Windows 7 Update KB4534310: Black Desktop Bug confirmed

win7 [German]Microsoft has confirmed the bug that is caused by the KB4534310 update in Windows 7 SP1 that may cause a black desktop background. A fix will only be available for users in the ESU program. Addendum: The reference to a fix for ESU customes disappeared from the Microsoft KB article shortly after I published this blog post.


Windows 7 January 2020 Security Updates

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft released updates KB4534310 (Monthly Quality Rollup) and KB4534314 (Security-only update) for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. These are security updates that are intended to address various vulnerabilities and issues in the specified versions of Windows. I had reported more details in the blog post Patchday: Updates for Windows 7/8.1/Server (Jan. 14, 2020).

As of January 14, 2020, Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 have reached the end of support and will in the future only receive paid security updates as part of the ESU program. From January 15, 2020, Windows 7 will therefore display a full-screen notification of the end of support in Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional (without an ESU license) and Ultimate. This must then be closed by the user.

The black desktop bug, that’s what it’s all about

I had already mentioned it in the blog post Windows 7: Update KB4534310 causes a black Desktop. With the January 2020 patchday, Microsoft has shipped a but to of Windows 7 SP1 users. If Rollup Update KB4534310 are installed, users with a stretched wallpaper may facing a black desktop because the Windows feature in question has been patched broken. Meanwhile it is also clear that the security-only update KB4534314 can cause the same bug.

Windows 7: Modi Desktop-Hintergrundbild

Strangely enough, not all users are affected by desktop wallpapers, and without the ‘stretched’ mode, the black screen doesn’t seem to exist either. I myself installed the security-only update KB4534314 on a machine, but I cannot reproduce the bug. Users have posted comments on the German blog post Windows 7: Update KB4534310 verursacht schwarzen Desktop have shared their observations, and this comment provides more details. What causes the bug is not yet clear..


A reader of my German heise article reports that he can’t log in anymore and has received feedback on various tools from HP as the cause. A changed keyboard could also be the cause – an on-screen keyboard helps here. And a reader criticizes a broken slide show on certain pictures. So it must have something to do with the picture format (high-resolution pictures?).

Microsoft confirms the bug

here has already been a note from blog reader Andreas B. SH that Microsoft has confirmed the bug. In the updated support post KB4534310 there is a ‘known issue’ section with the note:

After installing KB4534310, your desktop wallpaper might display as black when set to Stretch.

So what we already knew: In stretched mode, wallpapers can have a black desktop. As a workaround, Microsoft suggests abandoning stretched mode and going for filled, centered etc.

You can also omit the background image or try other image motifs. In the blog post here you can find different solutions.

For the security-online updateKB4534310 the bug is not confirmed. The company writes that they are working on a fix and will provide a fix update for customers who have booked the Extended Security Update Program (ESU) with a support extension through updates for 2020. Normal users are left empty-handed, triggering a shit-storm against Microsoft.

Addendum: The reference that a fix only for ESU users is in development disappeared from the Microsoft KB article shortly after I published this blog post. Now it says, that a fix comes for all customers.

We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release, which will be released to all customers running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

Fix for Windows 7 SP1 Starter

In Windows 7 SP1 Starter, the ability to change the desktop background is disabled. Blog reader Andreas B. SH had reported in this comment that he was affected. Andreas suggests the following solution (see also here, thanks for that):

1. call the registry editor regedit.exe and navigate to the following branch

HKey_Current_User\Control Panel\Desktop

2. select the value WallpaperStyle and set it to 10.

Andreas has listed the various values for WallpaperStyle in this German comment. This should be the end of the topic.

Addendum: The fix is available, see  Windows 7: Update KB4539602 fixes black Desktop.

Similar articles:
Patchday: Updates for Windows 7/8.1/Server (Jan. 14, 2020)
Windows 7: Update KB4534310 causes a black Desktop
Windows 7 Update KB4534310: Black Desktop Bug confirmed
Windows 7: Bug fix for black desktop promised for all

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