Windows 7 entered its End of Life phase on January 14, 2020, and 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) and 64-bit.
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 improvements.
“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 configurations.
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.