I recently set the desktop background on a two-monitor Windows 8 machine to point at a folder full of pictures. These are not photos but are sourced from a variety of places so their sizes and aspect ratios vary wildly.

Windows 8 is trying to be smart about these pictures and in my opinion is not doing a great job of it. I am looking for some settings or options that will let me teach it what I want.

Specifically, some of the pictures were very much wider than they were tall (more than double) - these were mostly hero images from websites. Windows 8 thinks the best thing to do with these is span them across both monitors (and no, I had not selected Span) so I see half the image on each monitor. Worse, for one image I see half a black screen and half a screen containing the leftmost quarter of the image on the screen I use most, with the rest of the image on the other screen. I fixed this by opening the images in an editor and adding black bars above and below them to make them close to HD resolution. Now I see the image all on one screen as before. I would rather not have to do that - is there an approach other than editing the image to prevent spanning?

Some of the images appear to be skipped. I can't see why, because if I right-click one and "Set as Desktop Background" it's happy to do that. What might make an image in a slide show background get skipped and how can I change either the image or my settings to prevent that?


Im not very familiar with windows 8, but as far as I know it is almost the same as windows 7 when it comes to configuration. so try this. > rightclick on your desktop > Personalize > Desktop Background > Select the folder of your images> set settings in > change pictures every.

now for the position of images, there is also an option there of which you would like. normally if you are using dual monitor, it would just duplicate the current wallpaper to another. so just set it there.

now to answer the skipping part,

Make sure the "Shuffle" Box isn't check if you want it to change according to your arrangement. also make sure the picture format is supported by windows desktop backgrounds. just to be on the safe side put them all on jpg file format.

  • For your first paragraph, that is indeed what I have done. My question is far more specific about how it decides that some wide pictures should span both monitors. I don't want it to do that. And the skipping happens with or without shuffle, and I mentioned that setting one as background works. I mentioned that to rule out any issue of file format. – Kate Gregory Feb 2 '15 at 15:12

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