XBOX One Screenshots as Windows 10 Desktop Backgrounds

From the mountain vistas of Far Cry 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider, to the cityscapes of Grand Theft Auto 5 and Batman: Arkham Knight, many of the current generation console games are gorgeous. The XBOX One lets you capture these stunning scenes as a screenshot or video clip, which you can then share with your mates or completely forget about until something randomly reminds you they exist and you lose hours browsing them all, reminiscing about hilarious bugs or wondering why in the hell you decided to record what you just watched.

When I finally installed Windows 10 on my laptop and saw that OneDrive was integrated into the system, I had a flash of inspiration. I use the same Microsoft account on both my laptop and my XBOX which means they share the same OneDrive (among other things)1.

I went to Upload on my XBOX and shared one or two screenshots to OneDrive (one of the possible ways to share screenshots and clips). I then checked my laptop and after a few minutes, saw the newly shared images under the Pictures/Xbox Screenshots folder of OneDrive. It was only a few steps to get from that to having my screenshots as a desktop background slideshow.

Setting up background slideshow
Setting up background slideshow

To setup the slideshow, I hit Windows+I to get to Settings, then selected Personalization. Choosing the Background section on the left, I selected Slideshow from the Background dropdown on the right, then I browsed to the screenshots folder under OneDrive and selected it as the source of pictures for the slideshow.

Setting up automatic accent color
Setting up automatic accent color

To make sure things looked right with my backgrounds, I also chose the Colors personalization section and checked for Windows to automatically pick an accent color.


Now, whenever I share a screenshot to OneDrive from my XBOX, it automatically gets added to the desktop background slideshow on my laptop and desktop computers. Of course, I still have to remember to share it in the first place, but I am hoping some future system update will make sharing automatic or at least easier from within a game (like a Take Screenshot and Share feature in one go).

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to leave a comment if you find this useful or have a story to share about how you make use of the XBOX sharing features.

  1. Using the same Microsoft account across devices and services really helps make the most of Microsoft's offerings 

Five things to love about modern.IE

You might be surprised to learn that the browser testing resources website, modern.IE (provided by Microsoft) is not just about Internet Explorer. Although some of the features are geared solely toward IE testing, some are browser-agnostic and can be very useful when developing websites. Here are a few of the things modern.IE can do for you.

Virtual Machines

Download virtual machines

Working on websites often means debugging using different browser variants. Unless you are exceedingly lucky, that will include older versions of Internet Explorer. While services like BrowserStack are invaluable for testing, they cost money and are not always responsive enough for productive debugging. Instead, I have found virtual machines (VM) to be much more useful.

Microsoft has been making VM's available for Internet Explorer testing via the website modern.IE for quite some time now. You can download VM's for whatever development platform you have, whether it is OS/X, Windows, or Linux.

Available versions of Internet Explorer
Available versions of Internet Explorer
Select virtual machine platform
Select virtual machine platform

Azure RemoteApp

If you want to test your work against the latest Internet Explorer in Windows 10 and you do not want to download a virtual machine, or are working from an unsupported device, Azure RemoteApp is for you.

Azure RemoteApp

All you need is a Microsoft Live ID and you can login and test with the latest IE for free.

Browser Screenshots

Browser Screenshots

Just want to check what your site looks like across various browsers and devices? The Browser Screenshots feature of modern.IE will give you screenshots across nine common browsers and devices. Somewhat surprisingly (at least to me), this includes more than just Internet Explorer; at the time of writing, you get:

  • Internet Explorer 11.0 Desktop on Windows 8.1
  • Opera 12.16 on Windows 8.1
  • Android Browser on Samsung Galaxy S3
  • Android Browser on Nexus 7
  • Mobile Safari on iPhone 6
  • Safari 7.0 on OS X Mavericks
  • Chrome 36.0 on Windows 8.1
  • Firefox 30.0 on Windows 8.1
  • Mobile Safari on iPad Air

Not only will it give you the screenshots, but you can share them with others, generate a PDF, and more.

Site Scan

This scan checks for common coding practices that may cause user experience problems. It will also suggest fixes when it can. Not only that, but the source is available on GitHub so that you can run scans independently of modern.IE and the Cloud.

Site Scan

I ran this against my blog and it took just over seven seconds to return the results.

Compatibility Report

Compatibility Scan

This feature will scan a given site for patterns of interactions that are known to cause issues in web browsers.  The first time I tried to run this, it did not work. However, a second attempt gave me results.