Setting a unique background to each of your multiple monitors was a simple trick in Windows 8, and for a while the menu was hidden in Windows 10. Thankfully, it’s been added back in a more logical location.
The Easy Way: Set a Wallpaper in the Settings App
Since we originally published this article, Microsoft has added a better fix to Windows 10. Here it is:
To change the wallpapers individually for each monitor, go to Settings > Personalization > Background. Under Choose your image, right-click a background image and select “Set for monitor 1”, “Set for monitor 2” or any other monitor you want to use it on.
To add additional images to this list, click “Browse” and select a wallpaper you wish to use. Windows will set it as the default on all desktops. Right-click the wallpaper icons and choose which monitor you want to use each one on.
When to use this trick (and when to use third-party tools)
To update: Since Windows 10 has added an easy and effective way to change your desktop wallpaper, as described above, you don’t need to use any of the following methods to change your desktop wallpaper. However, you can still use the “Imperfect Method” if you wish.
First of all, we want to make the best use of your time, both when reading this tutorial and in the future when you use our tips for mixing your wallpapers. With that in mind, consider the following two scenarios.
Scenario One: You infrequently change your desktop wallpaper, but you’d really like to have a different background on each monitor. In this scenario, the solution in this article (which is quick and uses the built-in Windows setup) is perfect, since it consumes little system resources.
Scenario Two: If you want to use multiple different wallpapers on each of your monitors, and you want a high degree of control over that, then the standard wallpaper options in Windows 10 probably aren’t enough. If you’re a wallpaper addict or really need fine-grained control over backgrounds, we highly recommend the venerable (and still quite useful) John’s Background Switcher (free) or the Swiss Army Knife of multi-monitor management, DisplayFusion (the features relevant to wallpaper management are available in the free version).
However, if you find yourself in scenario one, let’s take a look at how to set a custom wallpaper on each monitor in Windows 10. (And if you’re in the mood to customize everything, be sure to check out how to customize your login and screen). Windows 10 crash too).
RELATED: How to change the background of the login screen in Windows 10
How to select unique wallpapers for different monitors in Windows 10
There are two ways to select multiple monitor wallpapers in Windows 10, neither particularly intuitive. For each method, we’ll use a handful of game of Thrones wallpapers to demonstrate. As a frame of reference, this is what our current desktop looks like, with the default Windows 10 wallpaper repeated on each of our three monitors.
It’s a good wallpaper, as far as the standard wallpaper goes, but a bit boring. Let’s mix it up.
The Easy But Imperfect Method: Change Your Wallpaper Using Windows File Explorer
The first method is not intuitive because it relies on you selecting the images in Windows File Explorer. Y know how Windows will handle your selection of multiple images. Select your images in File Explorer, using Ctrl or Shift to select multiple images. Right click on the image you want to assign to your primary monitor while the images you want to use are still selected.
Note: This is primary, as the monitor Windows considers to be the primary monitor based on the Settings > System > Display menu in Control Panel, not necessarily the monitor it considers primary/important.
In the right-click context menu, select “Set as desktop background”.
Windows will set those images as desktop backgrounds. You can see below that the image we clicked on (the red wallpaper with the House Lannister crest) is on the center monitor. The other two wallpapers, for House Stark and House Baratheon, are more or less randomly placed on the secondary and tertiary monitor.
This is a particularly inelegant solution because you have no control over where the images will be placed on the non-main monitors. It also has two other irritating shortcomings: if the images aren’t the exact resolution of your monitor, they won’t work, and they’ll randomly rotate positions every 30 minutes.
With those shortcomings in mind, please know that we have shown you this method entirely in the name of thoroughness and education and not because we think you will prefer it. Let’s look at a much better method.
The Complicated But Powerful Method: Change Your Wallpaper With The Personalization Menu
To update: The command here no longer displays the traditional Control Panel interface, but you can now use the Settings > Personalization > Background window to accomplish the same thing.
When Windows 8 came out, one of the first things multi-monitor users noticed was that there were a bunch of new menu options, including an easy-to-use multi-monitor wallpaper selection tool built right into the Customizations menu in Windows 8. the Dashboard. Inexplicably, that option disappeared in Windows 10.
You won’t find it in Settings > Personalization > Backgrounds where it used to be; there, you can only set a single image as the background, regardless of how many monitors you have. Also, you won’t find it where it used to reside in Windows 8, under Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Personalization, where there used to be a direct link to it. Strangely, even though there are no menus directly linking to it anymore, the menu itself is just waiting for you.
To access it, press Windows + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box and enter the following text:
control /name Microsoft.Personalization /page pageWallpaper
Hit Enter, and with the power of command line tricks, you’ll see the old wallpaper selection menu.
If we click the “Browse” button, we can browse the folder with our game of Thrones wallpapers (or we can use the dropdown menu to navigate to existing wallpaper locations, such as the Windows Picture Library).
Once you’ve loaded the directory you want to work with, this is where you’ll finally get the per-monitor control you’ve been looking for. Deselect the images (Windows automatically checks them when it loads the directory), and then select a single image. Right-click on it and select the monitor you want to assign it to (again, visit Settings > System > Display if you don’t know which monitor is which number).
Repeat the process for any wallpaper you want to use for each monitor. Did the ending work? Exactly the wallpaper we want on each monitor:
If you want to mix things up even more, you can always select multiple images and then use the “Image Position” dropdown menu to make adjustments to how the image is displayed and the “Change Image Every” menu to modify how often the image is displayed. the selection. of the photos you have have changed.
It’s not the most sophisticated system in the world (check out some of the third-party options we highlighted in the introduction for more advanced features), but it gets the job done.
Even though the menu disappears from Control Panel, a little command line-fu brings it back, and you can easily customize your wallpapers across multiple monitors to your heart’s content.