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What is desktop wallpaper?

Using desktop wallpaper is a way of personalizing and dressing up your computer's desktop environment with a background image or pattern, in much the same way as regular wallpaper that is pasted on walls to serve as a backdrop for home interior. Your desktop is the screen that you see when your computer has started up, or no programs are active.

The term "desktop wallpaper", first introduced with Windows 3.0 in the 1990s, has been replaced by "desktop background" since the release of Windows Vista. On Apple Macintosh computers, the term "desktop picture" is used, whereas most Linux distributions (such as Ubuntu) also use "desktop background".

Because it serves as a background image to the graphical user interface (GUI), your wallpaper is only visible in its entirety when no windows overlap, i.e. when your workspace is empty. The image used can often be stretched, centered, tiled or otherwise fitted to your preference, or to match your screen resolution, which is basically the pixel density of your screen, or the number of pixels horizontally and vertically (such as 1024x768 or 1280x800).

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