I was recently working on a project and the background was not showing up in IE7 (or IE6 but who cares about that browser?!?!). After much frustration, simply declaring the height on the element did the trick. (height: 100%; in this case). This appears to have also resolved an issue where the image-based backgrounds on some elements were sporadically disappearing when the page was scrolled (in IE7 of course). Part of the background would disappear when it went out of view when scrolling. Chalk up a few more hours on my bill to Microsoft’s IE dev team.