I have seen a guide/tip on the internet to make Finder tile it's background by editing ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist however the guide is now outdated and no longer works on Snow Leopard.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about this?

  • I assume you mean a background image that you select for a folder's icon view. Just to clarity, you don't mean the background image that you see when you don't have any windows open ('Desktop')? Mar 12 '11 at 17:10
  • I mean the background image for a Finder window/Folder's icon view. NOT the Desktop background.
    – Joshua
    Mar 12 '11 at 17:16

It can't be done right now. Even if you made a background image in Photoshop the size of your display and used that, you'll find that with certain views (eg narrowed windows), you'll still see the edge of the image.

Someone somewhere just might write an app to do this, and in my opinion it would be popular.

Until then, we're stuck with just colors.

  • That's very true. What do you mean by 'you'll find that with certain views, you'll still see the edge of the image.'? Surely if the image is tiled then you won't see an edge unless of course it's a larger image and in that case there is now way around the problem.
    – Joshua
    Aug 8 '11 at 16:22

Finder provides this functionality in its View Options.

Go to icon view (cmd + 1) and open View Options (cmd + j).

There you may choose between White color, custom color, or a picture.

Select picture, drag and drop your picture there and you're done :)


In order to make the change system-wide, after setting the image you need to click on "Use as Defaults"

  • I believe that only works on a "per folder" basis, not as a default (like the OP suggested), since that value gets stored in the .DS file. Mar 14 '11 at 11:23
  • thank you for your comment. I've updated the answer. cheers ;)
    – nuc
    Mar 14 '11 at 11:38
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    I know that but it does not tile the image!
    – Joshua
    Mar 14 '11 at 16:39

From what I can tell, Snow Leopard did indeed lose the ability to tile the Finder background image.

As an alternative, perhaps you could try creating a new large image composed of the image you want tiled manually. Then this could be used as the Finder background image and it will look tiled.

  • That is an obvious possibility, however for folders such as Applications it would mean having an huge image which would have to be tiled manually. If their was someway to tile an image to a certain size automatically then that would be great.
    – Joshua
    Mar 16 '11 at 16:13

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