John’s Background Switcher for Windows

News! John’s Background Switcher 5.6 has been released! Read all about it here!

I can’t stand plain, boring backgrounds. John’s Background Switcher (or JBS for short) periodically changes the background image on your Windows computer to something awesome (if you’re a Mac user, go here instead). You can have beautiful desktop backgrounds like these!

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!
  • Google Photos – free storage and automatic organisation for all your memories.
  • Pixabay – the best place to find royalty free photos on the net.
  • Unsplash – beautiful photos from the world’s most generous community of photographers!
  • Pexels – gorgeous royalty free images shared by creators!
  • Any Media RSS feed – choose pictures from sites like DeviantArt, Photobucket and LOLCats amongst many others!
  • Vladstudio wallpapers – choose from the coolest wallpapers on the net!
  • Dropbox – your stuff, anywhere, and now on your desktop too!
  • OneDrive (personal) – store your photos on Microsoft’s cloud? You’re all good!
  • smugmug photo galleries – yours, your friends, anybody’s!
  • – see the music you listen to on your desktop!
  • Wallhaven – loads of awesome wallpapers!

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 John's Background Switcher settings window

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.

How Do I Bring Up The Settings?

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 on machines running Windows 10 and above (it will likely work on older versions but they’re out of support by now). It uses Microsoft.NET 4.8 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!

(Version 5.6 – 29.9MB)

Here are the full release notes for recent versions:

If you’re more of a Windows power user you can also install JBS from the command line with this which will perform a silent install (and thanks to Jarek for setting it up!):

winget install johnsadventures.JohnsBackgroundSwitcher

You can also download a zip archive of JBS in case you can’t run installers on your system. [Please note that if you run the zip archive then JBS will not be able to change the lock screen unless you run the JBS app as an admin with the command line option “DoSetupStuff” (without the quotes), which the installer does].

Buy A License

While JBS is completely free to use there is the option to buy a license and proudly show your support. You can choose how much you’d like to pay and if you’ve ever donated to JBS before let me know and I’ll send you a free license. You can buy a license by clicking the button below or from within JBS itself:

Buy JBS Direct


JBS is currently available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Ukranian, Swedish, Portuguese-Brazilian, Japanese, Russian, Finnish, Hungarian, Simplified and Traditional Chinese (it will choose the language to display based on the language of Windows you’re running).


Please refer to the John’s Background Switcher Privacy Policy. The short version is JBS only stores data locally on your computer and doesn’t transmit any of that back to me or any third parties. The only exceptions are when JBS checks for updates (which passes the version of JBS you’re using back to me) or on the rare occasion it crashes it sends back an anonymised crash log which contains no data that enables me to identify you.


If you’re having problems getting JBS to work or need any kind of help, do let me know! First check out the Frequently Asked Questions and if that doesn’t help simply fill out this form and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can (note that I do get a lot of emails so I may take a little while to reply):