How to Change the Desktop Background Picture on Your Mac

How to Change the Desktop Background Picture on Your Mac - MMFI

Want to add a cool picture to your Mac desktop? This quick guide will show you how to change the desktop background picture on your Mac.

Sometimes, an attractive picture on your Mac desktop can add more value than just looking pretty. It can be a source of inspiration, or it can help you stay focused on some key project. Thankfully, setting a custom wallpaper to your Mac desktop is not a complicated task. And it works pretty much the same on any version of Mac OS.


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In this guide, we’ll show you 3 different ways in which you can change the Mac desktop background. In the first approach, we’ll use an image file we have on our Mac desktop or anywhere else in the Finder. Next, we’ll use the System Preferences to change the cover. Lastly, we’ll show you how to use an image you found on the Safari browser as your desktop background. Let’s get started.

How to Change the Desktop Background Picture on Your Mac

In this approach, we’ll use a picture file that we saved on the Desktop.

1. Using the Mac OS X Finder, let’s navigate to the picture we want to use as the desktop background. (In this case, its on the desktop)


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2. Right-click the image and in the contextual menu that opens up, scroll down and select Services->Set Desktop Picture.

How to Change the Desktop Background Picture on Your Mac

That was easy, wasn’t it? Let’s try the second approach now.

How to Change the Mac Wallpaper Using System Preferences

If you want to use one of Apple’s default wallpapers, or if you want to pick a desktop background from a folder, you can use this approach. Mac OS X has a lot of great looking wallpapers to choose from. If you are tempted to use them, here’s how you do it.

1. From the Apple menu at the bottom of the desktop, select System Preferences.

2. Click the Desktop & Screen Saver icon.

Desktop and Screen Saver Options

3. In the Desktop & Screen Saver window, select a picture of your choice:

How to Change the Mac Wallpaper Using System Preferences

a. On the left pane, in the Apple section, click Desktop Pictures. Then select an image from the collection on the right pane. You will instantly see the image applied to the desktop background.

b. On the left pane, in the Apple section, click Solid Colors on the left pane and take your pick from the solid colors highlighted. You can also click Custom Color at the bottom of the window and choose another solid color of your choice from the color palette.

c. On the left pane, in the Folders section, click Pictures and choose a picture you saved in your Picture library.

d. On the left pane, in the Folders section, click Downloads and choose a picture you downloaded to your Mac.

How to Set Mac Desktop Wallpaper from Pictures on the Web

If you chanced upon a stunning image on the web, while browsing on Safari, and you want to add that picture to your desktop, you can use this approach. Its by the easiest way to change the desktop background picture on your Mac.

1. Right-click the picture and choose to Use as Desktop Picture.

How to Set Mac Desktop Wallpaper from Pictures on the Web

Unlike other browsers that require you to save the image on your local system before adding them as a desktop background Safari offers a built-in functionality that lets you add a picture by a single right-click action.


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So these are the 3 different ways in which you can change the desktop background picture on your Mac. And they’re so easy to do, you can quickly change backgrounds whenever you want to.

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Written by Adeline Gear

Hi! I’m Adeline Gear, content creator at Maqmodo.com. When I do manage to pull myself away from all my favorite gadgets and apps, I unwind in my terrace garden that has the prettiest flowers in the neighborhood. That’s until the mosquitoes chase me back in! La Vita è Bella!