Skip navigation

mission control - how do I change all my wallpapers

35289 Views 69 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2013 11:35 PM by SandersKY RSS
  • Rod_V Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 26, 2011 1:58 PM (in response to roxtii)

    Thanks roxtii, your workaround works. I do one thing different though, instead of logging out and back in to force the desktop to refresh to the changes made to the wallpaper image, I just use the Killall Dock terminal command.


    Too bad we have to resort to such work arounds to solve a problem created by a change in OS X Lion. This and a few other things in Lion are not enough to force me back to Snow Leopard, but just enough to aggravate my user experience.

  • dissolved Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2011 12:49 PM (in response to Rod_V)

    In addition to this, you can simply change the background of Space 1 through Desktop and Screen Saver, then issue the killall Dock command. This will reset it for all other desktops. Not perfect, but still better than deleting and adding again.

  • vanRijn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU for this little bit of insight. Changing desktop wallpaper for space/desktop 1 and then doing "Killall Dock" is MUCH more elegant (which is really sad to say... really... come on, Apple!) than having to switch to N number of desktops and change the wallpaper once for each. *sigh* I was thinking that maybe there was a plist somewhere that had the wallpaper location for each space, but I can't find it. But at least this is usable. Thanks again! =:)

  • Harry Teasley Calculating status...

    killall Dock on Desktop 1 did not work for me. My other desktops remained unchanged.


    I too have been bothered by this change, and hope for a "Apply to all desktops" button in the Desktop system preference someday in the future.


    The best workaround I have is to assign System Preferences to appear on all spaces. Ctrl-arrow to a space, and it will be there, still open to the desktop pictures preference. You have to click a different image, and then click the one you want, and it will set the image on the new desktop.


    I use six spaces, and it just takes a few seconds.

  • dissolved Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)

    The killall Dock command will only affect those desktops that you didn't set individually. I agree that it's not a great solution. They really need to add a checkbox for "apply to all" as you suggested.

  • vanRijn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Right. I hit this too. I had previously set backgrounds for all my desktops individually. If you "open ~/Library/Preferences/", you'll see that there is more than one Background definition. At first I tried to figure out which ones of these elements I could delete, and I failed. =:) I just removed ~/Library/Preferences/, rebooted (probably could do something simpler here like "Killall Dock" or just logging out and logging back in again). Then I set the background for my first desktop, then did "Killall Dock" and saw that my background now appeared correctly on all desktops. Would really be nice for an "apply to all desktops" checkbox, though, totally agree.

  • Burgee67 Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 8, 2011 11:34 PM (in response to atlaz)

    click and hold on Sys Preferences, Options then click on "All Desktops". Make sure you do it on the one with the background yo prefer.

  • dissolved Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)

    Could you elaborate, please? I'm not clear on what you're referring to.

  • jbkendall Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 5:22 AM (in response to atlaz)

    you can change them all fairly quickly by opening system preferences, selecting the picture you want for your background in that specific space, then clicking ctrl+(space number) while dragging system preferences pane, once in the next space, simply select another picture, then reselect the picture you actually want for your background. repeat for all spaces. no deleting, or terminal commands. (this took me less than 30 seconds to do 6 spaces)

  • jbkendall Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2011 5:35 AM (in response to atlaz)

    i'm well aware of the missing funtionality, just offering another simple work around. =]

  • Rod_V Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    With all do respect, I personally have tried your described process and it takes me way too long. Also, using verbs like "quickly" and "simply" doesn't necessarly make it so.

  • Bronco Nation Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 16, 2011 2:02 AM (in response to atlaz)

    The Killall Dock Terminal command is the correct way.  I think from a Lion perspective that having the same desktop wallpaper for each desktop created is not the intent.  The idea behind the separte desktops is to give them a uniqueness.  I agree the option should be there, but I am sure this question has been raised in development and Apple simply thought it was the right way.  Maybe a new build will address the issue, but I suspect 10.8 would be where this one gets a second look.

  • sungyle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    All I want to say is, sorry, my feelings are getting in my way.  I have nightmares in which I saw young kids rewriting all the Apple software after the original Apple programmers retired.  And these kids have no idea that grandpa paid for all the Apple computers and would like to use it grandpa's way.  No respect. 


    It is so simple:  Let Steve Jobs throw down a thunderbolt. "Put options in the software."  Sure, the kids are creative, daring, want new things.  But hey, don't delete the well established functions that professionals who had been using for years to earn a living (to buy things for junior so they can go to college, graduate, get a job at Apple). 


    Give me back my options. I want to have the same wall paper across the board.  I paid for that right.  You can have options to have different wall papers on any desktop.  Go, create your own job. Apple: make that a project. 


    But, at these forums, no Apple staff read or reply.  I am wasting my time.


    So sad.  I will die soon.  But I hope I won't die in disappointment.  Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.

  • TaylorRG91 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2012 12:02 AM (in response to atlaz)

    Mildly annoying, but the best way I have found is to open you desktop prefs and set it on one desktop, then drag the setting window to every desktop and select the picture you want. This way is actually probably the fastest and easiest, but still sorta lame.


    EDIT: didn't realize this had already been said, sorry.

    I do think apple should add a "apply to all desktops" button


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (3)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.