John’s Background Switcher

News! JBS 4.9 has been released which you’ll need to upgrade to if you use Flickr functionality! Read the release notes here (and download below).

I can’t stand plain, boring backgrounds. John’s Background Switcher (or JBS for short) periodically changes the background image on your computer (like every hour or every day) to something awesome. You can have beautiful desktop backgrounds like these!

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You can specify which pictures to choose from:

  • Individual pictures on your computer.
  • Folders containing pictures on your computer such as ‘My Pictures’.
  • Flickr photo sharing – selecting pictures by person, tags, sets or just plain random. You never know what you’re going to get next!
  • Facebook – your friends photos on your desktop!
  • Instagram – photos from the most awesome photo app out there!
  • Vladstudio wallpapers – choose from the coolest wallpapers on the net!
  • 500px – the best high quality photography site on the web!
  • Any Media RSS feed – choose pictures from sites like DeviantArt, Photobucket, LOLCats and Tumblr blogs amongst many others!
  • Phanfare web albums – keep up to date with your friends and family.
  • smugmug photo galleries – yours, your friends, anybody’s!
  • Picasa Web Albums – choose from specific albums or any search text.
  • Google Image Search – get pictures from anywhere across the internet.
  • Pixabay – the best place to find royalty free photos on the net.
  • – see the music you listen to on your desktop!
  • Dropbox – your stuff, anywhere, and now on your desktop too!

Don’t want to read any more? Download the installer! Download John's Background Switcher (Version 4.9 – 2.2MB)

What Does It Do?

JBS sits in your system tray (down by the clock) and changes your background at the time interval of your choosing. You tell it where to get pictures from and how to show them – maybe you just want to see one photo at a time or maybe you’d like to see a ‘Snapshot Scrapbook‘ of photos thrown across your desktop. It’s up to you and you never know what’s coming next!

What Does It Look Like?

The settings dialog that controls all the functionality of JBS looks like this:

The Unified Settings Dialog

You add as many pictures sets from as many different places you like to the list and decide how you want them shown. Additional fine-tuning options are available from the ‘More Settings’ dialog where you can tweak till you heart’s content. Maybe you want a 3-month calendar on your desktop, your backgrounds always to be sepia or a cork noticeboard look – whatever you want is probably there. If it’s not, tell me and I’ll put it there!

How Do I Bring Up The Settings?The tray icon

The notification icon (pictured right) lets you open the settings, pause switching, view all downloaded photos (especially useful if you’re using one of the montage modes – just choose ‘Cached Picture Browser’), email or save backgrounds, check for updates and exit JBS (nooooooo!). Full documentation is included explaining every feature, checkbox and menu item. If you don’t like JBS (I hope you’ll tell me why) the uninstaller will remove every trace of it from your computer – it won’t leave even so much as a temporary file on your system!

Download Now – It’s Free!

Did I mention that JBS is completely free? Well it is! It will work happily on all 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows from Windows 98 up to Windows 8.1 (except Windows 7 Starter Edition). It uses Microsoft.NET 2.0 and if that’s not already installed on your computer the setup wizard will download and install it for you. If you have a version of JBS installed already just run the installer below and it’ll upgrade your settings for you – there’s no need to uninstall the current version first!

Download the Installer Download John's Background Switcher (Version 4.9 – 2.2MB)

Here are the full release notes for recent versions:


If you’d like to support the development of John’s Background Switcher then please feel free to send me a donation using the button below so I can buy some coffee to stay up late and crank out more features!


JBS is currently available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, Russian, Finnish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese (it will choose the language to display based on the language of Windows you’re running). Want JBS in your language? If you’d like to help translate JBS into your language then please contact me and I’ll set you up with the list of strings it uses. Be warned though, there are over 700 phrases that need translating!


If you’re having problems getting JBS to work, don’t understand how it works or have some cool suggestions that would make JBS twice as awesome, then don’t keep it to yourself, let me know! Simply:

Email me:


I sincerely hope you enjoy John’s Background Switcher. I love working on it and my goal is for no more plain, boring backgrounds! :)