Set and adjust dynamic wallpapers for macOS


The more natural the control of a computer feels, the nicer it stays for the user. For that reason, Apple has introduced dynamic wallpapers for macOS. Your desktop adjusts itself to the time of day, just like the world that you see outside through the window. The range is somewhat limited, but something can be done about it …

A nice feature of macOS Mojave is the addition of dynamic wallpapers. These are desktop backgrounds that adjust smoothly to the time of day when it comes to lighting. This is a rather complex technique, since this function takes into account, among other things, different time zones, the seasons and even the position of the sun. After all, you don’t want the sun to set on your desktop at noon because it’s set on a California desert photo.

Unfortunately, there are only two dynamic backgrounds in the standard package: a desert landscape and a gradient that Apple has conveniently referred to as “sun tones.” Whoever wants more, in this article we will point the way to extra dynamic wallpapers from third parties and we show how you can easily compose such backgrounds yourself.

You activate the dynamic desktop images by first clicking on the Apple icon in the top left and System Preferences to open. Then select the item Desktop and screen saver. This brings you to a window with two tabs: Desktop and Screen Saver. You choose the first one and in the left column you will find the group Apple / Desktop the set Dynamic desktops. You recognize the dynamic backgrounds because the icons are divided into two halves. On the left side of the icon you see the light half, on the right is the dark half.

Select the desktop that you want. The background will remain static dark or static light if you select the option in this window under the word Mojave Dynamic forget to indicate.


To test the effect of such a desktop, set the computer to a different time. For that you go to the System Preferences and open the part Date and time. You may have to click on the padlock to adjust the settings. In that case you must first enter your password. You then ensure that there is no check mark at the institution Set the date and time automatically. And then change the clock setting. Makes you up Save click and you will notice that the background adjusts to the set time.

Download extra dynamic wallpapers

There are now all kinds of websites where you can download extra dynamic backgrounds. On the website Dynwallsyou will find six of them at the time of writing. Four are intended for lovers of space photos, the other two are cityscapes. On Jetson Creative you get a lot of 24-hour views: an animation from the International Space Station and a view of the Sierra Nevada, for example.

Jetson Creative is also the developer of the tool 24 Hour Wallpaper, an application for using dynamic wallpapers on operating systems older than Mojave. In the gallery of Dynamic Wallpaper Club are various creations that members have made themselves. Some are very creative, others are not that great. Yet this is the website that currently has the most dynamic backgrounds.

Dynamic background

Download the heic files that you are interested in and place them somewhere on the hard disk in a folder that gives you a name such as “Dynamic Wallpapers”. To install such a dynamic desktop image, go to System Preferences and then to Desktop and screen saver. Then click on the plus sign in the bottom left corner, then you can navigate to the Dynamic Wallpapers folder and add the correct file. Make sure you have the option in this window again Dynamic activates.

On older systems

If your Apple computer is running on an older system than macOS Mojave, then you can use the aforementioned 24 Hour Wallpaper app. 24 Hour Wallpaper supports systems from macOS 10.11 and newer (El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave and Catalina).

This gives you 58 exclusive dynamic backgrounds in 5K resolution from locations such as New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo. 24 Hour Wallpaper can also synchronize with the local time and the sun position. In addition, the app supports multiple monitors.


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