Use Your Own iPhoto Or Aperture Images As Desktop Pictures In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

Use Your Own iPhoto Or Aperture Images As Desktop Pictures In Mountain Lion [OS X Tips]

My son got a hold of the iPad

Desktop pictures, or wallpaper, are one way to make your Mac truly your own. Choosing from one of the beautifully rendered images that are provided along with OS X is one way to be sure to impress any passers-by, as well and give you something beautiful to look at as you go about your daily Mac business.

Now, however, Mountain Lion lets you easily use any of your own images from iPhoto (or Aperture) as a Desktop Picture, right within the Desktop & Screensaver preference pane. Here’s how.

Launch System Preferences from the Applications folder, the Dock, or the Apple menu and click on the Desktop & Screensaver icon to bring up the preference pane. Then, click on the Desktop tab at the top to see all the gorgous imagery Apple’s already provided for you to pretty up your Mac’s screen.

Click on the triangle next to the word Apple at the top, however, and you’ll see a section for iPhoto. You may need to expand the iPhoto section by clicking on the triangle next to it. If you have Aperture installed, you’ll see a section for pictures in that program as well.

Now, click on the left column to select images from your Events, Photos, Faces, Places, Last IMport, Last 12 Months, Photo Stream, Flagged, or from any album you’ve created in iPhoto. The images will show up on the right side, just like the Apple ones do when they are selected in this preference pane. Click on the image you want to use and presto! The chosen image will appear as your Desktop picture.

Now you can use all the photos you’ve taken yourself without having to open iPhoto or Aperture, copy the image over to the Desktop, and then drag into the Desktop pictures preference pane. This simplifies things quite a bit.

  • CristiBrehui

    You realize, this has been available since Leopard. I dont know what youre trying to pull here, probably more views. I really liked your articles but I suspect you guys do it more for the clicks and views of your ads, rather than for what being a journalist is all about… dont turn into copy pasters, please!

  • roblef

    You realize, this has been available since Leopard. I dont know what youre trying to pull here, probably more views. I really liked your articles but I suspect you guys do it more for the clicks and views of your ads, rather than for what being a journalist is all about… dont turn into copy pasters, please!

    Actually, Cristi, I write the tips column based on things I don’t know about, or things readers might not know about. While this may have been around since Leopard, the source link, helpfully provided at the bottom, suggests otherwise. That’s why I wrote it the way I did. Also, as for copying and pasting, a quick click through to the source might help you realize that I write all of the tips myself. Honest. No copy pasting here.

  • Timothy Williamson

    Good tip, but definitely not new in Mountain Lion.

    Anyone else have the problem with wallpaper randomly disappearing after being away from the computer for a while? Maybe it has something to do with my dual-monitor setup and it gets confused? This issue has occurred for me since the version before Mountain Lion.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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