I somehow got background images enabled on my Windows XP desktop. There is no obvious solution to fixing this problem. It took some time experimenting and researching, but I finally found how to fix it.

Icons with a background image look like this:

Windows Desktop Icons with a Background Image

They should look like this:

Windows Desktop Icons without a Background Image

While I found several solutions to fix this, only one of them worked for me. To remove the background image, right click in an empty area on the desktop. A menu will open. Move the mouse over Arrange Icons By and you’ll open the next menu. You will see Lock Web Items on Desktop checked. If you click on this menu item, it will uncheck the option and remove the background images on the icons.

Removing Background Image from Windows Desktop Icons