CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Computers

Use these 7 sites to keep your desktop wallpaper fresh

Whether you use your desktop wallpaper as a reminder that there is actually an outdoors or to show off how crisp your display is to your coworkers, these seven sites will help you never have a dull desktop again.

best-wallpaper-sites.jpg
Taylor Martin/CNET

How long has it been since you last changed your desktop wallpaper? It may be time to mix it up a bit.

Changing your wallpaper to something inspirational can help you jump right into work without procrastinating in the morning, or one of beautiful scenery might remind you to take a walk and enjoy the outdoors for a change. But for most people, wallpapers are purely for aesthetics -- personal expression or to show off that gorgeous 4K monitor to make your coworkers jealous.

Whatever reason you have for constantly changing your desktop wallpaper (or not), it's always nice to have a few sources on hand for your next wallpaper. Here are seven of the best wallpaper sites around.

InterfaceLIFT

best-desktop-wallpaper-sites-2.png
Screenshot by Taylor Martin/CNET

InterfaceLIFT is one of the most acclaimed wallpaper sources, and for good reason. It has en enormous library of very high quality photography. It's also one of the easiest to navigate, and it makes it very easy to download a wallpaper in just about any resolution. Not to mention, it detects your current resolution to make it easier to download the right wallpaper for the computer you're browsing on.

Wallpapers from the InterfaceLIFT website are free to download. However, there are two official InterfaceLIFT apps -- the $1.99 (£1.49 or AU$2.99) InterfaceLIFT Wallpapers for iOS and $6 (directly converted, £4.47 or AU$8.06) Macdrops for Mac.

Unsplash

best-desktop-wallpaper-sites-3.png
Screenshot by Taylor Martin/CNET

Another very popular place to grab some high-quality photography wallpapers is Unsplash, where you will find 10 new photos every 10 days. Every photo you find on Unsplash is licensed under Creative Commons Zero, meaning they're totally free of charge and you're free to do what you want with those images.

What's more, if you have a Mac, there is a killer (and free) menubar application called Irvue, which is my personal choice for wallpapers on my Macs. Irvue changes your desktop wallpaper on a set interval or with a hotkey command with images from Unsplash.

Stock Up

best-desktop-wallpaper-sites-5.png
Screenshot by Taylor Martin/CNET

Stock Up is typically my go-to source for royalty-free or public-domain images. And since it's setup more for all-purpose images, not all the images you find there are going to make great wallpapers.

However, Stock Up is just an aggregator. It pulls images from 27 different websites, all of which license images under Creative Commons Zero, and has over 13,000 images to choose from. Most other websites have only a fraction of that. So while Stock Up might require a little more digging, there is generally plenty to choose from.

The other issue is resolution. Most the images you find on Stock Up are very high resolution, but not all of the sources Stock Up pulls from will tell you the resolution, or let you choose a version of the picture best suited for your monitor. I haven't had any issues with images not being large enough to make a gorgeous wallpaper, however.

Pexels

best-desktop-wallpaper-sites-4.png
Screenshot by Taylor Martin/CNET

Pexels is another image site similar to Stock Up. The images are hand-selected from user uploads or sourced from other stock image websites. Every picture you come across on Pexels is also licensed under Creative Commons Zero.

There are over 10,000 images on Pexels. That said, not all of them are suited for wallpapers. I've come across many portrait-oriented photos, but I've also seen some absolutely stunning images that would make great wallpapers. You just have to make use of the search function to find exactly what you're looking for.

Pixels also offers an app for Mac and Windows, as well as a Photoshop plugin. All three together cost $15 (about £11 or AU$20).

Vladstudio

best-desktop-wallpaper-sites-6.png
Screenshot by Taylor Martin/CNET

If you're looking for something other than photography wallpapers, your first stop should be Vladstudio. There you will find some truly amazing digital art wallpapers.

Not everything on Vladstudio is free, however. You will only get lower-resolution downloads of some photos for free. To have unfettered access to everything on the site, including some extras like PSD files for some images, you will need to purchase a $14.99 (roughly £11 or AU$20) lifetime premium account.

Wallpapers Wide

best-desktop-wallpaper-sites-1.png
Screenshot by Taylor Martin/CNET

A more traditional wallpaper website is Wallpapers Wide, which has tens of thousands of wallpapers to choose from.

When you visit the site, your desktop aspect ratio and resolution are immediately detected and set so that when you click a photo you like, you can immediately download it in the correct resolution. Of course, if you want, you can download the image in a larger resolution or a different aspect ratio, as well.

Digital Blasphemy

Another source of amazing digital art, this time from Ryan Bliss, is Digital Blasphemy. However, almost all the images you find on this site are going to come at a price, either by-the-photo or through membership fees, which range from a $20 (about £15 or AU$27) to $200 (roughly £149 or AU$269) for a lifetime membership.

best-desktop-wallpaper-sites-7.png
Screenshot by Taylor Martin/CNET