Every major version of
Mac OS X macOS has come with a new default wallpaper. As you can see, I have collected them all here.
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While great in their day, the early wallpapers are now quite small in the world of 5K displays.
If you want to see detailed screenshots of every release of OS X, click here.
If you are looking for Mac OS 9 wallpapers, this page is for you.
Sponsored by Rogue Amoeba
Rogue Amoeba is proud to sponsor the 512 Pixels Wallpaper and Screenshot Library. We’ve been making high-quality native MacOS audio software since this was cutting edge, way back in 2002. If you need to do anything with audio on your Mac, Rogue Amoeba can help.
Visit our site to check out all our great audio utilities.
10.0 Cheetah & 10.1 Puma
The first two releases of Mac OS X shared the same wallpaper. The sweeping blue arcs and curves helped set the tone of the new Aqua interface.
Jaguar took the same Aqua-inspired theme but added some depth and motion to things. In my head, the trails streaking across the screen were from a set of comets.
While Panther inflicted Macs everywhere with Brushed Metal, its wallpaper stayed on brand, refreshing the original 10.0 image.
Many consider Tiger to be the best “classic” version of Mac OS X. While that may or may not be true, it has my favorite Aqua-inspired wallpaper.
Complete with a revised, unified user interface and shiny new Dock, 10.5 broke the Aqua mold. As such, Leopard was the first version of OS X to break from the Aqua-themed wallpaper. It ushered in the “space era” of OS X wallpapers, which was used heavily in the new Time Machine interface as well.
10.6 Snow Leopard
The “no new features” mantra for Snow Leopard didn’t ban a new wallpaper, thankfully. This starscape is still one of my favorites.
10.6 Snow Leopard Server
The server version of Snow Leopard came with its own unique wallpaper that is a real treat:
Lion kept up the space theme, this time showing off the Andromeda galaxy. The space nerd in me likes the idea, but the execution of this one leaves dead-last on my list of favorites.
10.8 Mountain Lion
Just like Snow Leopard before it, with Mountain Lion, Apple opted to clean up and revise the existing theme as opposed to changing directions for what would be a less-impactful release of OS X.
Mavericks marked the beginning of Apple’s “California location” naming scheme for Mac releases. The wave depicted looks as intimidating as the ones in the famous surfing location.
Yosemite brought another UI refresh to the Mac, making things flatter and more modern. The wallpaper ushered in a new era based on … well … mountains.
10.11 El Capitan
Named after a breathtaking spot in Yosemite National Park, El Capitan was a clean-up year after 10.10.
10.13 High Sierra
Even more mountains.
No more mountains! Mojave brought a new system-wide Dark Mode, and the OS shipped with two versions of its default wallpaper to match. Users could even have macOS slowly fade between the two background images over the course of the day.
Download 5K versions:
macOS Catalina brought big changes to the Mac, including the ability to run iPad apps natively, opening the platform up to a much larger number of developers than ever before. Catalina shipped with multiple variants of its default wallpaper, and the ability to shift between them as time progresses throughout the day:
Download 6K versions:
Wallpaper Engine For Macbook
macOS Big Sur
This version of macOS is such a big deal, Apple changed the version number to 11.0. It will be the OS that brings support for Apple Silicon-powered Macs, and features a brand new design.
Download 6K versions:
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Wallpaper Engine For Mac Os
Wallpaper Engine is currently only available on Windows and there are no immediate plans to support other platforms.
Can You Use Wallpaper Engine On Mac
While we definitely understand that users want us to support more operating systems, it is really not a simple task. The core of Wallpaper Engine is a completely custom written software solution and the amount of work involved to fully port it to other platforms is enormous.
Some users might wonder how some games and applications have been seemingly easily ported to Mac and Linux by their developers: The answer to that is that these titles are based on widely used video game engines like Unity or Unreal Engine which do not require the individual developers to do anything significant to add support for more platforms. However, none of this applies when it comes to an end-user application like Wallpaper Engine - since it's an application which interacts closely with the operating system, it really needs to be tailored to each specific operating system to make it work properly. In the case of Linux, it goes even further and must be made to work with every popular display manager which differ significantly between distributions and partially even between releases of distributions.
While all of this would in theory be possible, the simple truth is that it's not economically viable to add support for Linux or Mac OS at this point. If you take a look at the Steam hardware survey, you can see that less than 1% of Steam users use Linux. And again, this is split up even further into different distributions of Linux, mostly Ubuntu which comes in at a mere 0.25% of users.
As explained above, the time needed to port Wallpaper Engine to another operating system is immense and it will also increase the costs of on-going maintenance work significantly, while the possible user group benefiting of this is comparatively tiny. We would much rather focus our time and energy on improving the Windows version for over 96% of Steam users.
However, we are keeping a close eye on the official Steam statistics and if the situation on Steam changes we are definitely open to look into figuring out how we could support more platforms in the future if it becomes viable.