In System PreferencesDesktop & Screen Saver, it's possible to set an interval for changing the desktop wallpaper picture:

However, you are limited to a few specific times:

Is it possible to set a custom time for this interval?

  • I had a look at ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.desktop.plist but that was no help, so I defaults read com.apple.desktop and found this ChangeTime = 1800; when divided by 60 was the interval that mine is set to (30mins). So I'm guessing if you could work out how to write this to the defaults for the desktop, you may be able to find a solution to your answer. Oct 1, 2013 at 1:55
  • You know how to run a apple script from terminal! Than check this site out for samples and customize it. There is a sample with "set change interval to 5.0 -- seconds"
    – Ruskes
    Oct 1, 2013 at 14:20
  • @DanijelJames ChangeTime looks promising, but all instances of ChangeTime are set to 1800 regardless of my setting in System Preferences…
    – grg
    Oct 1, 2013 at 17:47
  • @Buscar웃 Thanks, the AppleScript works! Feel free to give your answer as an answer to this question if you wish for the reputation :)
    – grg
    Oct 1, 2013 at 18:25

1 Answer 1


I found this Apple scripts web page with examples.

There is a line in this script for the change of interval time allowing you to specify it, and you can customize the rest of the script to your needs.

tell application "System Events"
 tell current desktop
 set picture rotation to 1 -- (0=off, 1=interval, 2=login, 3=sleep)
 set random order to true
 set pictures folder to file "Mac OS X:Library:Desktop Pictures:Plants:"
 set change interval to 5.0 -- seconds
 end tell
end tell

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