Windows 7 entered its End of Life phase on January 14, 2020,
Microsoft issued the final update on the same day, but a
new annoying bug made its way into the update. The bug
introduced with the final update replaced certain Windows 7
desktop wallpapers with a plain black background.
After users backlash, Microsoft acknowledged the weird issue
and the company promised to deliver a hotfix in February.
Today, Microsoft has shipped Windows 7 KB4539601 update to
fix a bug that replaces the existing desktop background with a
black screen. This is an optional update and it can be
downloaded by manually checking for updates in Control Panel.
According to Microsoft, KB4539601 only includes
wallpaper-related fixes and you should install the patch if
your wallpapers are displayed black on Windows 7 SP1 and Server
2008 R2 SP1.
Microsoft has also released KB4539602, a standalone package to
fix Windows 7’s wallpaper bug.
KB4539601 Download Links for Windows 7
Windows 7 KB4539601 Direct Download Links: 32-bit (x86)
KB4539601 for Windows 7 Changelog
As per the Windows Update Catalog, the size of the optional
hotfix is less than 40MB and it only includes desktop wallpaper
“Addresses an issue that might cause your wallpaper that is set
to Stretch to display as black,” the changelog reads.
Before applying the hotfix, Microsoft recommends users to
ensure that SHA-2 update (KB4474419) and servicing stack update
(SSU) (KB4490628) or newer is installed.
If you don’t want to install the patch, Microsoft has also
shared a workaround for black desktop wallpaper bug. The
workaround is to use wallpapers in ‘fill’, ‘fit’ and other
Microsoft originally said that it would fix the issue for
organizations paying for extended support, a decision that was
set to leave consumers out in the cold. However, after backlash
from users on social media, Microsoft confirmed that the hotfix
is also being developed for average users.
As we noted above, Windows 7 has reached the end of servicing
deadline and this is the last update for consumers. Enterprises
and organizations with ESU packs will receive Windows 7
security patches for more than a year.