Mac OS X / How to set or change your desktop background on apple computers

Learn how to Set or Change your Desktop Background on apple computers

This will be another quick tutorial about how to use Mac OS X. This time I will explain how simple it is to change your DesktopBackground. I don't know why I get requests for this tutorial because it is about the same as Windows. Of course, there maybe people out there that have never used Windows or computers at all. So, for those folks I am doing this small tutorial.

I have created a tutorial about how to change your DesktopBackground with AppleScript. It is just as fast as what this tutorial will teach you. The difference is that, with the Apple Script version, your images are preset. That means you can change "on the fly", sort of.

Just before we get started... As in every tutorial on this site I have to warn you my computer is not set up "standard" I have my Dock on the left side of the screen and I have a "Clear" theme. This should not cause you any problems, you should know where your dock is and you should understand that not every one wants to have "Brushed Metal" as their default theme. If you have any questions, send me a mail through the contact form. Now that we have that out of the way.System Preferences Icon for Tiger


As with my Relaunch Finder without Restarting or Logging Out tutorial there is not much to "Prepare" for. Just have to decide on how to do it. As long as your computer is standard, there are two ways to do this. There is a two click way and a three click way. Here we go...


The Three click way:

In your Dock, there is a System Preferences icon. Click on that.
You should have already been through your System Preferences. There are lots of goodies in there. I can not live without Exposé and I am very happy that I could put the Dock on the left side of my screen. Also, you will see that my System Preferences Overview has some extra stuff at the bottom. I will get to all of that, eventually; got questions about that stuff? Send me a mail through the Request form. So... you have done One click and you are looking at this:System Preferences Icon for Tiger

In the section "Personal", at the top, under the third Icon, you will read "Desktop & Screen Saver", click that now. Now, after two clicks you have a window like this one:Desktop Picture Preferences Icon for Tiger

This is where you chose the image you would like to display. You have a few default options here from Apple. You can also select "Choose Folder". After selecting a folder it will add that folder to your list of options. I like to add a separate folder for my desktop backgrounds. The reason why is just in case I move an image off of my desktop or where ever it was then my desktop stops working the next time I restart finder. You can see here in the image I displayed the there is a folder called desktops in my list. I can easily select an image from there. So now you can just click on the image you would like to display and it will be your Desktop Background. You can now close System Preferences.

That was easy, three clicks and you changed your Desktop Background image.

The Two click way:

 Now this way can be called the quick and easy way, I guess. Get your mouse pointer on to an empty area on your desktop. Now, Right Mouse click, or command(Apple) click on that spot. You will see a little window pop-up that looks a bit like this one:Finder window Right Mouse click

select the option "Change Desktop Background...". You will end up with the same window, as above, to chose the folder and image. Just select the image you planned to have as your Desktop Background Picture and there you go. It should be changed.

As with everything in the Mac world, there are probably a few more ways to do this if so, cool. For this tutorial...

...that was all.

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