How to Change Wallpaper on Mac: 2 Easy Ways!

Choose from a pre-installed Mac wallpaper, or use your own images to customize your desktop background.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Your computer comes with some pretty cool Mac backgrounds, but these can get old after a while. If you're ready to switch it up, swapping in a new desktop wallpaper of your family, pet, or beautiful landscape can be just the thing to inspire you. Here's how to change the desktop background on a Mac.

Related: How to Sync Messages from iPhone to Mac

Why You’ll Love This Tip

  • Customize your desktop background to show a favorite image of your family, pets, a beautiful landscape, or an inspiring quote.
  • Set your wallpaper to automatically switch at regular intervals so you never get tired of looking at your Mac.

How to Change Background on Mac

If you have your desired image saved on your desktop, we'll show you how to quickly set it as your background. If not, we'll also show you how to browse the images on your computer to find the perfect wallpaper via the Desktop & Screen Saver window. For more handy Mac tips, consider signing up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter. Now, here's how to change the wallpaper on a Mac: 

  1. If you have an image saved on your desktop, right-click on the image. (If you're using a laptop trackpad, press the Control key and click on the image. If you're using an external Apple trackpad, click on the image with two fingers.)

  2. Click Set Desktop Picture. After a couple of seconds, your new image will replace the previous background. 

    Change Desktop background step 2 - Set desktop picture
  3. For more background image options, you can also access the Desktop and Screensaver window by right-clicking directly on your desktop.
  4. Click Change Desktop Background.

    Change Desktop background step 5 - Change desktop background
  5. The Desktop & Screen Saver window will pop up. In the left side bar, select Desktop Pictures or Colors to choose from Apple’s library of pre-installed backgrounds.

    Change Desktop background step 6 - Apple Stock images
  6. The Photos tab will give you access to your personal photos library.

    Change Desktop background step 7 -  Photos tab
  7. The Folders tab will allow you to access an image from other folders saved on your computer.

    Change Desktop background step 8 - Folders
  8. If the folder you want to access is not listed, click on the Add icon.

    Change Desktop background step 9 - Click +
  9. Click the drop-down menu to select your desired folder and click Choose

    Change Desktop background step 10 - Choose Folder
  10. Click on an image to set it as your new desktop background. 

  11. If you can't decide on just one image, you also have the option to automatically rotate your desktop backgrounds. To do so, click the box next to Change Picture.

    Change Desktop background step 12 -Rotate Pictures
  12. Click the drop-down menu next to Change picture and select how frequently you want your images to change.

    Change Desktop background step 13-Choose Rotation frequency

Now your new Mac wallpaper will display as the desktop background! Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. If you’re using multiple desktop spaces, you can even have a separate wallpaper for each desktop. You have limitless possibilities so be unique and keep it fresh.

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Author Details

Jivan Hall's picture

Author Details

Jivan Hall

Jivan has always been a big fan of Apple products since the original iPod hit the scene, and gets excited about the fast pace of technology. Jivan has a background in both business and tech, and has a degree in business administration. He loves researching new tips and ideas and sharing them with others. Jivan resides out of San Diego in sunny southern California, and tries to spend as much time as humanly possible outdoors with his two young sons playing sports, chasing waves, and on the seemingly never-ending quest for the best fish taco.