Community Announcements - Biohazard
Hey all,

Another patch has been released to address a few issues that have come up. I fixed a bug in the filesystem library I am using (Boost C++) that caused Wallpaper Engine to fail running properly when it was installed in a symlinked directory under certain circumstances.

Some web wallpapers in Workshop that use the open-source rain drop effect from here: broke with the recent CEF update because the rain effect code was incompatible with the latest updates from Google Chromium. The original author has fixed the issue, but the copies on Workshop do not receive this fix automatically unless their authors update them too. Since these situations are unavoidable when Google releases updates to Chromium, I have implemented a system that allows me to update Workshop files after they have been downloaded by a client, since I cannot directly access the files on the Steam servers. This system can be used to apply patches in a situation like this.

So in other words, all of the rain drop wallpapers should be working again. The 'Paranoid and Shy Birds' have been fixed using the same system, the white lines are gone.

You can now use the resolution graphics option to control the rendering resolution of canvas elements in web wallpapers. Using half resolution can greatly improve performance on some web wallpapers now. So, using the rain drops as an example, the CPU load on my machine (3440 x 1440 resolution) drops while compromising on the quality:

I have also reported a number of false positives from different anti-virus products to their respective companies. These include libcef.dll for Avast and Bitdefender and wallpaper32.exe / wallpaper64.exe for Comodo. If you know about any other false positives, let me know, or feel free to report them using the links I put in this thread:

The update warning for known incompatible applications will now only be shown once per application. However, with this update, you will still see them one more time. The following updates will not show the warning unless you verify/re-install the application over Steam. And hopefully at some point I can completely remove the warning, when the respective developers have fixed the issues on their end.

- Kristjan


  • Fixed video read mode being overwritten on start.
  • Fixed browse window showing wrong wallpapers when rapidly switching from Workshop to installed.
  • Fixed Boost filesystem not resolving symlinks correctly.

New Features
  • Web wallpaper compatibility system to overwrite Workshop files on load.
  • Made it possible to reduce canvas resolution in web wallpapers with the half resolution option.

Other Changes
  • Changed application warning on update to show only once per application.
  • Refactored parts of 2D/3D wallpapers for upcoming changes to the editor.
Community Announcements - Biohazard
If you use the new, built-in, update prompt, Steam will show Wallpaper Engine as in-game after the update and the overlay gets injected into every process (even though it's disabled, but that feature doesn't really work). Simply restart it once so it stops. The next update shouldn't do this.

Hey all,

Another small update for Wallpaper Engine has been released that fixes a few things and adds more video options. There were a few playlist issues that should be fixed now, which caused the playlist to disappear. It still takes a few seconds to show up until Steam responded with your Workshop subscriptions.

Using the center or cover video options, you can now also change the position of the video respectively with this new slider:

The effects of this slider vary based on the current mode, as illustrated here:

The alignment options are now also fully functional for WebM videos.

A new advanced option allows you to disable video hardware acceleration:

You should not use this option unless your hardware acceleration is defective, due to hardware or driver issues. Disabling hardware acceleration will cause the CPU load to increase, so in a normal scenario, it is not desirable to disable this. I added this option for two reasons:

  • Some AMD hardware and driver combinations suffer from 'UVD clock' bugs. The GPU core/memory clocks get stuck while playing videos. Disabling hardware acceleration will just not cause UVD profiles to be loaded, so the driver doesn't bug out.
  • I had a few reports of the entire screen turning black periodically on certain (Nvidia?) cards and drivers. Disabling hardware acceleration might help here, if the issue is caused by the video decoder of the GPU.

There are now resolution tags in the Workshop:

They will be automatically set. If you want to add them to your current wallpaper, just publish an empty update with the editor and it should add the tag. The 'Standard Definition' tags basically mean 'low resolution' while maintaining the respective aspect ratio. Should a video be between two resolutions, it will always pick the next lower one. If nothing fits, "Other resolution" will be set. The tags don't work for WebM yet.

