We have fabricated and operated large two‐dimensional (2D) arrays of phase‐locked surface‐emitting semiconductor lasers. The arrays were fabricated by reactive ion beam etching of epitaxial Fabry–Perot resonators comprising GaAs/AlGaAs quantum wells surrounded by AlAs‐AlGaAs quarter‐wave mirrors. Different arrays corresponding to different pixel size (2–5 μm) and spacing (1–2 μm) were produced to investigate evanescent coupling between pixels. The arrays were photopumped so that the array size could be conveniently varied from 1×1, 2×2,... up to 20×20. Except for the 1×1 which emits a circular pattern, all arrays exhibit a well‐defined four‐lobed far‐field pattern in agreement with our theoretical analysis of the optical modes which predicts domination by the 2D out‐of‐phase eigenmode. As a consequence this pattern can be understood with simple Fraunhofer diffraction theory. The angular spread of the lobes, determined by the periodicity of the array elements, is 10° for the array with element size/spacing of 4/1 μm. The widths of the lobes are 6.7° for the 2×2 and narrow to 3.2° with increasing number of pixels in the array. The array exhibits a sharp onset for lasing, operation on a single longitudinal mode, and a linewidth which narrows to ∼1 Å with increasing array size. The differential power efficiency is as high as 70%. These observations provide further impetus and guidance for the development of 2D laser diode arrays.