Not a fan of the abstract macOS Monterey wallpaper? Here’s your landscape fix!

The bright, abstract wallpaper in macOS Monterey breaks Apple’s eight years long tradition of providing high-quality photographs of California-themed landscapes to use as your desktop wallpaper. But don’t worry, here’s that missing Monterey landscape image.

A preview image showing the missing macOS Monterey landscape wallpaper created by Andrew Levitt, Jacob Phillips and Taylor Gray
Click for the full 5K resolution version | Image credit: Andrew Lewitt / YouTube


  • Unlike previous macOS versions, Monterey ships with an abstract wallpaper
  • Three friends have created a dynamic wallpaper of Monterey landscape
  • Prior macOS versions had images of natural landscapes as wallpapers

The missing macOS wallpaper: Monterey landscape

macOS Monterey broke a decade-long tradition of shipping with nature-themed wallpapers. That’s why Andrew Levitt, Jacob Phillips and Taylor Gray took it upon themselves to recreate the default abstract wallpaper in macOS Monterey. In doing so, they had to find the perfect spot to snap up photographs of the Monterey landscape.

From the project’s website:

Apple released an abstract wallpaper that likely represents Monterey Canyon. So we set out to create our own nature wallpaper of Monterey for people to use with their macOS update.

The location they picked for their wallpaper: Lone Cypress on Pebble Beach.

In the past three macOS releases, the wallpapers were dynamic, meaning they change according to the time of day. So after finding a breathtaking view, in true Apple fashion, we camped out all day to photograph the day changing. Because every Mac user deserves to have a nature wallpaper when they upgrade to Monterey.

You can download this wallpaper as either a regular image or a dynamic wallpaper that changes throughout according to the time of day.

We have separate instructions explaining how to set a static image as your Mac wallpaper as well as how to install and use dynamic wallpapers in macOS Big Sur and later.

How to use macOS Monterey dynamic wallpaper

Follow these steps to install the dynamic version of the Monterey landscape wallpaper:

  1. Choose System Preferences from the Dock or the Apple menu.
  2. In the System Preferences window, click the icon labeled Desktop & Screen Saver.
  3. Click any wallpaper underneath the Dynamic heading on the righthand side.
  4. Now open your Mac’s Downloads folder in a new Finder window.
  5. Right-click the downloaded HEIC file and choose Services → Set Desktop Picture.

Alternatively, click the “+” button in the bottom-right corner of the Desktop & Screen Saver preferences window, then locate the folder that holds the downloaded HEIC file and select Choose. Doing so will add any dynamic wallpapers found in the folder to the lefthand sidebar underneath the Folders heading.

Now simply select the folder in the lefthand sidebar to reveal thumbnails of the dynamic wallpapers, then click one to set it as your dynamic desktop.