This post contains spoilers for Portal 2. You should only read it if you’ve completed the game.

I completed Portal 2 over the weekend and it’s without a doubt one of my favourite games of the year so far. The game had many ‘laugh-out-loud’ moments, one of my favourites being right at the end. No, not Want You Gone, but Wheatley’s regretful epilogue constantly interrupted by the corrupt core orbiting around him. As soon as I was returned to the main menu, the first thing I thought was “I need that background as a dynamic theme on my PS3!”…

Unfortunately, I can’t create dynamic themes, (get to it, Valve!) but I have managed to create an animated desktop wallpaper out of it. While I was at it, I also made a few others – six seven in total.

You may have noticed that the main menu background changes as you progress through Portal 2. I’ve converted these backgrounds and the loading screen from the co-op challenges into seemlessly looping MPEG videos which you can download and use. Have a look at the stills below and download the videos at the bottom of this post to use them on your own Windows PC or Mac.

Available backgrounds are Wheatley in SPACE!, GLADoS Waking Up, Turret Production Line, The Fall, Wheatley Laboratories and Atlas & P-body.

UPDATE: I’ve now added the scan lines background from the end credits.

All of the videos are 1080p so a word of warning: Running 1080p video on your desktop constantly is very memory-intensive. If you have an old/slow PC you may want to give this a miss. The full-size screenshots above work quite well as static wallpapers though. But if you do have a nice speedy computer, read on for details on how to set-up your animated wallpapers…


Download the file you want from the links below then extract the video file from the ZIP archive using WinRAR or your operating system’s built-in ZIP extrator.

If you have Windows Vista Ultimate, all you need to do is download a Windows update to enable animated desktops or “DreamScene”. Follow the instructions here to find out how to do this. If you’re using Windows 7 or a non-Ultimate version of Windows Vista you can download a small utility called DreamScene Activator. Once you’ve run that and restarted your computer, all you need to do is right-click on the video file you downloaded and choose ‘Set as Desktop Background’ or ‘Set as DreamScene’.

UPDATE: If you have problems with dark icon text, follow Tartarus1022’s instructions below to fix it.

Getting video wallpapers on a Mac is a little more complicated; Pre-Snow Leopard users can use Wallsaver combined with SaveHollywood using the method described in this video. I couldn’t find a free way of enabling video wallpaper on Snow Leopard. The only option I could find was this piece of software (via DayneOram) which costs US$5! If you know of a free alternative, let me and everyone else know in the comments below.


UPDATE (01/11/2013): The files are now hosted on MEGA for faster, more reliable downloads. I’ve also removed the little watermarks that appeared briefly in the corner. Lastly, the files are now no longer zipped.

All of these videos were taken from Portal 2 and are therefore owned by Valve Software. If you re-publish these elsewhere on the interwebs, I’d really appreciate it if you linked back to this page on