In Mountain Lion (10.8.2) the 'Center' option does not scale and centre wallpapers correctly. The preview is correct, but the wallpaper is the same as 'Fit to Screen'. All other options work as expected.

Desktop with 'Center': enter image description here

Desktop with 'Fit to Screen': enter image description here

The screen resolution is 1024x768 and the image size is 3200x2000.

Shouldn't the 'Center' option display the centre of the image at 100% zoom? Is there any way to change this behaviour?

3 Answers 3


I think they're working as expected. Center puts the image at the middle of your screen, without changing the aspect ratio (an image larger than your screen will be downscaled, but a smaller one won't be upscaled). Because your screen is a 4:3 ratio, and the wallpaper is 16:10, you get blue bars filling the rest of the space. Similarly, Fit to Screen scales the image proportionately so that width matches that of your screen, but it does not change the aspect ratio, which is why you still have blue bars.

If you want the image to take up all of your screen without any blue bars, try the Fill Screen or Stretch to Fill Screen options. Fill Screen scales the image proportionately so that it fills the entire screen, and Stretch to Fill Screen scales the image to fill the screen, but changes the aspect ratio so the entire image is on-screen (i.e. you don't lose any of the image boundaries).

  • Thanks for your answer. The source image is 3200x2000, so 'Center' does scale the image. I've added this to my question.
    – Silke
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 20:31
  • Good catch, I updated my answer to reflect that.
    – robmathers
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 20:59

This is a known bug. It should center the image to the center of the screen keeping its aspect ratio and no resizing. We can only wait for this bug to be fixed.


This bug seems to have reappeared in El Capitan 10.11.3, but only for secondary screens.

Really annoying.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .