We offer all our pictures in one download size, 2880x1800, which will open in a new window when you click the picture or text link on one of our preview pages. Our backgrounds will look good on any display using a "stretch" control panel setting, which you'll find on almost all Mac and Windows systems. If your control panel is already set to a stretch option, our pictures will fill your desktop without any cropping, but...
This is the widest format, with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Popular sizes are 1360x768 and 1366x768 (both of which match the ratio approximately), 1600x900, 1920x1080 and 2560x1440. For these resolutions, using a stretch option will look good, but you could also choose Fill (Windows 7) or Fill screen (Mac OS X), which will crop a little off the top and bottom of our pictures to fit your display, instead of squeezing them vertically. You could also try Fit (Windows 7) or Fit to Screen (Mac OS X), which will display images as large as possible on your monitor without cropping or stretching, but will leave empty space (on the sides, for this format) that you can fill with a color of your choice.
Before HD, the widest screens had an aspect ratio of 16:10 — this format continues in sizes like 1280x800, 1440x900, 1600x1024, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600 and 2880x1800. The size we offer will fill all these screens without cropping or changing the proportions of the image when you use a stretch, fill or fit setting.
Many displays have been made in this classically rectangular shape through the years, beginning about a decade ago with 640x480, 800x600 and 1024x768. More recent sizes include 1280x960, 1400x1050, 1440x1080, 1600x1200 and 2048x1536. On these displays, we would usually choose a stretch option for the backgrounds we offer, which will squeeze our images horizontally, often to a shape close to the original image, because many of our photos were taken with 4:3 digital cameras. If another setting would look better, we'll add a note in the description of the preview page.
5:4 is a fairly square format, 1280x1024 being the most popular resolution. For this size, you could try a fill option (which will crop off the sides of our pictures), or a fit option (which will leave empty space at the top and bottom). For most photos, especially abstract and scenic wallpaper, we prefer to fill the screen using a stretch option to keep everything in the original composition. For the pictures we offer featuring symmetrical subjects, though, like people or flowers, fill or fit settings will keep the proportions of the image you download.
The aspect ratio of 35mm film and many digital cameras is 3:2, which matches 1152x768, 1280x854 and 1440x960 screens. These sizes are proportionally almost the same as our download size, so using your control panel's stretch option will keep the shape almost the same as the original.
Bigger than 2880x1800...
There aren't many monitors with a resolution higher than 2880x1800 (which is the size of Apple's MacBook Pro Retina display), and when there are, we'll update the size we offer. Whenever the background image you want to use is significantly smaller than your screen resolution, choosing a "center" option will avoid any loss of sharpness.
As long as you leave our logo and copyright notice on the picture, provide a photo credit linked to Desktop-Backgrounds.com on your site (which happens automatically when you pin to Pinterest, for example, or paste the address of a page into Facebook), and aren't making our images available for sale, printing or download (as wallpaper or print resolution files, for example), our pictures are free for your personal use. And, of course, our high-resolution desktop backgrounds are always free to use as wallpaper on your personal computer. If you would like to use our pictures commercially, please contact us for licensing information — we offer higher resolution images without logos or copyright notices for stock photo use.
To change your control panel settings...
On Windows 7, right-click any empty area of your screen, choose Personalize, then click Desktop Background and choose one of the positioning options.
On a recent version of Mac OS X, control-click any empty area of your screen, choose Change Desktop Background..., then choose a positioning option.