Dean Elliott Dean Elliott - 4 months ago 30
CSS Question

Retina displays, high-res background images

This might sound like a silly question.

If I use this CSS snippet for regular displays (Where

is 200px by 200px);

background:url('images/box-bg.png') no-repeat top left;

and if I use a media query like this to target retina displays (With the @2x image being the high-res version);

@media (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2),
(min-resolution: 192dpi) {

.box{background:url('images/box-bg@2x.png') no-repeat top left;}

Do I need to double the size of the
div to 400px by 400px to match the new high res background image?


No, but you do need to set the background-size property to match the original dimensions:

@media (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), 
(min-resolution: 192dpi) { 

        background:url('images/box-bg@2x.png') no-repeat top left;
        background-size: 200px 200px;


To add a little more to this answer, here is the retina detection query I tend to use:

only screen and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2),
only screen and (   min--moz-device-pixel-ratio: 2),
only screen and (     -o-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2/1),
only screen and (        min-device-pixel-ratio: 2),
only screen and (                min-resolution: 192dpi),
only screen and (                min-resolution: 2dppx) { 


- Source

NB. This min--moz-device-pixel-ratio: is not a typo. It is a well documented bug in certain versions of Firefox and should be written like this in order to support older versions (prior to Firefox 16). - Source

As @LiamNewmarch mentioned in the comments below, you can include the background-size in your shorthand background declaration like so:

    background:url('images/box-bg@2x.png') no-repeat top left / 200px 200px;

However, I personally would not advise using the shorthand form as it is not supported in iOS <= 6 or Android making it unreliable in most situations.