How to use your Mac Photos library as the screen saver

Discover how to set any photo or album from your Photos library as your Mac’s screen saver, and keep your favorite images cycling through the screen periodically.

Photos Library screen saver on iMac

I have thousands and thousands of photos on my Mac that I rarely get to look at. Every once in a while, I’ll go into the Mac’s Photos app to back up my iPhone photos locally and start looking through past images, but that’s a rare occurrence.

I’ve realized that one way to put these thousands of images to good use is to actually use them as my screen saver. I’m aware that most iDB readers know how to do that, but I thought I’d still share the tip. Whether you already know how to set up your photo library as a screen saver or not, this post might just be a good reminder that you can actually do that and get to enjoy your photos in a very passive way.

How to use pictures in the Photos app as the screen saver on your Mac

1) In your Mac menu bar, click the Apple icon  and go to System Settings on macOS Ventura and later.

2) Select Screen Saver.

3) Choose one of the top twelve screen saver styles, like Floating, Flip-up, Reflections, Shifting Tiles, Photo Wall, Ken Burns, Classic, etc.

4) Click Options.

Select a screen saver style on Mac and click Options

5) Now, click the drop-down menu next to Source and select Photo Library.

6) You can click the tiny arrows next to People, Albums, or Shared and pick an individual person or album. You can also choose to display only your favorite images as the screen saver. But I like to go with my entire library, which includes all photo albums, and to do that, select Photos from the top and hit Choose.

Select all Photos as your Mac screen saver

7) You can show the images in order or shuffle randomly through them by checking the box for Shuffle slide order.

8) Finally, click OK.

Shuffle slide order photos as screen saver on Mac

Note: On older versions of macOS, go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Screen Saver tab > Source > Photo Library and select Photos.

From now, when the screen saver starts, it will show the pictures from your macOS Photos app. You can also click the Preview button in System Settings to get a glimpse of how your screen saver will look on the monitor.

To decide when the screen saver auto starts, go to System Settings > Lock Screen and pick a time for Start Screen Saver when inactive.

Start Mac Screen Saver when inactive for 10 minutes

Another good idea is to configure Hot Corner to start the screen saver on your Mac. Doing this, the screen saver will automatically start showing when you drag the mouse pointer to that corner of your Mac’s screen.

My screen saver is set to start after 10 minutes of inactivity. I must admit that on more than one occasion, I just sat at my desk looking at the pictures going through my screen saver. As I said, it’s a very passive way to look at some old and recent pictures.

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