how to change wallpaper on mac
how to change wallpaper on mac

how to change wallpaper on mac

How to Change Wallpaper on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Customizing your Mac’s desktop with a captivating wallpaper is an effortless way to enhance its aesthetic appeal and create a personalized workspace. If you’re wondering "how to change wallpaper on Mac," read on for a comprehensive guide that will lead you through the process seamlessly.

Section 1: Choosing Your Wallpaper

Subsection 1.1: Pre-Installed Wallpapers

Apple provides an array of beautiful pre-installed wallpapers featuring stunning landscapes, vibrant colors, and abstract designs. To access them, head to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop Pictures. Simply click on the desired wallpaper to apply it to your desktop.

Subsection 1.2: Custom Wallpapers

You may also want to explore custom wallpapers that reflect your personal taste. Search for images online, download high-resolution versions, and save them to your Mac. To use a custom wallpaper, drag and drop it onto the "Desktop Pictures" window in System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop Pictures.

Section 2: Applying Your Wallpaper

Subsection 2.1: Single Image Wallpaper

For a simple yet impactful look, choose a single image as your wallpaper. Select the desired wallpaper in the "Desktop Pictures" window and click on the "Set Desktop Picture" button. Your chosen image will instantly grace your desktop.

Subsection 2.2: Dynamic Wallpapers

Dynamic wallpapers offer a captivating visual experience by changing throughout the day. Select any dynamic wallpaper from the "Desktop Pictures" window, and it will automatically adjust to the current time or other system conditions.

Subsection 2.3: Multiple Wallpapers (Mojave and Later)

macOS Mojave and later versions introduced the ability to set multiple wallpapers that rotate automatically. Choose the desired images from the "Desktop Pictures" window and click on the "+" button to add them to the rotation. You can customize the order and transition time between wallpapers.

Section 3: Advanced Customization

Subsection 3.1: Position and Scaling

Once you’ve chosen your wallpaper, you can further customize its appearance. In the "Desktop Pictures" window, click on the "Position" drop-down menu to align the wallpaper on your desktop. You can also adjust the scaling to fit the screen or zoom in for a more detailed view.

Subsection 3.2: Dark Mode

If you’re using macOS Catalina or later, you can apply different wallpapers for light and dark mode. In System Preferences > General > Appearance, choose "Light" or "Dark" under "Appearance." Your selected wallpaper will automatically change according to the mode you choose.

Feature Description
Pre-Installed Wallpapers Apple provides a collection of stunning pre-installed wallpapers to choose from.
Custom Wallpapers You can use your own high-resolution images as custom wallpapers.
Single Image Wallpaper Apply a single image as a static wallpaper on your desktop.
Dynamic Wallpapers Choose dynamic wallpapers that change throughout the day or based on system conditions.
Multiple Wallpapers (Mojave and Later) Set multiple wallpapers that rotate automatically.
Position and Scaling Adjust the alignment and scaling of the wallpaper to fit your preference.
Dark Mode Support Apply different wallpapers for light and dark mode in macOS Catalina and later.


Changing the wallpaper on your Mac is a quick and easy way to personalize your workspace. This comprehensive guide has provided you with various options and customization tips to achieve the desired look. Whether you prefer pre-installed wallpapers, custom images, or dynamic visuals, you now have the knowledge to transform your Mac’s desktop into a visually captivating experience.

FAQ about How to Change Wallpaper on Mac

How do I change the wallpaper on my Mac?

  • Go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop.
  • Select a new wallpaper from the left sidebar or click the "+" button to add your own image.

How do I set different wallpapers for multiple desktops?

  • Create multiple desktops in Mission Control (swipe up with three fingers on a trackpad).
  • Set a different wallpaper for each desktop by following the steps above.

How do I automatically change the wallpaper?

  • In Desktop & Screen Saver preferences, select "Change picture:" and choose an interval (e.g., "Every day").

How do I set a dynamic wallpaper that changes with the time of day?

  • Download dynamic wallpapers from Apple’s website or third-party sources.
  • Set the wallpaper as described above and select "Dynamic" in the wallpaper options.

How do I find wallpapers tailored to my Mac’s screen resolution?

  • Use Apple’s wallpaper gallery or search for wallpapers with the resolution of your Mac’s screen (e.g., "Retina 5K wallpaper").

How do I set a live wallpaper?

  • Live wallpapers are not natively supported on Mac.
  • Consider using third-party apps like "Movable" or "Live Wallpapers."

How do I stretch or scale the wallpaper?

  • In Desktop & Screen Saver preferences, select "Fit to screen" or "Scale to fit screen" from the "Desktop" drop-down menu.

How do I restore the default wallpaper?

  • In Desktop & Screen Saver preferences, select "Restore Default."

How do I remove a wallpaper?

  • In the Desktop & Screen Saver preferences, hover over the wallpaper thumbnail and click the "x" button that appears.

How do I preview a wallpaper before setting it?

  • Hover over the wallpaper thumbnail in the Desktop & Screen Saver preferences and it will preview on your screen.