macOS Big Sur on MacBook ProSource: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore

Changing your desktop background or screen saver is a nice, easy way to give your Mac a more personal touch. Some people even like to move beyond Apple's built-in crop of backgrounds and use their own collections.

Here's how to spice up your Mac on macOS Big Sur or previous macOS versions by changing the desktop or screensaver.

How to pick a built-in desktop image

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Dock or by clicking the Apple button on the top left of your screen. Alternatively, right-click on your current desktop image and select Change Desktop Background.
  2. Click Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Choose the Desktop tab.

    To pick a built-in desktop image, go into System Preferences, then click Desktop & Screen Saver. Choose the Desktop tab. Source: iMore

  4. Select Desktop Pictures under the Apple menu in the sidebar.
  5. Click a desktop image under Desktop Pictures.

    "To pick a built-in desktop image, select Desktop Pictures under the Apple menu. Click a desktop image.Source: iMore

How to pick a dynamic desktop image

You can also select a dynamic wallpaper, which will change throughout the day.

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Dock or by clicking the Apple button on the top left of your screen. Alternatively, right-click on your current desktop image and select Change Desktop Background.
  2. Click Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Choose the Desktop tab.

    To pick a built-in desktop image, go into System Preferences, then click Desktop & Screen Saver. Choose the Desktop tab. Source: iMore

  4. Select Desktop Pictures under the Apple menu in the sidebar.
  5. Click a desktop image under the Dynamic Desktop or Light and Dark Desktop section.

    To pick a built-in desktop image, select Desktop Pictures,then choose a desktop image under   the Dynamic Desktop or Light and Dark Desktop section.Source: iMore

How to choose your own picture as your background

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Dock or by clicking the Apple button on the top left of your screen. Alternatively, right-click on your current desktop image and select Change Desktop Background.
  2. Click Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Choose the Desktop tab.

    To pick a built-in desktop image, go into System Preferences, then click Desktop & Screen Saver. Choose the Desktop tab. Source: iMore

  4. Click the + button at the bottom of the sidebar.
  5. Single-click the folder you want to use.

    To choose your own picture as your background, click on the + button, then single-click on the folder you want to use.Source: iMore

  6. Click Choose.
  7. Select on your chosen folder in the sidebar.
  8. Choose an image from that folder.

    To choose your own picture as your background, click Choose, then select your chosen folder. Next, click an image to use.Source: iMore

How to set up rotating backgrounds

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Dock or by clicking the Apple button on the top left of your screen. Alternatively, right-click on your current desktop image and select Change Desktop Background.
  2. Click Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Choose the Desktop tab.

    To pick a built-in desktop image, go into System Preferences, then click Desktop & Screen Saver. Choose the Desktop tab. Source: iMore

  4. Click the folder you'd like your wallpapers to come from.
  5. Check the box next to Change picture.
  6. Click how often you want your wallpaper to change.

    To set up rotating backgrounds, click the folder you want to use, check the box next to Change picture, then choose how often you want the wallpaper to change. Source: iMore

How to set up screen savers

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Dock or by clicking the Apple button on the top left of your screen. Alternatively, right-click on your current desktop image and select Change Desktop Background.
  2. Click Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Click the Screen Saver tab.

    To set up screen savers, go into System Preferences, then click Desktop and Screen Saver. Click the Screen Saver tab.Source: iMore

  4. Click the style of screen saver you want.
  5. Click the source you'd like to use for your screensaver in the Source dropdown menu.

    To set up screen savers, click the style you want, then click on the source. Source: iMore

  6. Click when your screen saver should start.
  7. Toggle where to Show with clock.
  8. Also toggle whether to use a random screen saver.

    To set up screen savers, click when your screen saver should start, toggle where to Show with clock, also toggle whether to use a random screen saver. Source: iMore

How to set up Hot Corners

Hot Corners are customizable shortcuts linked to the corners of your Mac's screen. When you move your cursor to a Hot Corner, the associated action will take place. For instance, you can set your bottom-right corner to activate your screen saver. The following will teach you how to set up Hot Corners of your very own.

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  1. Launch System Preferences from the Dock or by clicking the Apple button on the top left of your screen. Alternatively, right-click on your current desktop image and select Change Desktop Background.
  2. Click Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Click the Screen Saver tab.

    To set up screen savers, go into System Preferences, then click Desktop and Screen Saver. Click the Screen Saver tab.Source: iMore

  4. Click Hot Corners.
  5. Select the associated dropdown menu when you've found the corner you wish to customize.
  6. Choose the action that you want to execute when using that Hot Corner, e.g., Start Screen Saver.
  7. Click OK.

To set up hot corners, click Hot Corners, click the associated dropdown menu, then click the action you want performed. Select OK.Source: iMore

In the market?

Are you looking for a brand new Mac? You'll come to the right place. Please take a look at our favorite iMacs for the year.

Questions?

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about changing the desktop on your Mac.

macOS Big Sur

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