Apple in macOS Mojave introduced Dynamic Desktops, which are wallpapers that shift with the time of day, changing the lighting and look of the wallpaper with the progress of the sun across the sky.

For example, in the afternoon, the lighting in the wallpaper is at its peak brightness and the image of the Mojave desert is depicted as it would be if you visited it in the daytime with well-lit sand dunes and a bright blue sky.


At night, the sky in the wallpaper shifts to darker blue to reflect that it's now evening. The shift between daytime and nighttime happens gradually over the course of the day, so you'll see subtle changes each time you look at your Mac's display.

macosmojavedynamicwallpaper
Dynamic Desktop is simple to enable. Here's how:

macosmojavedynamicdesktop

  1. Open up System Preferences.
  2. Choose Desktop & Screensaver.
  3. Select one of the options from the "Dynamic Desktop" section under "Desktop."
  4. Using the dropdown menu underneath the wallpaper's name, make sure "Dynamic" is enabled.

There are two Dynamic Desktop options in macOS Mojave, which work with both Light and Dark Mode.

You can choose between the wallpaper that depicts the Mojave desert and a Solar Gradients wallpaper that shifts from a lighter sky blue in the daytime to a darker twilight blue. Apple is likely to add additional Dynamic Desktop options in the future.

Apple's Dynamic Desktop feature relies on your location to be able to match the lighting of the wallpaper with the lighting outside, so to use it, you will need to have Location Services enabled.

Related Forum: macOS Mojave

Top Rated Comments

macduke Avatar
76 months ago
Hopefully since this is the Mac someone will hack something together to make us able to add our own dynamic wallpapers. I do professional photography and would totally spend all day making a good photo for this.

This would be a neat feature to add to iOS as well. I've always been disappointed that Apple hasn't done more with motion wallpapers beyond the floating dots. The 3D Touch wallpapers have never seemed very useful to me because I never press on them—it would be better if they would just activate an animation when you lift your phone up. I don't need a bunch of cheesy effects but feel like some subtle ones like rain hitting on a window with drops slowly rolling down would be cool.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenc Avatar
76 months ago
About as useful as all the emojis :rolleyes:
You just used an emoji
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
B2k1977 Avatar
76 months ago
About as useful as all the emojis :rolleyes:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Blackstick Avatar
76 months ago
Damn, now I gotta photograph my daughter in the exact same pose in the morning, at high noon and asleep for this to work properly!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
76 months ago
Oh please. Lately their QC has been trash, instead of fixing what needs fixing this is what they come up with? Oh boy can't wait to crack my piggy bank open. I used to be a mac user but in my opinion the last few years the value add for what you spend on a Mac just isn't there anymore. The machines and software are not what they used to be. No one seems to want to admit that, instead everyone ooohs and ahhs over features like this that pose no real benefit to the user. Seems the new Apple mantra is form over function. Rather than try to be witty and insult me, change my mind... I dare you.
No matter how true this is, how is it remotely relevant? Are you going to complain in every single macOS-related post about how Apple could have set their priorities differently? Do you believe the team who developed dynamic desktop pictures would be a good team to instead improve QC?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MobiusStrip Avatar
76 months ago
Great to see Apple wasting resources on this junk instead of fixing age-old defects. Gee, I sure hope there’s some kind of “touch bar” support for this. That’ll be as useful as rubbing two turds together.

Where’s the big ground-up rewrite of Finder we were promised years ago?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
6chatgpt mac app

5 Reasons to Use OpenAI's ChatGPT App for Mac

Thursday May 23, 2024 6:07 am PDT by
On May 13, OpenAI during its Spring Update announced that it would be releasing a desktop ChatGPT app for the Mac in the "coming weeks," and said that ahead of a wider launch it had started rolling out the app to some ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. After testing the app for a few days, we thought it was worth sharing some reasons why...
macOS 15 Feature

macOS 15 System Settings to Get Design Overhaul

Thursday May 23, 2024 12:51 pm PDT by
With the macOS 15 update that is set to debut at WWDC in June, Apple plans to rearrange "menus and app UIs," according to a report from AppleInsider. The System Settings app, which was last updated with macOS Ventura, will get one of the biggest updates. With macOS Ventura, Apple renamed the System Preferences app to System Settings, introducing a design similar to the Settings app on the...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...