Get the Apple TV Space Screen Savers on Mac

Dec 2, 2018 - 5 Comments

Get the space screen savers from Apple TV on Mac

Some absolutely stunning space screen savers exist on the latest Apple TV system software versions, presumably captured from the International Space Station, or perhaps some other satellite. Thanks to a third party effort, you can get those gorgeous space screensavers from the Apple TV on a Mac too, in up to 4k video resolution.


We’ve discussed the fantastic free Aerial screen saver for Mac before, which brings the tvOS screen savers to Mac, but the latest versions of Aerial include a variety of new screen savers, including the space videos we are discussing here.

To be clear, this Aerial screen saver collection includes all of the other Apple TV screen savers for use on a Mac too, but we’re focusing specifically on the newer space screensavers here. Nonetheless there are several dozen other gorgeous high definition videos that come along, which you can use as screen savers as well if you want. But again, we’re focusing on only using the space videos for our purposes in this particular article here.

How to Get Space Screen Savers from Apple TV on Mac

  1. Get the latest version of Aerial screen saver here on Github
  2. Install the screen saver on the Mac manually or by right-clicking the Aerial.saver download then choosing “Open” and approving the installation
  3. From the “Screen Saver” control panel, choose “Aerial” and then select “Screen Saver options”
  4. Customize the screen saver list as desired by checking and unchecking the videos you want to use, the “Space” section is near the bottom of the list but other ISS videos are scattered throughout the list so you may want to browse individually
  5. Customizing the space screen saver for Mac

  6. Adjust other settings as desired, and enjoy the space screen saver

You’ll find that some of the other space videos not falling under the “Space” label for whatever reason are named by the Aerial screensaver as things like ‘Italy to Asia’ or “Korean and Japan Night”, so if you want all of the space screen savers then manually going through and selecting those would be necessary, at least for the time being. That could be a bug or an oversight from the Aerial developer though, so don’t be surprised if the space screensaver grouping changes in a future release of the Aerial screen saver.

Other space screen savers in the Aerial Apple TV screen saver collection

You can configure the screen savers to show the general location of where the videos are taken, and you can hide or show a clock on the screen saver as well as setting a custom message if desired.

Space screen saver on Mac with clock and location label

There are quite a few space videos to use as screen savers, and of varying locations, countries, regions, and continents around Earth, all as seen from space. Below are a handful of still images captured from the gorgeous videos to give you an idea of what some of them look like:

space screen savers on Mac from Apple TV

space screen savers on Mac from Apple TV

space screen savers on Mac from Apple TV

space screen savers on Mac from Apple TV

space screen savers on Mac from Apple TV

space screen savers on Mac from Apple TV

space screen savers on Mac from Apple TV

Note that the Aerial screen saver will stream and cache the videos, and at up to 4k resolution they can be quite large. If you don’t want them to stream, you can use the Aerial screen savers caching feature or you could always download the movie files directly and play the videos as screen savers with SaveHollywood instead.

No matter what screen saver you use on a Mac, it’s almost always a good idea to set the lock screen for Mac screen savers so that waking the Mac from a screen saver or sleep requires a password to authenticate and gain access to the computer. Using the aforementioned screen saver lock in conjunction with the lock screen keystroke in Mac OS and general Filevault disk encryption can help to prevent unauthorized access to your Mac and your data.

Another fun trick that’s worth mentioning is that you can use screen saves as your Mac desktop wallpaper and with a gorgeous screen saver set like the space videos from Apple TV the resulting effect is really quite fancy, but it uses considerable system resources to do so and thus is highly impractical for anything other than eye candy.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Customize, Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

5 Comments

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  1. PaulL says:

    This is amazing! Also didn’t realize that Aerial didn’t self-upgrade. Thank you for posting this.

  2. FarmerBob says:

    The 1.4.6beta5 crashes instantly in Sierra 10.12.6. 1.4.5 works great. Although with 3 monitors, it only plays the videos on one monitor per video card.

    Thank you. Now I can have these in my Sierra partition and not only in Mojavé.

  3. Katbel says:

    Is there any possibility to get the screensavers directly from Apple or from the Apple tv?

  4. Srini says:

    Hows the performance on macbook air?

    • On says:

      It runs on my Retina MacBook Air quite well, you can set it to 1080p resolution as well if you are concerned about frame rate or performance. But it does stream and cache the movie files, which can be substantial.

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