Customize the desktop picture on your Mac
You can change the picture that’s displayed on your desktop. Choose from a variety of pictures or colors provided by Apple, or use your own photos.
Tip: You can drag an image from your desktop or a folder onto the thumbnail of the current desktop picture to use the image as your desktop picture.
On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click Wallpaper in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.)
Select a desktop picture from one of the available categories:
Dynamic Desktop: These pictures change gradually throughout the course of the day based on your current location. If Location Services is turned off (in Privacy & Security settings), the picture changes based on the time zone specified in Date & Time settings. See Change Privacy & Security settings.
If you selected Dark Mode in Appearance settings (or during macOS setup), the desktop picture defaults to a dark still image. To stop using a dark still image, click the pop-up menu, then choose Dynamic or Light (Still).
Light & Dark Desktop: These pictures switch from light to dark at sunset, based on your current location. However, if you selected Dark Mode in Appearance settings (or during macOS setup), the desktop picture defaults to a dark still image. To stop using a dark still image, click the pop-up menu, then choose Automatic or Light (Still).
Desktop Pictures: These pictures remain static throughout the day.
Note: If a thumbnail has a download icon , you must have an internet connection to download the image before you use it. To delete a downloaded picture, Control-click its thumbnail, then choose Remove Download.
Colors: These swatches apply a solid-color background for your desktop. To choose a color not shown, click the Add button .
Add Folder/Add Photo Album: Controls to choose your own photos from a folder or photo album. To add a folder, click Add Folder, then select a folder. To add a photo album, click Add Photo Album, then select Albums (all albums) or an individual album.
If your photos aren’t shown, they might not be in the expected file format—JPEG, PICT, TIFF, PNG, or HEIC. Use Preview to open your photos and save them in one of the supported formats. See Save PDFs and images in Preview.
If your photos are shown but look fuzzy, try using larger ones, such as 1024 x 768-pixel photos.
To modify a custom desktop picture or color, do any of the following:
Cycle through multiple desktop pictures or colors: Click Auto-Rotate next to a custom folder or color to have desktop pictures or colors change periodically. Customize the timing or choose random cycling using the controls at the top of Wallpaper settings.
Modify the desktop picture’s arrangement or dimensions: choose an option from the pop-up menu at the top of Wallpaper settings. Options include Fill Screen, Fit to Screen, Stretch to Fill Screen, Center, and more.
Tip: You can drag an image from your desktop or a folder onto the thumbnail at the top of Wallpaper settings to use the image as your desktop picture.
To quickly use a photo you have in the Photos app, open Photos, select the photo, click the Share button in the Photos toolbar, then choose Set Desktop Picture.
You can also use a picture you find on the web as your desktop picture. Control-click the image in the browser window, then select Use Image as Desktop Picture.