I am a multi-monitor Windows Vista user ever since I got hooked on multiple monitor at work. Two monitors make doing multiple tasks at one so much easier.If I am working on an article or trying to be creative in Photoshop, everything is just much easier because I always have multiple applications open at once.  One feature that I wish I had as soon as I purchased my two monitors and hooked them up was the ability to stretch my wallpaper across both monitors.I wanted to use a very large and wide photo as my background that would like cool displayed across both monitors. Something like the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco or a cityscape.

After installing and uninstalling Ultra Mon, a third-party shareware utility that I heard is great for multi-monitors, I wanted a easier solution and not something that I had to run in the background.  A few weeks go by until I accidentally stumble across how to natively stretch your wallpaper across multiple monitors.

Follow these steps in to display a large image across multiple monitors:

  1. Right click on the background and select Personalization.
  2. Click on Desktop Background
  3. Select a background image that is at least as wide as the combined resolution of both of your monitors.  For Example, I have two 19” monitors that have a resolution of 1280×1024. I need an image of 2560×1024 or greater so that it can be displayed across both monitors.
  4. Next, this is the step that most users would never even think about trying: Select the Tile picture positioning option as shown below. This is the only option that will display your background image across multiple monitors.
  5. Hit OK

Your background image is now displayed across both monitors instead of having the same image displayed on both monitors.

36 Comments

  1. Dark Elite says:

    Thanks so much!

    I just got an old CRT to have my music, MSN etc on while I do full screen things and/or work in Photoshop etc. I had a bunch of dual-screen wallpapers, but couldn’t figure it out. I was pretty angry, since I really wanted to use these awesome background.

    You totally made my day. Thanks so much.

  2. davblos says:

    doesnt work for me . . . :(

  3. marius says:

    Doesn’t work for me either :-(

  4. Andrew says:

    Stupid Windows XP…works great for me

  5. hobo343 says:

    hiding in plain view — thanks for the tip

  6. Chris says:

    I have the opposite problem, and I don’t know how I caused it. My wallpaper is complete on both monitors. But my icons, taskbar, etc is only available on one monitor at a time. I’ve been through all my “Display” options in my Control Panel. I want identical images, icons, etc on both monitors simultaneously, but cannot make it happen.

  7. adrien says:

    thx a lot :)
    it works for win xp as well…

  8. ORA says:

    Not sure what ‘Personlization’ is. Vista maybe.

    Select your image and open in any imaging software.
    There is usually an option to ‘Resize’ the image. Make sure your calculations are correct for 2 monitors width(x)heigth. (1680×1050 will equate to 3360×1050)
    File –> Save As (something you know, maybe with the size of the image.

    For XP;
    MB3 on the background
    Properties
    Desktop tab
    [Browse] to the folder location
    Select the image that you resized
    Position = Tile (otherwise it will center and squash the image to one monitor size, but display on both as individual images.)
    Apply

    Now your resized image is displayed across 2 monitors.
    YAY!!

    ORA

  9. Buzzardo says:

    Legend! cheers! :-)

  10. Larry says:

    WORKS PERFECT! The dual trick you gave by selecting “tile” works perfect! Thanks. I had to double the size in photoshop, for 1900 x 1200 widescreen res.. to 53.333 x 16.667 (exact size for double width), then dragged in my image and looks cool! Thanks! Once I selected tile, instantly showed up.

  11. Rafael says:

    It didn’t work with me… My environment is Windows Vista Enterprise x64 with SP1, graphics card XFX GeForce 8800GS and graphics driver 175.19_geforce_winvista_64bit_english_whql.

    Any idea of the reason?

  12. Pix says:

    Doesn’t work in Vista (across 3 monitors). TRIED MYRIAD COMBINATIONS WITHOUT ANY SUCCESS

  13. Anonymous says:

    Works great on XP, thanks.

  14. meetfriend says:

    Thanks a lot!!!!!

    Finally I have a two diffrent pictures on my 2 monitors. As you mentioned, except Selecting the Tile picture positioning option, I had tried everything else. Works on Windows XP too!

  15. Guy says:

    Anyone having issues with this who has Internet Explorer 8 (RC1) installed – I found that to be why mine stopped working!

  16. Bob says:

    Works perfectly for me on Win 7

    This problem has been driving me nuts up to now!

    Thanks a million!

  17. warb says:

    worked for me, thanks for the great tip, who would have thought!…. no need to crappy additional wallpaper software!..

  18. nanobit says:

    ok for these peoples wher it doesn’t work -> change the display order to the following:

    -> first Monitor=left Monitor=Primary Monitor
    -> second Monitor=right Monitor
    -> and so on ….

    Sorry for my bad english …

  19. Amy says:

    Sadly, now I just have the same image twice on each monitor.

  20. J. Janssens says:

    I would never had thought Tile was the solution. Thanks a lot for this tip.

  21. Jeff says:

    Guys, the image HAS TO BE A BITMAP. I used JPG and it would not work.

