How to Change Wallpaper on MacOS Ventura
Setting your desktop background picture to an image of your choice is an easy and fun way to customize your desktop Mac experience. With MacOS Ventura, how you change the Mac desktop wallpaper has changed a bit, which has led to some confusion for some longtime Mac users. Long gone is the familiar “Desktop & Screen Saver” control panel preferences, instead that preference panel has been split up and renamed to “Wallpaper”, and it’s not immediately visible when opening the text list of System Settings.
Let’s walk through how you can find the appropriate settings panel, and how to change the wallpaper image on the desktop of a Mac running MacOS Ventura 13 or later.
How to Change Desktop Picture Wallpaper on MacOS Ventura
Changing your desktop background picture wallpaper is still easy in MacOS Ventura, but it’s a little different from before:
- Go to the Apple menu and choose “System Settings”
- Scroll down in the left side list, and yes this is a scrollable list despite there being no obvious indicator it is, and click on “Wallpaper”
- Choose from one of the desktop pictures provided by Apple, or add your own by dragging and dropping the image onto the display
- Optionally, scroll all the way down in the Wallpaper settings to add a new folder of images, choose auto-rotate options, and more
- Close out of System Settings when satisifed
That’s how you change the wallpaper background picture in MacOS Ventura.
If you use multiple monitors, or a Mac laptop open with an external display, you can set wallpaper separately for each display, by clicking on the display you wish to customize at the top of the Wallpaper settings, or by dragging and dropping an image onto the display you wish to change.
The prior way to change desktop backgrounds on the Mac in Monterey and earlier has evolved in MacOS Ventura with the newly redesigned System Settings with a renamed and redesigned control panel, and like many things revolving around the revamped system preferences, it has led to a lot of confusion for longtime Mac users.
If you’re looking for more wallpaper options to use, check out our wallpaper posts, where there are plenty of interesting images you can use.
Where can you find the used wallpapers?
Wallpapers shown in the screenshots are the following, available at 3440×1440 resolution.
My Wallpaper setting shows a blank…..nothing there at all. All of the other settings seem to work fine, but Wallpaper is missing in action.
In Step 2 above, you state:
“Scroll down in the left side list, and yes this is a scrollable list despite there being no obvious indicator it is, and click on “Wallpaper” ”
As soon as I click on System Preferences, er, System Settings 🙄 I see the list you’re talking about – with a scroll bar on the right side of the first (left) section.
I think that the only way that you might not see that it’s a scrollable list is if you have Show scroll bar behaviour set to ‘when scrolling’.
But I don’t know that for sure, because I don’t have mine set like that and nor do I see the purpose of it. But that’s my personal choice. So please don’t shoot me for my personal choice.
You are correct. Scrollbars are hidden by default on MacOS, but with a settings change you can make them always visible. This is one of those default settings that can cause a lot of users to completely miss some scrollable content, particularly since sometimes things scroll horizontally, some vertically, and there’s not always rhyme or reason to either.
For MacOS Ventura and newer, showing scrollbars is done through the Appearance settings:
For MacOS Monterey and earlier, back to the very beginning of Mac OS X, the setting is in General instead:
Alternatively, you can bypass steps 1 and 2 by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting Change Wallpaper from the pop-up menu.
Great tip, and yes that’s an even quicker approach to changing wallpaper!