Windows 11 augments desktop wallpapers with JXR and HDR compatibility

Windows 11 brings a new feature that allows users to set JXR files as their desktop background using the Settings app. This feature enables the use of JPEG extended range images, known for their high-quality continuous tone photographs, with HDR on desktop backgrounds.

Since its inception, Windows has always supported JXR files, as it is based on technology initially developed by Microsoft under Windows Media Photo. However, HDR support was missing, which affected the visual quality of JXR images on the desktop.

Microsoft has now improved the way Windows handles JXR files on desktops. Starting with Windows 11 23H2 or later, users can set JPEG XR (JPEG extended range) as their desktop background with HDR support. However, it is important to note that an HDR-supported display is necessary to fully utilize the potential of JXR images.

To start using this feature, users can download and install the latest build from the Canary channel of the Windows 11 preview program. Additionally, they should ensure that their display supports HDR by going to Settings > System > Display. The HDR mode toggle will only appear if the device’s built-in or connected display has HDR capability.

In a blog post, Microsoft recommends using the HDR Calibration app to achieve the best picture quality. It is worth mentioning that some users might encounter issues with the HDR version of the desktop background in Windows 11 preview builds.

If users are looking for new wallpapers, Microsoft provides HDR-compatible high-resolution wallpapers that can be downloaded from their website.

This new HDR wallpaper feature is part of the Windows 11 23H2 update, which includes other notable improvements. For example, Microsoft has added rich thumbnail support to cloud files on the Start menu. Users can now hover over the files in the “Recommended” section to view a quick preview.

The quick preview functionality is available for Word documents, text documents, pictures, and other files. However, it is not supported for all file types. Microsoft plans to expand this capability to include more files in the future, but it should be noted that app previews or previews of large files are not offered.

Another minor feature introduced is the ability to quickly share these files by right-clicking on cloud file recommendations.

In summary, Windows 11 23H2 introduces the new HDR wallpaper feature, enhanced Start menu previews for cloud files, and other improvements such as Windows Copilot. These updates are expected to be released in the fall.

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