I have added newer versions of the Visual Studio 2013 runtimes to the Steam install script, so starting Wallpaper Engine over Steam, those two will be installed now. The ones distributed by Steam are sometimes not being installed at all and are also old, the new runtimes include fixes for a certain locale related crash. Speaking of crashes, the crash dialog will now show more info and provide a likely solution if a known crash happens. Those include outdated Intel GPU drivers on Nvidia Optimus laptops, Precision X and RivaTuner.

- Kristjan

Full changelog

  • New Visual Studio 2013 runtimes.
  • Added more information and cancel button to update & verify dialog.
  • Added tags for video resolutions.
  • Added solutions for known crashes caused by drivers or third-party apps (Intel GPU drivers out of date, Precision X and RivaTuner hooks).
  • Added option to disable video hardware acceleration.
  • Added video alignment option for cover and center.
  • Added process priority option.
  • Added detection for RDP session state changes to destroy/restart wallpapers automatically.
  • Added a work-around for video playlists on Windows 7 to reduce flashing or the static wallpaper from showing up when switching between videos.

  • Fixed playlist permanently disappearing when unsubbing a wallpaper and other scenarios.
  • Fixed double quotes in URL breaking the config.json.
  • Fixed launcher process not creating mini dump files.
  • Fixed focus issues of the transition effect and all wallpapers (except web...).
  • Fixed WebM videos getting frozen when they threw a media error.
  • Fixed Steamworks injection causing Wallpaper Engine to be detected by Steam after an update (does not apply to this patch yet).

Other Changes
  • Updated CEF to version 3.2924.1571.gcdcdfa9.
Community Announcements - Biohazard
Hey all,

A new patch for Wallpaper Engine has been released that introduces a new built-in Workshop browser to the existing wallpaper selection window. Using that, you are now able to filter out genres that you are not interested in. All in all it has become easier to try out new wallpapers from Workshop, since you don't need to deal with two separate windows anymore.

The browser also recognizes YouTube previews that have been uploaded by the creator, which you can check out right before subscribing to the wallpaper.

Video wallpapers can now be configured to be aligned in multiple ways. The previous method, "Cover", cropped the wallpaper so that it would always cover your screen, without stretching anything. You can now alternatively set it to "Center", which will add bars to compensate different aspect ratios, or to "Stretch", which stretches the video to the corners of your screen:

This update also introduces a new method of dealing with Steam's auto updates. Coming updates from Steam will be downloaded without overwriting any files used by the running application, which makes it possible to avoid (or reduce) "content locked" errors by Steam. A new update dialog deals with appropriately starting and stopping the application in order to apply pending updates:

For the next update I will start improving the editor features for 2D/3D wallpapers. The 2D features will be extended with various animation effects that you can more easily mix right in the editor. The particle system will also be improved and supported by the UI as well as generally updating options to layer and animate images.

- Kristjan

Full changelog:

New features
  • Added video alignment options.
  • Implemented in-app Workshop browser with better filtering than the Workshop website has.
  • Filter and sort settings are now saved after closing the window.
  • Added support for YouTube previews in the browser.
  • Custom update dialog to apply updates and verify the installation.
  • Added Croatian translation.
  • Added a Steamworks warning dialog, shown when trying to use Steam features while Steam is not available.
  • Added unsub button to the application warning dialog.

  • Fixed video resizing issues when the resolution or screen orientation changes.
  • Fixed wallpaper restarting when it should be stopped.
  • Fixed an issue that lead to crashes when using in-memory video loading.
  • Potentially fixed loading of incorrect config when the application starts before the user is fully logged in.
  • Fixed a UI shutdown crash (there is still some Chromium render process crashes left though).
  • Fixed newly subscribed items to be added to the end of the list.
  • Fixed DPI scaling issues in editor (video window too small, 3D stream size mismatching).
  • Fixed scheme color control in the publish dialog.

Other changes
  • Renamed some playlist options to make them less confusing.
  • Changed multi-monitor stretch layout to always use "pause all monitors".
Community Announcements - Biohazard
Make sure to fully close Wallpaper Engine when updating. If you are having issues, try verifying the files over Steam first.

Hey all,

A new patch for Wallpaper Engine was just released that adds the long-awaited playlist/random wallpaper feature. You can now select multiple wallpapers and let them cycle after a certain time span or when logging in. A new option in the tray menu lets you quickly skip to the next wallpaper too. To use the playlist, just check the checkbox on wallpapers to add them to the list.

