Change the Desktop Wallpaper Automatically in Mac OS X
Can’t decide which wallpaper to use as your desktop background? Me neither. Fortunately there’s a setting in Mac OS X that causes the desktop picture to change itself automatically at a user selected time interval, ranging from every 5 seconds to once a day or upon system wake.
Essentially this means your wallpaper will change itself on a set schedule, so you’ll never be stuck with the same image. You can use this to rotate through wallpaper pictures, or if you get creative, to make some pretty interesting desktop background effects, like changing colors, or going from a black and white picture to a colorized version, and so forth.
How to Set Automatically Changing Wallpapers in Mac OS X
- Open “System Preferences” from the Apple menu
- Click on “Desktop & Screen Saver”
- Go to “Desktop” tab, then click the checkbox next to “Change picture” and set the time interval, the default is a new background every 30 minutes
- Select “Random order” as well for best results
Whatever your background picture was set to will be changed immediately, and then it will change again at the time interval you selected.
If you need help finding some cool wallpapers, we’ve got plenty here.
Changing every 5 seconds can be a bit neurotic, but if you have enough similarly themed wallpapers to go with, it can create a feeling similar to the living desktops of Android fame.
This feature exists in nearly every version of OS X ever to exist, so it doesn’t matter what’s running on the Mac, it will be there for you to use if you want to have the active wallpapers like this.
Another option is to use a free app like Wallpaper Wizard Lite, which will automatically download new desktop pictures in addition to changing them for you.