper to your computer and have Dropbox synchronize it to your desktop, just find the wallpaper you would like to have and in the corner, you will see this little cloud symbol:

Simply click the cloud symbol, and the wallpaper will be downloaded to the Desktoppr folder in your Dropbox folder.  Assuming you have correctly set the Desktoppr folder as your location for your desktop wallpapers, you should start to see your chosen wallpapers appearing at the frequency you indicated.  I have set my wallpapers to change every 5 minutes on a random basis.

The only downside to using Dropbox is that if you go absolutely crazy with downloading wallpapers, you will find your limited space quota rapidly filling up.  You would either then need to delete some wallpapers or buy more space (which isn’t exactly cheap).  Since I also use Dropbox for work, document storage, and camera uploads, I am starting to notice this problem already.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Desktoppr and whether you will be making use of this on a regular basis.  I am personally addicted now to searching Desktoppr for great wallpapers (they have a great science fiction and comic book selection) and I am sure you will soon too catch the wallpaper bug.

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