All settings, including the wallpapers and general options, are now also stored per Windows user.

The audio visualizers have been improved with a faster FFT library (FFTS) and tweaked settings, to visualize lower frequencies better. Check out some cool visualizers here:

Or build your own with some extensive tips from here:

Speaking of audio, it is now possible to globally disable audio streams from videos in the advanced options:

This will allow you to use video wallpapers next to music players that use the 'WASAPI exclusive mode' like Foobar2000.

Lastly, I have added NVAPI to the Steam launcher process, which I use to automatically create a predefined Nvidia application profile. This profile will set the wallpaper processes to use the integrated GPU, preventing video tearing and black screen issues (the ones without Windows error code). The user does not have to manually assign the executables anymore.

- Kristjan

  • Added playlist and random wallpaper feature.
  • Added advanced option to disable audio streams. This allows videos to play with Foobar exclusive mode WASAPI plugin etc.
  • Added per Windows user application settings.
  • Added a warning to high-priority mode that it is experimental and may not work on every system.
  • Added a button to reset the entire config more easily.
  • Added NVAPI application profile to Steam launcher.
  • Vietnamese language.
  • Added automated file trimming to log files (max size is 10 MB, trimmed on UI startup).
  • Added some experimental options to tweak the audio FFT.

  • Web wallpaper performance not dependent on FPS anymore (unless the web wallpaper implements it explicitely).
  • Countless DPI fixes and hacks for web wallpapers.
  • Improved UI performance when resizing the window.
  • Fixed some stability/import/packing issues with models that do not have textures.
  • Fixed local storage/cookies not being persisted.
  • Fixed Workshop details being overwritten when publishing updates (now the editor pulls the most recent data from Steam).
  • Fixed model compiler crashing on huge models.
  • Fixed Steam publish process getting soft locked if Steam reports an error.

  • Changed FFT library to improve performance.
  • Tweaked FFT settings to achieve a higher resolution for low frequencies.
  • Changed all wallpaper related processes to use 'below normal' CPU priority.
  • Lots of translation updates.
  • Disabled Dx11 in Chromium for web wallpapers because it is incompatible with the playlist fade effect DWM hack.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - (Alec Meer)

The Steam charts are reliably staid much of the time – ever-present Counter-Strikes and GTAs, whatever the multiplayer survival flavour of the month is, and a big new release if there was one. This week brought a true oddity, however: Wallpaper Engine. It’s a desktop wallpaper tool, and it’s outselling almost everything else on Steam. Times, they are a changin’.

So, what is this thing, and why would an estimated (via SteamSpy; not necessarily accurate, of course) three quarters of a million people be using it instead of just, y’know, setting a desktop wallpaper? And, of course, is this 3/$4 application any good? The finest minds in Christendom gathered to investigate – and to show off the best and worst animated wallpapers they found for it. … [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - Biohazard
Make sure to fully close Wallpaper Engine when updating. If you are having issues, try verifying the files over Steam first.

Hey all,

Another small update for Wallpaper Engine has been released that is focused on fixing some issues that have come up:

The web engine (CEF/Chromium) has been updated to the latest version. This should fix loading of certain web pages and some DPI scaling related issues (the web wallpaper not being fullscreen or not registering clicks). If you are still having these problems, please let me know. Automatic pausing when Microsoft Edge is fullscreen, i.e. playing a video, should be fixed too.

I replaced the shimmering particles wallpaper with a new dynamic version that allows color changing and is designed to support stretching over three monitors (resolution of 5760 x 1080).

The Windows color adjustment on Windows 10 can now additionally be configured to overwrite the Windows settings for title/task bar colors. You can choose to keep the current Windows settings or overwrite them.

The tag "multi-monitor optimized" is gone now, because it was almost exclusively being abused. A new tag was added, "Unspecified", which is the default genre. The tag input control has also been replaced with a simple drop down menu, to reduce tag abuse:

I also got in touch with EVGA about excluding Wallpaper Engine from EVGA Precision X so the crashing issues when both applications are running should be gone with their next update.

