Quick Mac Tip: Fix missing background on second display

At work, I plug my 11-inch MacBook Air into a 23-inch LCD, which I use as my primary screen, with the Mac’s display as a secondary screen. Frequently, due to some combination of not closing it then unplugging the Mini DisplayPort plug in the proper order, or… something… I will find that when I open up my computer the next day, my desktop background (a.k.a. “wallpaper” for recent Windows switchers) on the MacBook Air is gone, replaced with a far-too-bright light gray generic background. Yuck!

Previously I had resorted to logging out and back in, or even rebooting, to fix this problem, but yesterday I searched and found an answer. It’s really simple! But it does require opening Terminal.

Go into Applications > Utilities and open Terminal. Then at the command prompt, type this (and, of course, hit Return):

killall Dock

That’s it! The Dock will quit and automatically restart, and the desktop will be restored!

Good source for wallpapers (or as we call them in the Mac world, desktop images)

As is usually the case, I’m probably the last sentient being in the known universe to discover this, but anyway… I was in the mood to find some new wallpapers today. (I’m running OSXplanet on my Mac desktop but I needed something new for when I’m running Windows… and the ones that come with XP leave a lot to be desired, such as the proper resolution for my widescreen laptop display.)

So I googled “1280×800 desktop images” and this is what I found…