Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We are trying to set up multiple user accounts on a Mac and wish to have all the users' desktop wallpaper to be single colored (such as aqua blue). It can be done manually but I would like to know if there is a way or script out there so that when a new user is created in "Users & Groups," the default wall paper in that account will be automatically set to a single color.

Thank you.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The only way I know how is to modify the System's "User Template". Here's the steps I used to test on Lion.

  1. Use a current account to specify the desktop wallpaper you want. (If you use "Solid Colors" there's a button in the lower right to pick a custom color.
  2. Copy the current account's file to the user template:

    sudo cp ~/Library/Preferences/ /System/Library/User\ Template/Non_localized/Library/Preferences/
share|improve this answer
This solution works great. Thanks. – soca Feb 9 '12 at 5:30

Mac OS X Lion Server has a profile manager that can assist in pushing settings to both new and existing users. Similarly, you can edit whatever localized versions of the default user template as they are stored in /System/Library/User Template. This might be simpler if you prefer to make changes on the machines directly and not bother with setting up a server.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.