If everything goes as planned, the next update will finally introduce the playlist/random feature in about 2 to 3 weeks.


  • Fixed Traditional Chinese flag.
  • Potentially fixed Edge fullscreen not pausing videos.
  • Potentially fixed a audio recording crash if an application in exclusive mode is started.
  • Fixed web wallpaper not covering the entire monitor on some systems.
  • Fixed web wallpaper clicking on some systems (I hope).
  • Fixed certain web pages not loading by updating CEF.

  • Made Windows color adjustment work without overriding the taskbar/title bar color settings.
  • Made it possible for web wallpapers to read the application language from the 'language' property.
  • Replaced shimmering particles wallpaper with a dynamic scene that supports coloring and stretching over triple screens.
  • Added a warning message when the user attempts to play video on Windows N with missing video components (prompts to install the Media Feature Pack).
  • Changed tags input into a drop down.
  • Removed Multi-Monitor tag, add Unspecified tag.
  • Added a CEF file check that warns the user when Steam only partially updated the application (which leads to problems).
Community Announcements - Biohazard
Make sure to fully close Wallpaper Engine when updating. If you are having issues, try verifying the files over Steam first.

Hey all,

I've released a small patch that adds a notice about acceptable content for Workshop, full support for 64-bit during auto start and launching from Steam and a huge number of new translations. Thank you everyone who has helped with those!

This notice will be shown when you open the editor, to make it clearer what is accepted on Workshop and what isn't. These rules are pretty much the same for any Workshop on Steam. Workshops have to be suitable for minors, too, so nudity and violence is not allowed, while it is allowed on some games on Steam (which are then rated M or A).

You can now use the 64-bit version of Wallpaper Engine. To switch, close Wallpaper Engine and start it over Steam, while choosing the 64-bit version there. If you configure auto start with this version running, it will then also use the 64-bit version during auto start.

A bunch of new Workshop tags have been added, including "CGI, Cyberpunk, Landscape, Medieval, MMD, Pixel art, Relaxing, Retro". It is now also required to specify at least one tag when uploading your submission. I think most cases should be covered, but if you think there are some urgent tags missing, make sure to let me know. The tags in the editor also have translations now, next to the original English version shown on Workshop.

Full changelog:

  • Added support for 64 bit auto start and Steam launcher.
  • Added localization for Swedish.
  • Added localization for Traditional Chinese.
  • Added localization for Spanish.
  • Added localization for Lithuanian.
  • Added localization for Japanese.
  • Added localization for Thai.
  • Added localization for Czech.
  • Added localization for French.
  • Added localization for Korean.
  • Added localization for Finnish.
  • Added a warning if run on a system that falls below the minimum OS requirements.
  • Added a modal to the editor that informs about the Workshop rules.
  • Added a quick link for the editor to the browse window.
  • Localized the tags in the editor.
  • Added new tags: CGI, Cyberpunk, Landscape, Medieval, MMD, Pixel art, Relaxing, Retro.

  • Changed the publish process to require at least one genre tag being set.
  • Changed the tag auto-complete box to show all suggestions when clicking.

  • Fixed web wallpaper mouse position being incorrect with varying DPI settings.
  • Fixed image deselection in wallpaper properties.
  • Potentially fixed the "startup error code 3" issue. Now Wallpaper Engine will continue loading in this case and not quit.
  • Attempted to fix a crash that occured if an external application closed the wallpaper windows (for videos).
  • Attempted to fix a crash in the editor that occured if it was used without Steam running.

Community Announcements - Biohazard
Make sure to fully close Wallpaper Engine when updating. If you are having issues, try verifying the files over Steam first.

Hello everyone,

A new patch for Wallpaper Engine has just been released that should address various small issues and it also introduces two new features: Desktop icon opacity and a Workshop cache, so you can continue to browse through all subscribed wallpapers even without Steam running.

The Icon opacity can be adjusted in the options for results such as these:

The Steam status is now indicated in the browser, to make it more obvious what's going on behind the scenes:

The browser still needs to be opened once while Steam is running to actually create the cache data, however.

A new experimental feature allows you to preload entire wallpaper videos into memory, to prevent your disk from being worn out due to streaming. Since the 64bit executable is still not fully used (and generally can occupy a lot more unnecessary memory) this feature may crash the application if you have multiple monitors and attempt to preload GBs of video data for wallpapers.

The Steam game language will now actually be used if you have chosen the "default" language setting and the video error notification includes a click callback that will bring users directly to the FAQ. This will hopefully make it easier for everyone to debug recurring problems like video tearing/black screens on hybrid GPU systems.

The next big feature that I intend to implement is support for random wallpapers/shuffling/playlists. This should be ready in Q1 2017, possibly end of January.

As usual, leave a comment, visit the bugs forum or let me know via e-mail ( ) if you're having problems or questions!


Full changelog:

  • Added experimental video in-memory playback, which will precache the entire video and does not stream from disk.
  • Added a Steam status notification to the browser, to make it easier to understand what is going on behind the scenes.
  • Implemented a Workshop cache, so Workshop wallpapers can be selected without Steam running.
  • Added click callback to video error message which will open the FAQ thread.
  • Added better tray advertisement on initial run.
  • Added icon opacity slider to the options.
  • Attempted to fix desktop staying see-through after Wallpaper Engine was closed (which caused issues when alt-tabbing from borderless fullscreen games).
  • Made web wallpaper process per-monitor DPI aware.
  • Changed default video volume to 50%.
  • Added warning modal if the app is run on an OS older than Win 7.
  • Added FAQ link to context menu.
  • Added tags "audio responsive" (automatically set) and "multi-monitor optimized" (manually set).
  • Improved GIF animation time-refresh sync.
  • Added screen resize fallback.
  • Set CEF to ignore WebGL blacklist.
  • Reworked editor help dialog to simply link to tutorials.
  • Added 'Remove Wallpaper' button for single monitor setups.
  • Made it possible to actually read the current game language from Steam (when the app is launched through Steam).
  • Added translations for Persian.
  • Added translations for Russian.
  • Added translations for Swedish.
  • Added translations for Simplified Chinese.
  • Added translations for Turkish.
  • Added translations for Italian.
  • Added translations for Dutch.
  • Added translations for Brazilian.

  • Attempted to fix auto start not working (and also restarting being blocked).
  • Fixed ' handling for wallpaper preview images.
  • Fixed filter menu animation stuttering on some systems.
  • Fixed certain windows being pushed offscreen with high DPI.
Community Announcements - Biohazard
Make sure to fully close Wallpaper Engine when updating. If you are having issues, try verifying the files over Steam first.

Hey all,

This patch adds proper support for animated GIFs and WebMs along with a system to localize the entire UI of Wallpaper Engine! If you want to help with localization, you can get the necessary instructions from here: any help with translations is welcome!

You can now load GIFs into Wallpaper Engine and also easily share them on Workshop. Previously, a hidden trick existed to open a GIF as a wallpaper, but it resulted in high CPU usage, so I didn't make it official. The new system is using a custom implementation (instead of leveraging CEF/Chromium) that basically converts GIFs into sprite sheets. CPU, RAM and GPU load will be minimal with this system and a lot better than the old implementation.

On top of that, you can tweak the speed of the GIF in the browser and the scheme (window) color is derived from a GIF automatically to make things easier!

When importing a GIF through the editor, getting it ready for Workshop, you can also control how the GIF is rendered and apply some noise reduction, which can come in handy for GIFs that suffer from notable dithering:

To get started on pushing GIFs, you can check out this new guide:

Some cool GIFs that you can check out locally:

WebMs can now be pushed to Workshop and also loaded directly from a file - along with speed and volume options just as other videos! However WebMs will be played through CEF/Chromium, which means they will take more resources and processing power than mp4s.

The translation system recognizes all of Steams languages and I have preemptively added all of them. You will need to choose the language in settings/general to switch it:

Right now there are already a lot of German and Polish translations and a few strings in Simplified Chinese (thanks to Lyvelion and 伊织). Like mentioned before, if you want to help translate anything, check out the instructions here:

Properties of wallpapers will no longer need to be reset now, if the creator has changed them, and all scenes also automatically received a tweakable playback rate property with this update!

