I have a QGIS project accessing a base WMS layer with imagery.

How can I tell QGIS to display the individual tiles as it fetches them so that I won't wait for the whole image to load until I see something?

2 Answers 2


When adding a WMS layer specify the tile size (usually 256 x 256), this will force QGIS to fetch the image in tiles and render the tiles as they are retrieved from the server. Tile size can be specified in the add WMS layer dialog:

tile size params for WMS

Without the tile size params QGIS will request a single image whose size is that of the current extent in pixels.

  • 1
    I knew how to set the tile size for the request. The bad thing is that QGIS does not display the image according to this setting and waits until all the tiles are fetched and then displays the composed image. So, my question is still unanswered. Sep 17, 2013 at 19:19
  • That's strange. I tested this solution before answering and it worked as intended on the latest qgis on linux. Perhaps you just need to upgrade qgis?
    – unicoletti
    Sep 18, 2013 at 4:59
  • I have tried this with qgis installed on windows, mac and ubuntu. with different qgis flavors (1.8,1.9,2.0.1, 2.1 master, on different computers, with different wms servers (geoserver and qgis-server) and no, it doesn't work. Sep 18, 2013 at 10:16

I don't think there is a setting to change this behavior. It would cause the canvas to be redrawn multiple times - for each tile - and that would take ages if you have complex overlays with labels.

  • That's too bad. As I don't need labels for the imagery layer that forms the base layer I thought the qgis engine could display the base wms until and overlay the other layers when they were completed. Thanks for your answer. Sep 29, 2013 at 13:21

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