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I have two displays, and I've managed to change the background to a new panoramic picture I've taken. It does span across my monitors, but I believe I have ran into a Windows bug.

My #1 monitor (plugged into the #1 port of my docking station) is to the right of my #2 display. My #1 monitor is also my primary/main monitor which means my Taskbar is located on my Right monitor, instead of my left monitor which I imagine is much more common for users with two displays.

I can not get my panoramic image to span from my secondary display (on the left) to my primary display. Instead, the left side of the image starts on my right screen, and the middle of the image, starts on my left monitor, left side.

This makes my background look like two distinct images, rather than one large panorama.

I've fiddled with every Windows setting that I can think of, and I actually swapped how my monitors are plugged into my docking station.

I can't re-orient my background to get the full panoramic affect. Is this a Windows 7 bug because my primary display is on the right, or am I doing something wrong?

Below is a screenshot of my monitor settings.

Enter image description here


If you will notice above, my #1 display is on the right, #2 on the left. Originally, #1 was on the left and #2 was on the right. Regardless, my main display has always been physical-right.

I switched them by not moving the monitors, but flipping around the cables on the docking station-- this is effectively the same thing, with less physical work.

In the image above, you can swap your order of displays by dragging and dropping your monitors in the position that you want in this settings screen. I had to float the order of the displays when I swapped the cables, so that the settings would match the physical setup.

Regardless, in both contexts I've set the "Main Display" to be the one that is on the right-hand side. This setup allows for me to setup my favored desktop to the right, and I can drag my mouse to the far-left to reach my secondary display. If I flipped both of these settings (desktop order of [1, 2] and map the Main Display option to Monitor #2), my desktop would look the same as it does now except I have to drag my mouse to the right to reach the second display.

That doesn't fix the problem, though, because now Windows is assuming there is a different, physical orientation of my displays but, technically, the background would be laid out correctly for the background setup.

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This is a good question to leave open for people who are in a similar situation with different configurations. However, for your situation, it appears you have two identical monitors - at least in terms of screen resolution. Would it be too much trouble to just physically swap the relative locations of the monitors? –  Iszi Oct 22 '12 at 14:09
In a sense, that's what I did when I swapped how they were plugged in. I actually have a large (physical) desktop, with 4 (yes, 4) displays, connected to 3 machines. The two that are connected to the mentioned PC can't be re-oriented on my desktop because the far-left one is not in a convient location as a primary monitor. It's so far to the right, I really have to twist my back to stare at it. Not a problem when it's a secondary display, however, I can't look at it for 4-8 hours a day without it being a real, physical problem. :( –  RLH Oct 22 '12 at 14:17
I'm not proposing you swap the physical position of your primary monitor. I'm suggesting you swap the physical position of the two monitors, and re-assign them in Windows so that your primary monitor is still where it's supposed to be. i.e.: Physically move Monitor 1 so that it is where Monitor 2 is now, and vice-versa, then rearrange them in the Windows display configuration accordingly and set Monitor 2 as your primary. –  Iszi Oct 22 '12 at 14:26
Instead of writing a ton of comments, I've added a Clarification section to my post. Please read through it and feel free to ask further questions. If necessary, I'll make another edit clarifying the clarifications. o_O –  RLH Oct 22 '12 at 15:21
Thanks for the clarification. Is this something you must solve natively, or would you consider add-on software? I use DisplayFusion myself. –  Iszi Oct 22 '12 at 15:30

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

In my experience, there does not appear to be any native means of resolving this. Windows will assume that any wallpaper image intended to span multiple screens should originate from the top-left corner of the primary display, regardless of where the primary display is in relation to the others.

There are a couple ways to work around this. One, as suggested by @Petr, is to chop up the image in an image editor (e.g.: MSPAINT) and put the right half on the left and vice-versa. This can be a little tricky, especially if the image isn't at the same aspect ratio as your monitor or if you have monitors with different resolutions/ratios.

The other alternative is to get a program that will do it for you. There are several out there which will generate the image for you to set as your desktop background. I prefer DisplayFusion, which also offers a number of options for resolving other common multi-monitor headaches. DisplayFusion comes in Free and Pro editions, and the Free edition is totally free - no adware, spyware, or nagware.

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The way to fix it is to split background image in half, and switch halves in order.

I think it can be called a bug, but rather it's some of the 'not-yet-solved' nuance of multimonitor configurations. Since it's can be easily fixed 'manually' it wasn't in critical list to implement (Windows 7 is actually tremendous improvement over Windows XP in terms of multimonitor support).

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Petr, thanks for this answer but it really is less prefered. As Iszi pointed out, this isn't a great solution if your image isn't exactly the right resolution-- it's a bit annoying to have to trial-and-error your way to an image that is split correctly. Still, this is an option I had considered, so thanks for pointing it out. +1 –  RLH Oct 22 '12 at 17:37
  1. I had the same problem once. And you know what was the 1st thing which occurred to me? Drag & drop guys, DRAG & DROP..not some cable switching..geez!! Just click one of the monitors and drag it to the other side :)

  2. "Tile" position works for panorama display (without any software), only with "same monitors", aka monitors with same resolution. You just need a picture with correct dimensions. That is if you have 2 monitors with 1680x1050 resolution, you're gonna need a picture with 3360x1050 dimensions.

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If what you are stating is that I should drag & drop my monitor orientation from the above screen that, that is what I did. I've long been aware that you could do this with multiple monitors. However, I noticed that this did not function properly when you placed the Task bar on the Right-side AND made it your primary display. –  RLH Mar 19 '13 at 10:17

At work I use 4 Displays (2 1920x1080 monitors and 2 1280x1024 monitors). I make my left most monitor the primary monitor and then get an image with a resolution of 6400 x 1080 or larger and "tile" the image across the screens.

At home I do the same thing with 3 1920x1080 monitors, but instead, use images that are 5760x1080 (more common size).

You can simply make the left monitor your primary and drag the desktop icons and the main taskbar to your right monitor. the primary display doesn't do anything unless you are running fullscreen applications like games. Only then will your programs default to primary only.

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