New Features
  • Added native support for GIFs through sprite sheets in scenes.
  • Added native support for WebM.
  • Added scene playback rate property.
  • Added new template for GIFs with various import options.
  • Added support for GIF and WebM through 'Open from file'.
  • Implemented translation system for core application and UI.
  • Added German and Polish translations for all UI windows except editor and some Simplified Chinese strings in various locations.
  • Added combo box to switch the language of the UI.

  • Fixed wallpapers in browser being switched when arrow keys are pressed although another control is highlighted.
  • Fixed web wallpapers not saving cookies and JS local storage data.
  • Fixed web wallpapers not loading plugins (e.g. Flash).
  • Fixed web path imports with ' in the filename.
  • Fixed property import controls being hidden in 'small mode'.
  • Fixed app wallpapers crashing when using the 64bit executable.
  • Fixed URL encoding for file paths sent to web wallpapers.
  • Fixed web wallpapers turning white immediately on load due to Steam sending an unnormalized installation path.
  • Fixed mouse sluggishness in editor when importing an app wallpaper.
  • Changed how wallpaper properties are saved. Now only the values are saved, so updating the properties of a wallpaper does no longer require users to manually reset them.
  • Fixed overlapping wallpaper titles in browser.
  • Fixed a potential crash when an invalid wallpaper file was opened.

The next update will include localization support for the editor window and a "support & troubleshoot" dialog. This is meant to mitigate some of the recurring problems, like audio recording issues with the Razer headsets or Nvidia Optimus. Non-english speaking users are also dependent on a translated version of the solutions to these issues.

As usual, leave a comment, visit the bugs forum or let me know via e-mail ( ) if you're having problems or questions!

Community Announcements - Biohazard
Make sure to fully close Wallpaper Engine when updating. If you're having issues, try verifying the files over Steam first.

Hey all,

A new update for Wallpaper Engine has just been released, adding a bunch of new features, that improve the whole experience, and fixes for a few bugs. Read on to get a quick overview about what's new:

The browser allows you to filter your installed wallpapers more precisely now:

It also remembers all URLs and local files that you previously opened (of course you can also easily remove these again afterwards!):

A favorite button allows you to instantly fave wallpapers right from the browser and the file size of each file can be seen now as well:

Multi-monitor systems can now pause maximized or fullscreen wallpapers per monitor, which is the new default behavior. You can still go back to the old behavior in the options though:

Recent wallpapers can be instantly switched to from the tray menu instead of having to open the browser:

And web wallpapers can make use of a new property control for combo boxes:

Last but not least the crash handler has been improved to instantly scan for troublesome hooks in the application that are known to crash or corrupt Wallpaper Engine, which some users have suffered from. So if a potential culprit has been found, you might be able to fix the crash instantly instead of having to send me the .mdmp file and waiting for me to check it out, simply by excluding Wallpaper Engine from the hooking application. The web wallpaper process was also not handling crashes at all previously, which has been fixed now. So if your web wallpapers keep turning white, you should get a message and a crash dump now.

Complete changelog:

New Features
  • Added various filter options for wallpapers into browser.
  • Added per monitor pause option (maximized and fullscreen) to multi-monitor systems and made it the default.
  • Made wallpapers unpause while Aero Peek is active.
  • Added sort by update date and file size to browser.
  • Added file size to wallpaper details in browser.
  • Added list of recent wallpapers to tray context menu.
  • Persisted all local files and URLs to config.
  • Added favorite button to browser.
  • Added combo box control to wallpaper properties.
  • Added hook detection to crash handler to help the user fixing crashes more quickly.

  • Fixed audio processing not keeping up with higher framerates.
  • Fixed wallpaper config not saving wallpapers of inactive monitors.
  • Fixed requestAnimationFrame not keeping up with high framerates.
  • Fixed web wallpaper not generating mini dumps when it crashes.

As usual, leave a comment, visit the bugs forum or let me know via e-mail ( ) if you're having problems or questions!


Search news
Mar   Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2017   2016   2015   2014   2013  
2012   2011   2010   2009   2008  
2007   2006   2005   2004   2003