How to Create a Desktop Slideshow in Mac OS X

By Alexia Petrakos

In Mac OS X, it's always been easy to change your desktop picture, but did you know you can automatically cycle through a series of desktop pictures, just like a slide show? If you get bored easily with one background or if you'd just like to show off your pictures from your last trip to Maui, a few clicks is all it takes to get a slide show on your background, instead of just one image at a time.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple Computer running Mac OS X
  • A few photos

Step 1

Navigate to your root-level "Library" folder and open the "Desktop Pictures" folder. To get to the root-level folder, click on the image of your hard drive in the Finder, usually called "Macintosh HD," and click on "Library."

Step 2

Create a new folder in the "Desktop Pictures" folder and call it "Desktop Slide Show."

Step 3

Select the photographs you want to use and copy them into the new folder created in the previous step. Use the "Copy" and "Paste" functions by right or control-clicking the image. If you just drag the photos, you'll end up moving them out from the original folder.

Step 4

Open the "System Preferences" by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left.

Step 5

Select "Desktop and Screen Saver" in the "Personal" section of the System Preferences.

Step 6

Click the "Desktop" button to go to the Desktop Preferences screen.

Step 7

Select "Choose Folder" and navigate to the "Desktop Pictures" folder you created earlier.

Step 8

Click the "Choose" button.

Step 9

Click the "Change Picture" checkbox on the bottom left of the "Desktop" Preferences window.

Step 10

Choose a duration from the drop-down box next to "Change Picture." You can select any duration from 5 seconds to every day, to when you log in or the computer wakes up.

Step 11

Check the "Random Order" checkbox if you want the photos in random order, otherwise uncheck it to leave the photos in order.

Step 12

Quit System Preferences by hitting the Command (aka Apple) Key and Q.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also use any folder in your iPhoto library. In the left hand scroll box, scroll down to below the bar and the Desktop System Preferences will list all your iPhoto albums.