What file type should hd wallpapers be saved as?

For example, a 2560 x 1440 or larger wallpaper should be saved in what file type in order to optimize quality vs file size?

  • What file types are supported? What compression standards? What sort of art is it (e.g. flat "graphic" patterns; complete noise and static; random photograph)? How many colors?
    – Yorik
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 17:39
  • Although the question states web, I think What web graphics formats to use? should answer your question.
    – Cai
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 17:43

2 Answers 2


This depends on a few factors and is a bit broad/opinion based.

  • Is the wallpaper going to be distributed online?
  • Is it photo-like or is it an abstract design/graphic?
  • How many colors are in it?
  • etc...

If the wallpaper is realistic looking or made up of photos, then JPG would be a good tradeoff, between file size and quality

If the wallpaper is abstract, simplistic, or only a few colors, then I would suggest a PNG

If you're unsure which to use, try the Save For Web option in Photoshop (if that's the program you're using). Below is a comparison of my current wallpaper, JPG vs PNG. You can see that, for this wallpaper, JPG offers much smaller file size (look at the bottom left corner) and there is very little quality loss

The settings you choose for each will depend on your own personal preferences and how much quality you're willing to sacrifice, in order to trim the file size down

enter image description here

enter image description here

Below you can see what happens, if I try to save as a PNG-8. I'm unable to use the PNG-8 option on this, because the restrictive color mode leaves very noticeable banding. This would be a different story with a simpler background, however, which is why I say there is no hard-set rule and it requires some trial/error and experience to know which file type and settings to start with

enter image description here


I would suggest .PNG , Photoshop gives you some varieties of png format. You can tweak the settings if you are concerned about the file size. If you are not much concerned about the quality over size then you can choose .JPG (not recommending).

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