Here’s How To Unlock 43 Amazing Wallpapers Hidden In OS X Mountain Lion

Here’s How To Unlock 43 Amazing Wallpapers Hidden In OS X Mountain Lion

OS X Mountain Lion comes with 35 great wallpapers pre-installed, but what if that’s not enough to satisfy your computer’s cravings for more cosmic landscapes and jaw-dropping scenery straight out of National Geographics? Some of use need more. Like, at least 43 more.

Apple actually includes 43 incredible wallpapers with a 3200×2000 resolution that are hidden inside OS X Mountain Lion. They include stuff like scenery from National Geographics, nature patterns, and cosmic photos from the Hubble telescope. Finding the wallpapers and unlocking them is actually really easy too, here’s how to do it:

  • From the OS X Finder, hit Command+Shift+G to summon Go To Folder and enter the following path exactly: /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.Framework/Versions/A/Resources/Default Collections/
  • Copy the four well-labeled directories “1-National Geographic”, “2-Aerial”, “3-Cosmos”, “4-Nature Patterns” to the Desktop or elsewhere for easy access to the high res images
  • Set them as your wallpaper.

Enjoy!

  • BigLama

    WOOT! got them!! :)
    thanks for the info!
    Now my question is there a way to insert them into the standard wallpaper and screensaver?!

  • Tallest_Skil

    Absolutely gorgeous.

    … But I don’t want 143 megabytes cluttering up a feature that I will never use again for as long as I live because no one uses CRTs anymore. These folders can be safely removed from the ScreenSaver framework and the images stored singly elsewhere, or individually if you don’t want all of them.

    Thanks for pointing out that they were using that much space without our knowledge!

  • Marc Negron

    Ok, COOL! :D Why were these hidden in the first place/

  • August Young

    Absolutely gorgeous.

    … But I don’t want 143 megabytes cluttering up a feature that I will never use again for as long as I live because no one uses CRTs anymore. These folders can be safely removed from the ScreenSaver framework and the images stored singly elsewhere, or individually if you don’t want all of them.

    Thanks for pointing out that they were using that much space without our knowledge!

    THese images are higher resolution than your monitor.. what are you talking about CRT for?

  • iPear

    @BigLama
    Sure. Open “/Library/Desktop Pictures” and insert them in the folder you like (I recommend “Nature” or “Plants”).
    I think your Library is hidden in Mountain Lion, so you should use Command+Shift+G for the “Go to folder” window as described in this article.
    Have fun!

  • Tallest_Skil

    THese images are higher resolution than your monitor…

    Yes, and? That’s what makes them take up so much space, which is the point I’m making. For a feature that should not be used on the staggering majority of computers sold this side of the millennium, they’re certainly wasting a lot of space on it.

    what are you talking about CRT for?

    Screensavers should only be used on CRTs, as they do nothing but waste the backlight lifespan on LCDs. Hence these 143 megabytes of photographs in the screensavers folder are pretty much dead weight in the OS.

  • frostymfx

    @BigLama
    Sure. Open “/Library/Desktop Pictures” and insert them in the folder you like (I recommend “Nature” or “Plants”).
    I think your Library is hidden in Mountain Lion, so you should use Command+Shift+G for the “Go to folder” window as described in this article.
    Have fun!

    You can also add the folders here MacintoshHD/Library/Desktop Pictures
    if you wish by selecting the + button and navagating to the location where you have put your folders

  • frostymfx

    @BigLama
    Sure. Open “/Library/Desktop Pictures” and insert them in the folder you like (I recommend “Nature” or “Plants”).
    I think your Library is hidden in Mountain Lion, so you should use Command+Shift+G for the “Go to folder” window as described in this article.
    Have fun!

    You can also add the folders here MacintoshHD/Library/Desktop Pictures
    if you wish by selecting the + button and navagating to the location where you have put your folders

  • haakon

    One could also enter the following in a shell (Terminal)

    ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.Framework/Versions/A/Resources/Default\ Collections/ ~/Pictures/Wallpapers

    That creates a symbolic link in the current users Pictures folder to where the images are located. It saves space and in the event Apple adds more images there will be no need to repeat.

  • jplox

    Amazing.. thank you for the instructions… they worked out really good!

  • Rohan Prabhu

    man I was hoping one of the natgeo images would be of a mountain lion. apple not including a cat in its wallpaper is totally messing up my theme of having a different OS cat on every virtual desktop

  • vic
    THese images are higher resolution than your monitor…

    Yes, and? That’s what makes them take up so much space, which is the point I’m making. For a feature that should not be used on the staggering majority of computers sold this side of the millennium, they’re certainly wasting a lot of space on it.

    what are you talking about CRT for?

    Screensavers should only be used on CRTs, as they do nothing but waste the backlight lifespan on LCDs. Hence these 143 megabytes of photographs in the screensavers folder are pretty much dead weight in the OS.

    But the article is quite clear that these are WALLPAPERS, not SCREENSAVERS. Please explain how the choice of a wallpaper affects the “backlight lifespan on LCDs”. Or do you use a fullscreen terminal window on your Mac? If so, why aren’t you using a VT100?

  • Tallest_Skil

    But the article is quite clear that these are WALLPAPERS, not SCREENSAVERS.

    Please read the actual story.

  • vic
    But the article is quite clear that these are WALLPAPERS, not SCREENSAVERS.

    Please read the actual story.

    Yes? I assume you were talking to yourself, since the article says, starting with the headline:

    1. Here’s How To Unlock 43 Amazing Wallpapers Hidden In OS X Mountain Lion
    2. OS X Mountain Lion comes with 35 great wallpapers pre-installed
    3. Apple actually includes 43 incredible wallpapers with a 3200×2000 resolution that are hidden inside OS X Mountain Lion
    4. Finding the wallpapers and unlocking them is actually really easy too
    5. Set them as your wallpaper

    The only reference to “screensaver” is in the path to the files:

    /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.Framework/Versions/A/Resources/Default Collections/

    So the article was about using the images as a desktop background (wallpaper), not as a screen saver. Admittedly, Apple is providing them for “screen savers”, but that, and thus your complaint about them being only appropriate for CRTs, is due to the historic use of the term. Maybe the System Preferences should be renamed to “pretty stuff which my screen displays when I’m away and haven’t yet turned off the computer” and then your complaint about screen savers and CRTs would be moot.

  • Tallest_Skil

    The only reference to “screensaver” is in the path to the files:

    And if you had actually read any of my posts, you’d know that was the point I was making.

    I’m not going to explain it again. Go read the article, go read what I’ve written. Heaven’s sake.

  • Cgs101

    So why are they hidden?

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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