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Top Ideas for Cool Desktop Backgrounds for HD Monitors

Top Ideas for Cool Desktop Backgrounds for HD Monitors

Zach Cabading
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Does your PC need a little more pop, pizzazz, or personalization? Then maybe it’s time to change your desktop background. You’re probably not inspired much by some cliché landscape photo, or a heap of colorful umbrellas, or the Windows 10 logo. So change your desktop background to something that’s a little more you.
You’ll have a lot more fun with your desktop background if you have an HD monitor. HD monitors have more pixels, so they’re able to display a wider range of colors. They’ll also give your images deeper contrast so they’ll look more lifelike - assuming you’re going to display a high-resolution photograph.
We’re happy to provide you with a little inspiration. Here are the best and most unique ideas for changing your computer wallpaper.

How to change your desktop background

Never changed your computer wallpaper? No problem - here’s how to do it.
  • Press the Windows key
  • Click the Settings icon
  • Click Personalization
  • Click the Background tab
Check out the drop-down menu under Background. Here you can choose what you want your background to be.
  • Picture
  • Solid color
  • Slideshow

Picture option

When you select Picture, you’ll be able to choose between the default wallpapers provided with Windows 10. But if you want to select your own photo, just click Browse and you’ll be able to choose any photo that’s saved to your computer.
Once you’ve chosen a photo, use the Choose a fit drop-down menu to select how it’s displayed on your HD monitor from the available options.
  • Fill
  • Fit
  • Stretch
  • Tile
  • Center
  • Span
Play around with them and see which settings look best.

Solid color option

Select Solid color if you want your computer wallpaper to be a plain color. You’ll be able to choose between a handful of preset colors, or you can click the + (Custom color button) to add a custom color.
You’ll be prompted with a color spectrum. Select which color you want, and then use the slider to darken or lighten it. If there’s an exact color you want, click More and enter the color coordinates (you can find any color’s coordinates through a quick Google search).

How to create slideshow backgrounds

The Slideshow option is fun - it’ll turn your desktop background into a slideshow of images that changes automatically. In order to create a slideshow background, first, create a new folder. Place whichever photos you want to be included in the slideshow in the folder - make sure they’re saved as photo files, like JPEG or PNG.
When you’ve selected Slideshow, click Browse and select the album. There are a few additional options that enable you to set:
  • How often the pictures change
  • Whether or not the photos in the album are shuffled
  • Whether you want to run a slideshow background when your laptop is on battery power (slideshow backgrounds require a little more power to run)
  • How you want your photos to fit on your display

How to create video backgrounds

Did you know that you can easily create video backgrounds on Windows 10? All you’ve got to do is download the Desktop Live Wallpapers app on the Microsoft Store. The basic version enables you to choose among pre-made videos for your desktop background, like swimming fish or moving clouds. If you get the pro version, you can set any video file on your computer as your desktop background.

How to set background for dual monitors

There’s no better way to boost your workflow than by using dual monitors. A dual-monitor setup makes it easy to multitask - especially if you’re working on expansive interfaces, like digital editing programs - and it’s also a more immersive way to do gaming. On Windows 10, you can set different backgrounds for each monitor, or you can set a single background that spans all your monitors.
Here’s how to set backgrounds on a dual-monitor setup:
  • Press the Windows key
  • Click the Settings button
  • Click Personalization
  • Click the Background tab
Now select the photo that you want to set as a desktop wallpaper. The photo will appear in the queue of images. Right-click the image, and you’ll be able to choose whether the photo is:
  • Set for all monitors
  • Set for monitor 1
  • Set for monitor 2
If you want the photo to span across your displays, scroll down to the Choose a fit drop-down menu and select the Span option. For best results, you’ll need a desktop wallpaper that’s very wide so it won’t get stretched out too much. Later on, we’ll go over a few good places to find HD desktop wallpapers.

Desktop background ideas

Let’s identify some of the best computer wallpaper ideas! These ideas range from cute, to funny, to mesmerizing, to imaginative. Let’s start with static backgrounds.

1. Monthly theme

Choose an HD desktop wallpaper that corresponds with the current month. For October, you could choose something spooky or fall-related (maybe a creepy ghost, or a landscape photo of autumn trees, or a pumpkin patch). For December, you could pick a holiday-themed wallpaper or a wintry one. For February, choose your favorite photo with your significant other. In July, you could choose a beautiful photo of fireworks. If you’re going to decorate your home for the season, why not deck out your computer, too?

2. Travel inspiration

Ever get bored at your day job and start daydreaming about your next travel adventure? Then make your desktop wallpaper a photo of someplace you really want to visit. No, we’re not talking about the default landscape photos that come with Windows 10. Pick a destination that you’re really going to visit in the coming months, whether it be a city, country, or theme park. Vacation destinations make for great HD wallpapers, and they’ll also inspire you to keep working hard so you can rake in the funds to enjoy your next travel adventure to your fullest.
Or maybe it’s a trip you just took. Remember your time with the family at the top of the mountain in Telluride, or your bike trip with a friend through New England, or deep sea fishing with your brother. Harken back to that blissful moment to take the edge off your upcoming deadline.

