How to Use Windows 8’s Extended Wallpaper and Taskbar with Multiple Monitors?

Dual-monitors have been in trend for quite a few years and more and more users are adopting the concept as it enables them to arrange windows across the two screens for faster and uncluttered working experience. Sometimes, it's simply wonderful and most of all helpful, to use two or even more monitors on the same computer. Because this feature has only been used by a selective segment of the market, Microsoft hasn't bothered itself with this kind of thoughts.

Until now, Windows users could only enjoy a limited dual-monitor environment, where the operating system did a lousy job of extending the usual elements of the desktop to every panel used. In Windows 8, developers have awakened rendering you able to do wonderful things and we are going to show you how.

First of all, those who have used several monitors in Windows 7 have noticed that once you've plugged them into the computer and tweaked a couple of settings, the best that the OS could provide is another speechless screen. And by speechless I refer to a screen that doesn't have wallpaper set by default and where the taskbar, alongside icons, are completely missing. In Windows 8, all of these are going to change.

The Taskbar

In the developer preview version, Windows 8 is now capable of automatically stretching the taskbar as wide as you would want. On each of your monitors pinned items will appear alongside the classic Start button, with a small modification. Instead of just showing the same Start button on each panel, developers have replaced it with a Switch button; pressing it will automatically replace the button with Start, allowing the user to switch between primary screens.

The Wallpaper

To extend the wallpaper on multiple monitors, all you have to do is plug in the monitors, right click on the desktop and then click on "Customise". In the Themes section and under the Aero style, simply click on "Windows Extended" and the whole widen concept will be applied. This will make Windows extend the current wallpaper, in a way that will fit all detected monitors. Before doing this, make sure that the image you are using is at a high-enough resolution to assimilate the transformation.

To set a wallpaper, click on the "Desktop Background" menu while in the ‘Customise' option and a panel sporting various images will appear. Browse to the desired picture, add it to the menu, right-click it and then select "Set for all monitors", like in the image below.

If you want to choose different images for each monitor, simply express your will by selecting the desired option.

Until now Windows 8 has successfully managed to integrate most ideas that users have wanted since a couple of years now. The extended wallpaper and taskbar options are one of these ideas, taking Windows 8 a step closer to being everyone's favourite.