  22. Craig B says:

    It worked damn it, I can’t believe it.
    I use windows 7 and so the process was a little different but using common sence I came out with the correct outcome. An image 2560×1024 that perfectly steched between two monitors. I would never have thought of it.
    Cool, Thanks

  23. Shar says:

    I did this at work with Vista and I noticed something else…

    It doesn’t work if you right click on an image (file or on a web browser) and choose Set As Desktop Background. Doing this saves a smaller scaled down copy of the image in one of the windows folders rather than the full size image. The end result of this is having an image that tiles across the two screens, but because it isn’t large enough you can actually see the tiles and will see multiples of the image.

    You have to go through
    Personalization – Choose a Desktop Background
    and navigate to where you saved the image.
    Tiled is the setting that works, if your image is large enough.

    To figure out the minimum size of the image you require:
    Personalization – Display Settings – Add the horizontal resolution of your monitors together. i.e.
    Monitor 1: 1440 x 900
    Monitor 2: 1600 x 900
    Minimum size of image: 3040 x 900.

    And… jpg worked just fine for me too.

  24. Scott says:

    I tried this on my setup and it almost works, but not quite. I have one monitor in landscape orientation and one monitor in Portrait orientation. The image is more than large enough to fill both screens completely.

    On the Landscape Screen, the image displays correctly, but on the Portrait screen, it cuts off the bottom half inch of the image and sticks it on the top of the screen instead for some unknown reason…

    I could figure out exactly how many pixels are being cut and manually edit each Background in my list to compensate, but it would take a long time and it seems like there should be some easy way to fix this.

  25. TerryA says:

    last comment worked for me using vista 64

  26. Anonymous says:

    Wow Thats soo cool…. and definitely wouldnt have thought of doing that :) thanks

  27. Dave says:

    THANK YOU!!!!! drived me crazy! :))
    Works perfect in Windows 7 with 2 monitors

  28. Jeff says:

    Also works on XP

  29. Coop says:

    Sweet! Thanks man!

    Engaging the Tile option works for me in Windows 7.

    Found this page through a Google search.

  30. Joe says:

    Omg thought I was going crazy. Thanks to Jeff’s comment it saved my day.

    ENSURE THE IMAGE IS A BMP!

  31. luke says:

    i dont believe this has been under my nose the whole time! thanks heaps!

  32. Helmut says:

    It only woks if the second monitor is on the right side of the first monitor. If the second monitor is left … if have found no solution (except to use displayfusion)

  33. Sean says:

    Would not work until I made it .bmp (bitmap) Works great now. Thanks! (Windows 7 x64)

  34. Shapi says:

    it worked for me on Win7 when i used the .bmp format.

    If you like to have your icons and taskbar on the right display (secondary monitor) you need to drag&drop the taskbar and the icons to the right dispay … but i dont know if that work for laptops well when you undock it ….

    thanks for your help`!!

  35. Bruce says:

    Thank you…worked perfectly on XP…just need to remember to resize image appropriately!!

  36. yoyojoe says:

    excellent result, a very big Thank You :) from one happy chappy.

    It works for me on a triple monitor setup running Windows 7×64.

    I offer the following observations for consideration, these are with respect to a triple monitor setup and the experiences of ‘image wrap-around’ and also ‘image shuffle’.

    For now, just think of ‘image wrap-around’ as an upper horizontal strip of the image that has been ‘moved’ to the bottom edge (or vice versa) of the screen. For ‘image shuffle’ just think of one third of the image being ‘out of sequence when viewing the image left to right’.

    For Windows 7 and a triple monitor setup:-
    I assume a suitably sized image has been chosen and Selected as the desktop background. Ensure also that the ‘Picture position’ menu option Tile has been selected.
    1 – right click the desktop and select the pop-up option ‘Screen resolution’ which will display a dialog window that makes possible changes to the display.

    2 – in that dialog window each icon represents a physical monitor.
    NOTE . . . when an icon is dragged/moved there is a set of co-ordinates that is displayed at the top left hand (LH) corner of the icon.

    3 – TO ADDRESS (initially) ‘image clipping’
    Moving an icon ‘up/down’ will change its co-ordinate Y value which, in turn, will affect the image vertical position on that monitor (assuming that the ‘Apply’ button is clicked). Adjust all icons so that the co-ordinate Y value is the same.

    4 – TO RESOLVE ‘Image Shuffle’
    Ensure that the left most icon is set as the Main Display thus making the LH edge of the image coincide with the LH edge of that monitor (assuming that the ‘Apply’ button is clicked).

    5 – any ‘image clipping’ that remains will (most probably) be due to a difference between the overall size of the image and the overall ‘envelope size’ of the area being displayed by all the monitors.

    Background info
    My monitor resolutions are:-
    icon/monitor 3 (most left hand) 1280 x 1024
    icon/monitor 2 (centre) 1680 x 1050
    icon/monitor 1 (most right hand) 1680 x 1050
    therefore, to avoid image wrap-around on my setup, the smallest image size that I ought to use is 4660 x 1050. Note that in the LH display the bottom edge of the image will be ‘lost to view’ due to the smaller size of 1024.

    here’s hoping this rather long post helps anyone that follows me here.

    best wishes, and thanks again.

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