Windows 7: Update KB4539601 / KB4539602 fixes black Desktop

win7[German]Microsoft has released a fix for the bug that causes a black desktop background on certain wallpapers with update KB4539601 and KB4539602 on February 7, 2020. Here are a few details.


What is the black desktop issue?

The security updates KB4534310 (Monthly Quality Rollup) and KB4534314 (Security-only update) for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 that were released on January 14, 2020, caused some users to end up with a black desktop background.

Windows 7: Modi Desktop-Hintergrundbild

The reason is that a stretched background image may be rendered as a black desktop. This is a direct result of the Windows updates in question. Strangely, not all users with desktop wallpapers are affected, and without stretched mode, the black screen doesn't seem to exist. 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 but have shared their observations, and this comment provides more details. What causes the bug is not yet clear.

At first Microsoft planned to deliver the fix for this bug only to paying ESU customers, but after protests decided to distribute the fix update generally. My hope that a regular February 2020 security update for Windows 7 SP1 will be distributed to all machines has not been fulfilled.

Update KB4539602 with a fix is available

Julia has informed me with this comment in the update (thanks for that). Microsoft has released update KB4539602 titled Wallpaper set to Stretch is displayed as black in Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 SP1 for both operating systems. Its purpose is described as follows:

This update resolves the following issue: Addresses an issue that might cause your wallpaper that is set to Stretch to display as black.

Exactly the fix for the black desktop background with stretched wallpapers. This update is only available to download from Microsoft Update Catalog. To install the update manually, the following conditions must be met:


  • The SHA-2 update (KB4474419) from September 23, 2019 or a later SHA-2 update must be installed and the system must be restarted before installing the above update (if the SHA-2 update has been installed). If Windows Update is used, the latest SHA-2 update is automatically provided. For more information about SHA-2 updates, see 2019 SHA-2 Code Signing Support-Anforderung für Windows und WSUS.
  • The Service Stack Update (SSU) (KB4490628) dated March 12, 2019, or a later SSU update must be installed. For more information about the latest SSU updates, see ADV990001 | Latest Servicing Stack Updates.

Important: The Windows system must restart after installing these required updates and before applying a monthly rollup update, security-only update, monthly rollup preview, or stand-alone update. Microsoft is not aware of any problems with this update.

Note: This is the fix for all, but users need to download and install it manually.

Update KB4539601 (Preview of Monthly Rollup)

Also Update KB4539601 (Preview of Monthly Rollup) für Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1, Windows Embedded Standard 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Embedded POSReady 7 and Windows Thin PC has been released. This also addresses the problem of black desktop background on stretched wallpapers when Update KB4534310 is installed.

Update KB4539601 (Preview of Monthly Rollup) is only available for enterprise customers who bought an extended ESU support.

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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6 Responses to Windows 7: Update KB4539601 / KB4539602 fixes black Desktop

  1. EP says:


    actually the KB4539601 preview rollup update installed successfully on a test Win7 Pro system of mine and it did NOT have an ESU license on it. though I manually obtained it from the MS Update Catalog site

    as with the KB4539602 update, the KB4539601 preview rollup works regardless of ESU status

    • guenni says:

      Thx, that was also reported from one of my German readers. It seems, that Microsoft intends to ship this update to all (maybe tomorrow).

  2. Vai says:

    Windows Server 2008 Servers Don't Boot After KB4539602 Update

  3. Pingback: Microsoft Releases the First Windows 7 Update After End of Support

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  5. sandy says:

    So let me get this straight (?)

    Mickeysoft's fix for a bug that MAY affect my Win 7 Pro IF I insist on using a particular kind of WALLPAPER (for God's sake) is a download of an additional 300+ MEGABYTES of crap to put on my HDD?


    DEAR GOD I wish I could have XP (and the world it worked so well in) back again!

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