Trio of Friends Create Missing macOS Wallpaper of Monterey Landscape

Apple bucked a trend when it unveiled macOS Monterey in June featuring an abstract wallpaper graphic, breaking an eight-year tradition of using a photo of the natural landscape that inspired the latest Calfornia-themed version name.

macos monterey
This change came as a shock to YouTuber and photographer Andrew Levitt and his friends Jacob Phillips and Taylor Gray, whom together have made recreating macOS wallpapers something of a tradition.

Once the trio of friends had come to terms with the new abstract wallpaper, they concluded that it was supposed to represent Monterey Canyon, which is deep underwater and impossible to photograph. So, instead they decided to create their own Monterey landscape, but finding the right shot came with its own problems, as their intrepid video diary explains.

After several false starts, the group eventually found an ideal location – Lone Cypress on Pebble Beach – and, using time-lapse photography, were able to create a not only a still image but also a dynamic wallpaper that changes according to the time of day.

macOS Monterey missing wallpaper

"Missing" Monterey Dynamic Wallpaper

They have since made both the still shot and the dynamic version available to download. The following steps explain how to install the dynamic version of the Monterey wallpaper.

  1. Click the Apple symbol in the menu bar and select System Preferences....
  2. Click Desktop & Screen Saver in the preferences pane.
    sys prefs

  3. Select one of the official wallpapers that come with macOS, such as "Catalina," "Big Sur," or "Monterey Graphic," and set it to Dynamic.
    2add macos dynamic wallpaper

  4. Open a Finder window and navigate to the "macOS Monterey.heic" wallpaper you downloaded.
  5. Right-click (or Ctrl-click) on the file and select Services -> Set Desktop Picture from the contextual menu.

Follow the creators on Instagram: Andrew Levitt, Jacob Phillips, and Taylor Gray.

Related Forum: macOS Monterey

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Top Rated Comments

jrath1 Avatar
33 months ago
I'll only use the default desktop picture provided by Apple with each Mac OS release. I'm sure Apple went through millions of desktop pictures before choosing one.

Who am I to decide to go against Apple.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ScreenSavers Avatar
33 months ago
Looks great on my iMac at my desk. I'm not really a fan of the bright abstract wallpapers.

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Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
33 months ago
Wow! Nice job. Looks like they went all out. Craig is very big on when it comes to the wallpapers. I’m sure he will be very happy with this.

Apple why don’t you hire them? We need more wallpapers for Mac OS and IOS, please!

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Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mikzn Avatar
33 months ago
Cool - looks good - better than the abstract IMHO

I kept expecting it every time I updated - but it never came
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rjohnstone Avatar
33 months ago

Looks like the link for the dynamic version is broken. I keep receiving a 404 error.


Bottom of the page. ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wilberforce Avatar
33 months ago
This is what Monterey actually looks like. Fog.

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Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)