How to Put a Picture on the Desktop in OS X Mavericks

By Bob LeVitus

One of the ways OS X Mavericks allows you to customize your Mac is by choosing your Desktop’s background. You can choose any picture you like, for example a portrait of a dog.


Here’s how you can change your Desktop picture if you care to:

  1. From the Desktop, choose app→System Preferences.

    Or Control-click the Desktop and choose Change Desktop Background from the contextual menu, and skip to Step 3.

    The System Preferences window appears.


  2. Click the Desktop & Screen Saver icon.

    When the Desktop & Screen Saver pane appears, click the Desktop tab if it’s not selected already,.


  3. Click a folder in the column on the left and then click a picture in the area on the right.

    In this case a picture called Elephant was clicked, one of the items in the Desktop Pictures folder.

You have at least three other ways to change your Desktop picture:

  • Drag a picture file from the Finder onto the image well (the little rectangular picture to the left of the picture’s name).

  • Choose the Pictures Folder in the list of folders on the left side of the Desktop & Screen Saver Preference pane and then choose a folder by using the standard Open File dialog. That folder then appears in the list; you can use any picture files it contains for your Desktop picture.

  • Click one of the iPhoto or Aperture items in the column on the left side of the Desktop & Screen Saver Preference pane.