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How To Use Separate Wallpapers on Dual Monitors

Posted by Jessie Richardson on June 30, 2019
How to Use Separate Wallpapers on Dual Monitors

Having two or more monitors can improve your workflow, increase your productivity, and allow you to multitask more efficiently. However, there are even more benefits to this, such as setting separate wallpapers for each monitor, making your setup look even more attractive.

Stick with us to learn how to set different wallpapers for each of your monitors both, without and with a third-party application.

Keeping It Native

In Windows 10, you don’t even need third-party software to put separate wallpapers on your monitors. All you need to do is just connect them to your computer. If you’ve already got that covered, you’re all set. Here’s how to set two different wallpapers:

  1. On your desktop, right-click on an empty space.
  2. In the dropdown menu, click “Personalize.”
  3. The “Background” tab should appear in the Settings window. If it doesn’t, switch over to it by using the sidebar on the left side of the screen.
  4. In the Background tab of the Settings menu, there is a “Background” setting that’s set to either “Picture,” “Solid color,” or “Slideshow.” Only the “Solid color” wallpaper must be the same on both monitors, but “Picture” and “Slideshow” options both give more creative freedom.
    Background setting

Note: You can also do this in Windows versions 8 and 8.1, but the “Personalize” menu is quite different. It shows theme, wallpaper, screensaver, color, and sound settings all in one window.

Picture

If you don’t change up your wallpapers often, this might be the best solution for you. By setting the “Background” option to “Picture,” the last five used backgrounds will appear under this option. You can right-click any of them to choose which monitor they will take.

Choosing a monitor

To add new backgrounds to the list, you need to further change them. One more way of doing this is by clicking the “Browse” button to look for a specific background, which will then become the first one on the list if you actually set it as a wallpaper.

However, if you’re looking to change the background on all of your screens, there’s another way. In File Explorer, just select the number of images equal to the number of your screens, then right-click on any of them and select “Set as desktop background.”

Note: Windows versions 8 and 8.1 both have wallpaper-changing functions identical to Windows 10, but their “Desktop Background” windows differ a bit.

Windows versions 8 and 8.1

Slideshow

Should you decide to set the “Background” option to “Slideshow” while using multiple monitors, the slideshow will roll separately on each screen. Windows 10 has integrated slideshow wallpaper ability, but it also allows you to use your own images for that purpose. Here’s how you can make use of this.

Slideshow settings

  1. Under the “Background” tab, there’s an option that says “Choose albums for your slideshow.” Click on the “Browse” button that belongs to it.
  2. A “Select Folder” window should appear. Find the folder from which you want to use the images and open it.
  3. While inside, click on “Choose this folder” in the bottom-right corner. If its name appears above the “Browse” button and the wallpapers start changing, you’ve successfully set a slideshow that goes through your images as a desktop background.

What About Older Versions of Windows?

If you aren’t using Windows 10 or Windows 8/8.1, there is still hope, as there are wallpaper changers that also work on Windows 7, which doesn’t have the native ability to use separate wallpapers for multiple screens. Some of these programs, like the ones we’ll review here, are completely free to use.

Dual Monitor Tools

What makes Dual Monitor Tools (DMT) a good app is its versatility. Besides being a great wallpaper changer that can change the wallpaper on both monitors simultaneously or separately, it can also swap screens and change the cursor position at the press of a button. It’s a good choice for people who also have issues with locating their mouse cursor on the screen.

DMT options

MultiWall

On the other hand, MultiWall is strictly a background changer, but its abilities are much more attractive. It allows applying filters to images, rotating and cropping. Getting photos from the internet is also no issue for this app, as it constantly shows you the best or newest ones. The “Pan” option also works well and is very handy for multi-monitor setups.

MultiWall

Note: This app’s wallpapers that span across both screens do not achieve the desired result for laptop users with additional monitors.

Looking at the Big Picture

If you like changing your wallpaper every day or every few days, try one of these apps, they might help you satisfy your background-changing needs. The same goes if you’re using an older version of Windows, such as Windows 7. If you don’t find this very important, you’re better off sticking to the native Windows 8/8.1/10’s ability to choose a background for each monitor individually.

How often do you change your wallpaper? Why do you find this important? Provide us with the details in the comments below!

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