2/24/219:00 am Mac Basics: Changing Your Desktop Background You can set your Desktop Picture to a variety of dymanic or static images that Apple provides. You can also use a soild color or choose from one of your own photos or an image file. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let me show you how to change your Desktop Background. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 800 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So the large graphic that covers your desktop on your Mac is called the Desktop Picture. But most people refer to it as the Desktop Background or Desktop Wallpaper. So here you can see the colorful Big Sur default wallpaper. But you could easily change this to a variety of other images that Apple provides or use your own photo or graphic. To do this go to System Preferences and then click on Desktop & Screen Saver. You could also Control click on the Desktop or right click on a Mouse, two finger click on a trackpad. Then choose Change Desktop Background. That will take you to the same place. Then you want to make sure you've selected Desktop at the top. Now you could see the image that you're using as your Desktop Background right here. Sometimes there are some options here. For instance for this background I can choose a Light Image, a Dark Image, or I could set it to Automatic. So when I switch from Light Mode to Dark Mode on my Mac it will change which one of these it uses. Now Apple provides a whole bunch of different images you can use for a Desktop Background. To access them go to the Sidebar here. If you don't see the folders under Apple you may have to click this button to reveal them. Then select Desktop Pictures. Here you'll see Apple's Desktop Backgrounds displayed by category. First you've got Dynamic Desktops. So these are images that will change throughout the day. Showing the darker images at night and lighter images during the day. Here we've got a photo of Big Sur in California. You also have the photo of Catalina Island and you have a variety of really cool illustrations. Now all these will change throughout the day so the colors in these illustrations will change as the day progresses and you go into night and the next morning. Then you kind of have a solid gradient here. This will also change colors throughout the day. All the dynamic desktops will do that. Then you have a set of light and dark desktops. So these are two images in one. Which one is shown depends upon whether you're using Light Mode or Dark Mode. So for instance here's this photo and you could set it to Automatic. You could see this is the light image and here is the equivalent dark image. You've got some other photos here and you've got the default Big Sur background as well as an alternative. Then you have some static pictures. So these won't change depending upon light or dark mode or throughout the day or anything. These will just be these images. So you have some more images that show you Big Sur, other locations in California, and nature scenes. These's a whole collection of things that Apple includes with every Mac. Now in addition to those you could also select colors and then choose from a variety of different colors. Sometimes I prefer to actually use black to have nothing in the background and be able to focus on whatever windows I have open and whatever work I'm doing. But you could choose anyone of these other colors. If you want to choose your own custom color click here and this brings up the Color Picker and you can use the Color Wheel or any other style of color picker to choose a particular color and customize it to get it exactly like you want. In addition to that you could also open up Photos here and access your Photos Library. You can access all of your photos this way or go into Favorites or into any album that you want. So, for instance, I can go into this album here and then choose one of these backgrounds. It will just switch to use My Photo. Notice that when you choose a photo you can set it to Fill the Screen like this, or Fit to Screen, so you're going to end up with bars on the left and right in cases of most photos. Stretch to fill the screen, so it's going to distort the photo, or simply Center it which would actually give you a smaller photo in the middle if the photo isn't large enough to cover the entire screen. Also if you have a small photo you can choose Tile and it will tile it throughout the screen as well. Now another option is to go to Folders. By default you'll see your Pictures Folder in there unless you have actual images sitting in your Pictures Folder you won't find anything here. But you could put pictures in there and would see them appear. You could also click the Plus button here and add a folder. So, in my Documents folder I've got a folder where I've saved a bunch of pictures called My Pictures. I can select that or any photo in it and it will appear now under Folders here. I can easily choose one of these pictures and use it there. Now in addition when you choose a folder like this you have options at the bottom to change the picture automatically. So I can turn this on and set it to Change Picture every 30 minutes or another time period or even every time I login or Wake from Sleep. This will keep things fresh as my picture is always changing. It's going to choose another image from the folder that I've selected. I could have it go through the photos one-by-one in order or switch to random order if I want. You also get this option when you're in Photos and you choose a specific album. So if I chose Camping here as my album you could see I could have it change every 30 minutes. Here are two other ways you could change your Desktop Background. One is you could use this Preview as a Drop Zone. So let me bring up a new Finder window and let me choose a file from the Finder like this. I can drag and drop it right into this box and it will set that as my Desktop Background. When I do that that photo doesn't have to be anywhere here on the left. In fact it doesn't have to be in Photos or in any folder that I'm using. Another thing I could do is I can be in the Photos App and I can select a photo there. Then I could click the Share button or go to File, Share and choose Set Desktop Picture. That will change my desktop background without even opening up System Preferences. Changing the Desktop Background is one of the primary ways we have to show our personality and customize our Mac. You could set it to something that helps you relax throughout the day or something you like other people to see when they come to your office. It's easy to set the Desktop Background to something now and then change it later. So try different Desktop Backgrounds and settings and see what you like. Related Subjects: Mac Basics (34 videos), System Settings (150 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 5 Responses to “Mac Basics: Changing Your Desktop Background” Hyacinthe Miller 3 years ago Unfortunately, on my MacBook Pro, I can set my desktop to the Default Big Sur desktop light or dark (not dynamic) but every time I wake up the laptop, there is another photo as the desktop. I’ll change it back but it has a mind of its own. I’ve tried deleting the desktop files in case they were corrupted but the same thing happens again. I have no access to the Change Picture option not can I change to another folder. Frustrating but not life-altering. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Hyacinthe: Do you mean on the login screen? Keep in mind that you don't see your Desktop background picture until you log in. Ellen Allard 3 years ago After watching this video, I wondered whether you have YT video on organizing your Photos library. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Ellen: Several. See: https://macmost.com/tag/iphoto Shirley 3 years ago I create two albums in Photos named "Desktop" and "Screensaver" and drop the photos I like into each album. Makes it easy to change the Desktop Background Comments Closed.