Make a Screen Saver Out of Your Own Images in Mac OS X

Apr 30, 2010 - 15 Comments

You can make a nice screensaver out of a collection of your own images within Mac OS X very easily, here’s the basics:

  • Create a new folder, let’s call it ‘My ScreenSaver’
  • Gather images from your photo albums and drop them into ‘My Screensaver’ folder
  • Launch System Preferences
  • Click on Desktop & Screensaver
  • Click the Screensaver tab
  • Select the + button near the bottom of the screensaver list (Note: OS X Mountain Lion and later will use the “Source” sub menu” instead)
  • Select “Add Folder of Pictures”
  • Navigate to the “My ScreenSaver” pictures folder you created earlier
  • That’s it!

You can now select various effects for the screensaver by clicking the tiled icons and Options, to determine how the images are displayed, if they’re faded in and out, cropped, etc. Newer versions of OS X have separated a wide variety of new options into completely different screen savers, choosing a source folder will stay consistent across choice as you test the slideshow effect.

From OS X Mountain Lion onward, you have even more display options to choose from, as you can turn any of the built-in “Slideshow” screen savers into something featuring your own pictures just by clicking the “Source” menu and selecting a folder, as shown in this screenshot:

Turn a picture folder into a screen saver within OS X

This process of making your own screensaver is even easier if you use iPhoto, because iPhoto automatically hooks up to the ScreenSaver preference pane, you simply select the iPhoto album you want displayed and the rest is the same.

make your own screensaver mac

Updated: 12/12/2012

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Manish Patel in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Evetke says:

    UHH, WOW, trick for my Grandma..

    • reveries says:

      my grandma can barely figure out how to write an email, the last thing I want her doing is digging around in system preferences even if she’s trying to make a screensaver. I think she just needs an ipad.

  2. Patrick says:

    Doesn’t work.

  3. k says:

    Nope does not work!

  4. ibon says:

    doesn’t work for me either. When I do this, pressing “Choose” silently closes the dialog. No changes, no success or error message, just plain nothing. In particular, no screensaver. Coming from Windows and Linux – is this Apples famous usability (this is not the first place I stumble). And the solution seems to be complicated enough so that there is no solution for half a year now…
    Regards, ibon

  5. […] with the Mac OS X default screen savers? I was too, sure you can make your own screensaver out of pictures but I wanted something more than that. Here are six random and free screen savers for Mac OS X: a […]

  6. Alberto says:

    It works perfectly and has always worked for me with any version of OsX that support this feature.

  7. […] backgrounds to use this with are the image based screensavers like Beach or Forest, or you can create one with your own pictures, the effect is a moving background that pans and uses the “Ken Burns” effect over the […]

  8. […] can also gather collections of images manually, place them into a folder, and create a custom screen saver that way. stLight.options({ publisher:'fe5e0a84-1fac-40de-8014-9f89fc1cbe6a' […]

  9. […] worth mentioning, you can still make your own by selecting any specified folder as the screensavers image source, but in Mountain Lion you can no […]

  10. […] all of Apple’s provided image-based screen savers in OS X, and perhaps much more usefully, in screen savers you make yourself out of photo collections stored in Finder folders or iPhoto albums. For use as a slideshow, this is […]

  11. […] go with an iPhone, without ever having to manually copy pictures over to the computer or set them into folders like the old fashioned […]

  12. Tammy says:

    I have 10.10.3, and have neither the +\- buttons or the ‘source’ selection either? Is this just too new or is there a way to fix?

  13. Amanda says:

    Thank you – spent hours searching for this answer – Finally someone answered the question decently in a way that works!

  14. Dan says:

    Does not work with 10.13.4 Mac Air. There is no add choice.

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad