Change Desktop preferences on Mac
On your Mac, use the Desktop pane of Desktop & Screen Saver System Preferences to change the picture or colour shown on your desktop (the background area of the screen). Learn how to customise the desktop picture.
To change these preferences, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Desktop & Screen Saver , then click Desktop.
Current desktop picture
The desktop picture currently used on your Mac.
To choose whether the image can change or is set to a light or dark version, click the pop-up menu, then choose an option.
List of pictures, colours and folders
Items you can use as your desktop picture. Select an item on the left, then click a picture or colour on the right.
Dynamic desktop pictures can automatically change throughout the course of the day based on your current location. If Location Services is turned off in Privacy preferences, the picture changes based on the time zone specified in Date & Time preferences.
Some dynamic desktop pictures may also provide still images so the desktop picture doesn’t distract from the light or dark appearance. For example, if you chose the dark appearance during macOS setup, the desktop picture is set to a dark still image. To use or stop using a still image (if available), click the pop-up menu, then choose an option.
If nothing’s shown when you select the Pictures folder, you either don’t have pictures in that folder or they don’t have the right file format — JPEG, PICT, TIFF, PNG or HEIC. To change a picture’s format, open it in the Preview app, then save it in the new format. If pictures look fuzzy, try using larger ones, such as 1024x768 pixels.
To use an image from another folder, click the Add button , then select a folder. Once the folder is added, you can choose a picture from it.
To remove a folder you added, select it, then click the Remove button .
Fill Screen pop-up menu
When you select a picture from Photos or the Pictures folder, choose how you want to arrange it on the screen — for example, fill the screen or centre the picture. Some choices may distort the picture.
Have your Mac automatically cycle through all the pictures available in the item or folder you selected in the list on the left. Click the pop-up menu, then choose how often to change the picture — for example, every hour.
This option may affect the performance of some apps, such as games, that use many graphics.
When you select the tickbox to change pictures, you can display the pictures in a random order.