Pro Tip: Improve your Focus by Blurring Your Desktop Wallpaper

I love desktop wallpapers, but the problem I have with most backgrounds is that they make it more difficult to see folders and files that I have on my desktop. Take the image below:

crisp desktop

It’s a great image – full of contrast and color – but the crisp detail of the photograph has a nasty side-effect: it makes the text underneath the hard drive icons more difficult to read.

What’s my work around?

Simply take the image into Photoshop (or your favorite image editor) and add a Gaussian blur to it.

blurry desktop background

You’ll still have all the wonderful color and contrast that makes the image so appealing, but now it’ll be much easier to discern the icons from the background. Give it a try. You might actually like it.


These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Mike
    May 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    My solution to this problem is a tad different. I keep nothing on my desktop. If anything is there, it means I have to deal with it in some way.

    Notes to myself, grocery list, etc. I have found this system is really helpful

    • Krishna
      May 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Like you, Mike, I like to keep my desktop clean. I have my drives mounted on the desktop for quick access. Errant files don’t stay on my desktop for more than a few minutes. I hate clutter.

  • Drezz
    May 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

    I’ll create a letterbox version of the wallpaper (if I’m using a PC) and plunk my desktop icons in the black spaces. For my Mac, I tend to use darker backgrounds, and fade my photos on the right hand side to black. It allows me to keep the fully focused image relatively intact.

  • Karthick
    May 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Nice tip. And the background is excellent. Please can you let me know where can I get this wallpaper?

    • Krishna
      May 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Thanks, Karthick! As for the wallpaper, I believe I found it on deviantArt (unfortunately, I don’t have the link) :(