macOS High Sierra

Give your desktop a custom look

There are several ways to give your desktop—the background area of your screen—a custom look.

Change the picture you see on the desktop

In Desktop preferences, you can choose the picture that’s displayed on your desktop. Your Mac comes with dozens of desktop pictures to choose from, but you can also use your own pictures, or choose a solid color.

Tip: To quickly use a picture you have in the Photos app, select the picture in Photos, click the Share button in the Photos toolbar, then choose Set Desktop Picture.

The Desktop pane of System Preferences.
  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Desktop & Screen Saver, then click Desktop.

    Open the Desktop pane for me

  2. On the left, find a picture or color:

    • Pictures and colors that come with your Mac: Click the disclosure triangle next to Apple, then select Desktop Pictures or Solid Colors.

    • Your pictures: Click the disclosure triangle next to Photos (or iPhoto if available). If your pictures are in the Pictures or another folder, click the triangle next to Folders, then select a folder.

      To add a folder, click the Add button , navigate to and select the folder, then click Choose.

      If you don’t see anything when you select the folder that contains your pictures, the pictures might not have the right file format— JPEG, PICT, TIFF, or PNG. 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 1024 x 768 pixels.

  3. On the right, click the picture you want to use.

    The desktop immediately changes, so you can see how the picture looks. When you use one of your own pictures, you can choose whether it should fill the screen, be centered, or be otherwise arranged. It’s easy to click around and try different pictures and arrangements until you find the one you like best.

If you can’t settle on just one picture, you can cycle through all the pictures in a folder. Select the “Change picture” checkbox, then choose how often you want the picture to change—for example, every hour. This option may affect the performance of some apps, such as games, that use many graphics. To use just one picture again, deselect the checkbox.

You can use a picture you see on the web as your desktop picture.