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I have performed an upgrade to the latest Snow Leopard and now to Mountain Lion (10.8.1). Post upgrade my desktop background isn't no longer changing. The background will not change when I try and select a different background via system preferences. Even if I reset it to the default background the same behavior persists. My system has exhibited this problem for almost 7 months now, I have this ugly plain blue background I cannot look at any more. Can anyone offer a solution that might resolve this?

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This won't fix the problem, but try this to see if it works. Save a picture to your desktop and then either two-finger tap it or right-click it (whichever fits your input mechanism) and select "Set Desktop Picture" to see if that will at least give you a new image to look at. –  Zrb0529 Aug 27 '12 at 23:18
    
Also try to use Repair disk permissions on your boot hard drive using Disk Utility. –  Ricardo Sánchez-Sáez Aug 16 '13 at 14:54
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4 Answers 4

Try deleting /Users/username/Library/Preferences/com.apple.desktop.plist

Then, empty your trash and reboot. This file stores the preferences for desktop wallpaper and deleting it will give you a clean slate. Your system should default to the standard Mountain Lion wallpaper.

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Open Terminal (Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app) and paste this command

rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Desktop.plist

press 'return' on the keyboard.

Log out, log back in again. Change the wallpaper to what you want. Log out, log back in once more to test.

Any improvement?

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This may well solve the issue the poster is having - but can you write a bit about the solution you suggest? –  Scot Aug 16 '13 at 16:22
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Note that you have to delete the com.apple.desktop.plist file as another user. Otherwise, the original settings will be restored from cache.

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By any chance have you performed a repair permissions using disk utility lately? Perhaps there is a problem with the OS accessing the files it needs.

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