How to use photo albums as desktop wallpapers

By , Mar 1, 2016

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One of the best things about Photos for Mac is that all the photos and albums which you added to your Photos library are readily available in any third-party app which support OS X’s built-in media browser.

For instance, using a photo of your significant other as a backdrop for an anniversary card template in Pages is as easy as dragging it out of the media browser window and dropping it onto the document.

In Photos, you can also set any picture as your wallpaper via the Share menu.

Additionally, your Mac lets you easily set any batch of photos found in Photos’ Moments, Collections, Years, Places, Faces, Albums and Shared as your wallpaper, and have them rotate in sequential or random order every few seconds, minutes or longer.

How to use photo albums as desktop wallpapers

1) Launch System Preferences by clicking its Dock icon, or search for “system preferences” in Spotlight.

2) Click the Desktop and Screen Saver preference pane and select the Desktop tab.

3) In the lefthand section, you will notice a section headlined as Photos. Click the triangle to reveal additional options.

OS X El Capitan System Preferences Desktop Wallpaper select Photos album Mac screenshot 001

4) Select a Moment, Collection, Year, Place, Face, Album or a Shared iCloud album to use as your Mac’s wallpaper.

5) To choose how the photos are scaled down or enlarged to fit the screen, click the pop-up menu above and select Fill Screen, Fit to Screen, Stretch to Fill Screen, Center or Tile option.

OS X El Capitan System Preferences Desktop Wallpaper screen filling options Mac screenshot 002

6) To have OS X automatically rotate your wallpaper image based on the selected Photos album, tick the box next to “Change picture”, and then click the pop-up menu to select the duration between images: Every 5 seconds, Every minute, Every 15 minutes, Every 30 minutes, Every hour and Every day.

OS X El Capitan System Preferences Desktop Wallpaper rotation options Mac screenshot 003

It’s especially nice that you can tell OS X to rotate your wallpaper image each time you log in to the Mac or your computer wakes from sleep. Combined together, these options bring a lot of variety to the look and feel of your Mac’s desktop.

RELATED: How to set an image in Photos for Mac as your desktop wallpaper

As you can see, the Desktop and Screen Saver preference pane also sports an option to use a folder on the Mac that’s filled with pictures as your desktop wallpaper.

RELATED: How to export untouched images from Photos for Mac in their original format

Setting a Photos album as a screen saver for your Apple TV

Moreover, Apple TV owners can create a screen saver with photos from their Mac by setting up the Home Sharing feature both in desktop iTunes and on the set-top box.

Home Sharing sign in iTunes Mac screenshot 003

Next, you must go to iTunes → File → Home Sharing → Choose Photos to Share with Apple TV, tick the box next to “Share Photos from” and select a Photos album in the pop-up menu, or select a custom folder with photos on your computer.

Your Apple TV will now download the photo folder to its storage and use the images for the screen saver shown on your big screen TV.

RELATED: How to set up Apple TV screen saver with photos from your computer

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    How stupid is this??? So easy a child could do this!! Oh i forgot is apple lol apple supports terrorism Tim Cook your a dead man!! He he

  • Gary le

    Can i use pics from flickr as wallpapers AND have them rotate every few minutes too? If so how?