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retina wallpapersSo you’ve managed to get your hands on Apple’s newest must-have gadget? It’s faster, better connected and that screen is to die for – but there’s only a handful of bundled wallpapers available to show off that awesome display.

Luckily there are already a lot of retina-sized wallpapers online and we’ve got a bumper collection of resources to get you started here. The backgrounds featured are free for personal use so don’t forget to direct your thanks to the artists who have taken the time to make and freely distribute these.

Applying & Creating Wallpapers

To use any of the images featured in this post first visit the full-sized image in Safari then tap and hold the image. Select Save Image from the options that appear and the image will be saved to your Camera Roll. Finally open Photos from the home screen, choose your image and hit the Share button in the bottom left then choose Use as Wallpaper.

The ideal iPad wallpaper iPad Wallpapers Revisited - The Best 7 Free Apps iPad Wallpapers Revisited - The Best 7 Free Apps The iPad has been around for quite a while, and accordingly, the AppStore has accumulated lots of different free wallpapers apps. If you ever got bored of your wallpaper or icons, I’m sure you’ve had... Read More is 2048×2048 pixels in size. Despite the screen being smaller than this, the larger than required square image will ensure that your wallpaper displays properly in both landscape and portrait orientation. If you have an iPad 2 or earlier the ideal background resolution is 1024×1024, so scaling these images down will provide the perfect wallpaper for previous generation devices Trade Your Old iPad For Money On These 5 Websites Trade Your Old iPad For Money On These 5 Websites Every iPad enthusiast (and everyone in general) has heard of Apple’s new iPad. While some people feel the update is not significant enough, many are still planning to buy it. With its retina display and... Read More too.

Note: Click on any of the images featured here to be taken to the full-size image or source gallery.

Michael Toye (Photographer)

As of writing, photographer Michael has uploaded 40 images to his Flickr photostream that are specifically designed to be used as Retina wallpapers. All images are free for personal use, though if you do fall in love with any of the designs I’m sure Michael would love to hear about it.


retina wallpapers free retina wallpapers
Free iPad 3 HD retina wallpaper desktop background apple 2048 2048x2048 free retina wallpapers
There’s a good mix of styles here, with plenty of Apple-esque blocks of metal, water droplets and dreamy landscapes that melt into the background. If these designs are agreeable then check out Michael’s photostream for the rest of his photography.

free retina wallpapers retina ipad wallpapers
retina ipad wallpapers retina ipad wallpapers
View: iPad Retina HD Wallpapers (Flickr Gallery)

Alex Hopkins (Photographer)

Another photographer, another beautiful set of 2048×2048 wallpapers for your brand new iPad. Alex has assembled 64 photos so far in his collection which is heavy on architecture, landscapes and patterns.

Union Cobbles
Waveforms Engraved
There are a couple of busy cityscapes in there, a fantastic Union Jack cushion and even a snap of a famous Banksy piece. Alex has also produced a photoset of backgrounds for the iPad & iPad 2 available here, which contains more than 300 images in 1024×1024 resolution.

Hamburg Reflection Apple
Banksy New York
View: iPad 3 Retina Wallpapers (Flickr Gallery)

FiftyFootShadows Retina iPad Wallpaper Pack

Featuring obscure close-ups, classic cameras, lenses and a lot of bokeh, these Retina wallpapers from FiftyFootShadows are a fantastic treat for free. There are 48 available in total, all of which are the artist’s original work.

retina ipad wallpapers
If you like these images check out the rest of FiftyFootShadows which features plenty of great imagery to gawp at and other backgrounds to download.

retina ipad wallpapers
View: FiftyFootShadows Retina iPad Wallpaper Pack

MacRumors Forums: Retina iPad Wallpaper Thread

The MacRumors forum members have been busy scaling, collecting and even making their own Retina quality wallpapers to share. Being a forum thread it might take some time to get through the lot, but it’s worth it for the gems (like the space images below, created by forum member FiglioPerduto).

retina ipad wallpapers
There’s a good mix of photography and graphic design 5 Free Awesome Graphic Design Tutorial Sites You Should Check Out 5 Free Awesome Graphic Design Tutorial Sites You Should Check Out Read More here, as well as a lot of wallpapers featuring the Apple logo itself. If you’re after a calmer background though why not try one of the chilled-out images below created by forum member GoGa.

View: MacRumors Forums: iPad Retina Wallpapers Thread

Simon Page’s CUBEN 12 Wallpapers

What better way to show off the clarity of your screen than with an extremely detailed background? Simon Page (portfolio) has converted 6 geometric masterpieces into 2048×2048 iPad backgrounds and the results are pretty impressive.

Each wallpaper is derived from a 24″ print, and Simon has even provided photographs of the backgrounds displayed proudly on the new iPad. Surprisingly, even in a photograph the design looks pretty damn good.

retina wallpapers

View: Simon Page’s CUBEN 12 Wallpapers


The ball’s only just started rolling and we’re going to be seeing a lot more retina display-friendly wallpapers over the next few months. Feel free to leave your thoughts, favourites and recommend some more resources in the comments, below.

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  1. Aimee11
    April 12, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Looks really nice, have collected many, it's cool to turn the iPad to shinning!
    BTW, for some more iPad tips and free apps&games, I found iFunia iPad column is very informative and interesting.

  2. Joe
    March 29, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Did you miss the 60 retina iPad wallpapers or what?

    • Tim Brookes
      March 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Looks like I did, thanks for linking to it though!

      • Michael Toye
        March 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm

        I'm not complaining; my hit counts are through the roof :-)

      • Missy
        March 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm

        You agree and yet you don't add it to the post. Weird.