Changing Your Mac’s Desktop Background

It’s very easy to change the desktop image — or “wallpaper” — of your Mac. Choose one of the beautiful backgrounds that come with every Mac, or use one of your own photos as a background.

To get started, go to the Apple menu in the top left corner of your Mac’s screen. From the menu, choose “System Preferences”. A new window appears with lots of different icons. Click the one that says “Desktop and Screen Saver”.

System Preferences with Desktop and Screensaver circled

A new window appears. It has two “tabs”. Make sure that the one called “Desktop” is selected.

Two tabs: desktop and screen saver

No you will see a full list of all the background images that are already on your Mac. These have been specially selected to look great on your Mac screens. Just click one to choose it as your background.

Desktop images

If you like, you can of course choose your own background image. In the bottom left corner of the System Preferences window, click the plus symbol. Now, find the image on your hard drive that you would like to use. Select it and press “choose”. That’s it – that photo is now your background.

When you’re done, just press the red dot in the top left corner of the window to close System Preferences and continue to use your Mac.

How can this article be improved? Send us your feedback!

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Mac OS X Guide

Changing icons

Looking for fun new ways of making your Mac more personal? If you want, you can replace the icons of any application on your Mac.

Mac OS X Guide

Creating a Guest Login

Guest logins is a convenient and secure way of letting friends (or strangers) use your Mac without letting them access your personal files.

Mac OS X Guide

System Preferences

Your Mac is full of settings that will help you configure it to better suit your needs. Just click System Preferences to get started.

Mac OS X Guide

Right-clicking

Macs doesn't have right click buttons, something that often confuses new “switchers”. Instead, it has the right-click which work similarly.