You want to set a new Mac wallpaper and look through the desktop backgrounds of macOS; But not in the small preview of the “Desktop & Screensaver” setting? Then you can simply call up the folder with the desktop backgrounds of your Apple computer in the Finder in order to use the Quick Look or the preview in a larger format from there. You can also use the pre-installed macOS wallpapers as images, for example to use them on your Windows PC, smartphone or tablet. But where are the Mac wallpapers stored? I'll show you in this guide! ;)
Chapter in this post:
Find the folder of the desktop backgrounds of macOS: Here's how!
I tested the following method to find Apple Mac desktop wallpapers on macOS 10.13 High Sierra. But it should at least work on 10.12 Sierra and 10.14 Mojave. You will also find in the so-called Finderfolder also the desktop backgrounds of earlier Mac OS X versions such as Lion, Yosemite, El Capitan and Co.
And this is how you get to the background images:
- Opens the Finder, e.g. via the dock
- Click in the menu bar Go to
- Now select in this menu Go to the folder ... from
- Enter in the search field that opens / Library / Desktop Pictures and click on to open (from macOS 13 Adventure you use the path /System/Library/Desktop Pictures)
- Et voilà, there are the desktop backgrounds from macOS
You can also call up the "Go to folder ..." search field in the Finder using a keyboard shortcut. To do this, simply open the Finder and then press at the same time: Shift + cmd + g. Then enter the path given above and click on "Open" or press Enter.
Resolution of the current wallpaper in pixels
I wanted to create some wallpapers for current Macs in the next few days and was therefore interested in the resolution of the wallpapers in macOS Monterey (my current system). The images that I found in the folder there have a resolution of 5120 x 2880 pixels. However, the 6K Apple Pro Display XDR has a resolution of 6016 x 3384 pixels. That's why I would prefer to choose the higher resolution as the base value. So you should be on the safe side for the next 2 or 3 years.
macOS wallpapers from Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan and Co.
During my little test of the above procedure, I found numerous desktop backgrounds from different macOS and Mac OS X versions in the destination folder. Among them were, of course, the mountains of Sierra, El Capitan and Yosemite, which were lit by the morning sun. But also a lion and an elephant as well as the earth and the moon, abstract shapes, water and waves as well as the striking color burst can be found along with other graphics in the desktop background folder of the Mac, iMac and MacBook from Apple.
Apple Retina display: Tips against burning in images (image shadows)
macOS 10.14 Mojave with Dynamic Desktop
Some old Apple desktop backgrounds can also be found under Mojave in the wallpaper folder, but these have not necessarily been modernized for the Dynamic Desktop. Mojave is the first Mac operating system to offer the function for desktop backgrounds that change according to the time of day or the position of the sun. You can see whether a macOS wallpaper for the desk supports the Dynamic Desktop feature in the "Desk & Screensaver" settings (right click on the desk and then "Change desktop background ..."). There the selectable images are arranged according to normal and dynamic desk backgrounds. With the latter, you can set whether they should change continuously or act depending on the dark mode or the light mode.
Have fun discovering and trying out! : D
Mojave and Upgrade on Apple.com: Here
[On vacation] After graduating from high school, Johannes completed training as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which led to his independence. He has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others, for several years now. His articles include product introductions, news, instructions, video games, consoles and much more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.