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!
- Facebook – your Facebook 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!
- smugmug photo galleries – yours, your friends, anybody’s!
- Pixabay – the best place to find royalty free photos on the net.
- Last.fm – 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! (Version 4.16 – 2.35MB)
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:
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 Vista and above (except Windows 7 Starter Edition). It uses Microsoft.NET 4.5 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 (Version 4.16 – 2.35MB)
Here are the full release notes for recent versions:
- Latest – Version 4.16
- Version 4 (4.15 4.14 4.13 4.12 4.11 4.10 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.2.1 4.2 4.1 4.0)
If you’d like to show your appreciation for John’s Background Switcher then please feel free to send me a donation using the button below, and thanks!
JBS is currently available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese-Brazilian, Japanese, Russian, Finnish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese (it will choose the language to display based on the language of Windows you’re running).
John’s Background Switcher only stores data locally on your PC and doesn’t transmit any of that back to me – if you authorise JBS with any photo sites then that authorisation information never leaves your PC other than to be used for secure communication with that photo site. The only exceptions are when JBS checks for updates (which only passes the version of JBS you’re using back to me and you can disable that from ‘More Settings’) or on the rare occasion it crashes it optionally 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:
I sincerely hope you enjoy John’s Background Switcher. My goal is for no more plain, boring backgrounds! 🙂