3. Orbiting apps

What’s cooler than a space wallpaper? A space wallpaper with orbiting apps.

4. A window view

Lots of people place their computer desk in front of a window. Unfortunately, that means that your monitor could obstruct your view. So why not have a window-view wallpaper that compensates for it?
If you want this kind of wallpaper, you’ll have to do your own photography and you might also have to play around the sizing and Choose a fit option, but it’s a neat and totally doable background.

5. Monitor eyes

If you work in an office, you can get some laughs from your co-workers by choosing a wallpaper with a face - and then placing some googly eyes on top of the monitor.
It’s a fun wallpaper idea that’ll brighten up your day and amuse anyone passing by your desk.

6. Icon in action

Here’s another fun desktop background idea: strategically place an icon or two so it appears as if they’re interacting with the wallpaper.
You get a pretty fun effect with this kind of background, and you can also use it as a way to make your most commonly used apps stand out.

7. Photoshop backgrounds

The default backgrounds that come with Windows 10 aren’t bad by any means - in fact, they’re actually really great photos. They just need to be spiced up a little. So why not put your Photoshop skills to use and make some additions to the default backgrounds. Here’s an example of what you can do.
You don’t need a whole lot of training in Photoshop to do those types of photo effects. Just watch a couple of tutorials online and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. And if your photo editing career really takes off, be sure to get a high-powered HP workstation so you can tackle more advanced editing techniques.

8. Folder collage

On Windows 10, you can replace each individual folder icon with a picture - just right-click on the folder, click Properties, click the Customize tab, and click Choose File… to select your desired photo. Arrange all your folders into a lovely collage.

9. Slideshow backgrounds

Here are some fun ideas for slideshow backgrounds. Don’t forget that each photo needs to be in a readable photo file format - go for JPEGs if possible for best resolution.

10. Relive your vacation

Just get back from vacation? Relive your trip by creating a photo slideshow of your favorite vacation pictures. It’s a fun way to reflect on your journeys until you’re able to go on another trip.

11. Reminisce about the big day

Have you attended any big events lately, like a wedding, birthday celebration, graduation, or holiday party? If there’s been a big day when you took lots of photos, commemorate the occasion with a photo slideshow.

12. Motivate yourself

Sometimes we just need a little inspiration, whether you’re trying to make it through a busy workday, complete a major project, or power through a stressful time. Download a series of wallpapers or photos that feature inspirational quotes and place them in a slideshow. You can set the slideshow to change pictures every day so you’ll always have an inspirational quote-of-the-day.

13. Video wallpapers

Here are some great video wallpaper ideas for you. Be sure to download the Desktop Live Wallpapers app on the Microsoft Store.

14. Digital aquarium

One of the most mesmerizing types of live wallpapers is any underwater-themed one that features swimming fish. There’s something so pleasantly relaxing and pleasing about watching the digital fish swim across your desktop.

15. Digital apocalypse

If it’s the Halloween season, or if you’re just a horror-head, then you’ll love this live wallpaper that features creepy zombies banging against your display, trying to break through, trying to get you. It makes a great visual at Halloween parties.

16. Time-lapse

The only thing better than a landscape photo is a time-lapse video. Find a great time-lapse video of the clouds rolling over a beautiful terrain, or a bustling cityscape, or the movement of the stars at night. Time-lapse wallpapers are fun to watch and they’re also relaxing.

17. Background ideas for dual monitors

Dual monitors give you the opportunity to do some really cool things with your wallpapers. Here are a few fun ideas.

18. Landscapes done right

A beautiful landscape photo makes for a great desktop background – but even more so when you have 2 or more monitors. Find a very wide landscape photo and make it span across all your monitors.

19. Portal

You’ll love this HD Portal wallpaper if you’re a gamer.

Where can I download desktop wallpapers?

There are a ton of great websites out there where you can download desktop wallpapers, including:
These sites have wallpapers that are optimized for both single monitors and multi-monitor setups. You can also find great desktop wallpapers through a simple image search online.
Always remember to be cautious about which sites you download desktop backgrounds from, and be sure to use your computer’s security software and firewalls.

What are the best HD monitors?

HP® produces a huge variety of HD monitors. Check out the HP 27er 27-inch monitor if you’re looking for a wide, single monitor. But you might also like the HP 27b curved monitor, which features a curved screen that enables you to more clearly see the outside edges of the display – it’s a great monitor for gaming or for streaming movies.
If you want to go with a dual-monitor, triple-monitor, or quad-monitor setup, you’ll like the HP EliteDisplay E243 23.8-inch monitor, which has micro-edges so you can place two of them side by side and enjoy a seamless transition from one display to the next. It can also be rotated into portrait mode.
If you’re a gamer, check out the HP OMEN X 27 240Hz gaming monitor, which has a high resolution and ultra-fast refresh rate so your games won’t suffer from lag or screen tearing.
View all of our HP computer monitors at the HP Store.

About the Author

Zach Cabading is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Zach is a content creation specialist based in Southern California, and creates a variety of content for the tech industry.

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