When you make a new virtual desktop from Mission Control the background image is by default the same as your first desktop. Is it possible to have each new virtual desktop use a different (or at least random) image instead?

What I'm not looking for:

I understand I can select "Change picture: [time]" in System Preferences > Desktop & Screensaver, but that is not what I want. I want each virtual desktop to have a different image (when created, not manually) than Desktop 1 that does not change.

Edit: OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks

  • @shub Interesting info, but not what I'm looking for. That changes all the desktops to have the same image. I want each new desktop to have a new background when I create it and then not change after that.
    – Dillon
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 17:11
  • Sorry, I thought the website said it did that but obviously not Commented May 7, 2014 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


The only way that this would be possible would be if one of the options for delay between changing wallpapers to never. When you have multiple desktops and multiple wallpapers they will have different ones but they change. If there is no never option then you might just have to set it to the longest possible or whatever is convienent. Hope this helps!

  • This is a good jumping off point, thank you. All I now need to do is find a way to change the update time to never.
    – Dillon
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 18:22
  • 1
    I have yet to find a way to make it never change so you would have to settle for changing once a day. If you do find a way to make it never change then please post it for the community to see.
    – rcobelli
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 21:43
  • I just found out that this plus checking the box "Random order" comes close enough to what I'm looking for. i.imgur.com/b5GUrXL.gif I guess I'll just have to get used to them changing every 24 hours. Thanks!
    – Dillon
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 21:52

It is easy to set a static background for each desktop:

  1. Create the new desktop.
  2. Control-click (or right-click) on the desktop and select Change Desktop Background... which opens the Desktop system preferences.
  3. Select the picture you want for this desktop.

This will leave the backgrounds for any other desktops alone, so that you can set different pictures for each desktop.

  • I'm looking for the new image to be applied when I create the new desktop, not after.
    – Dillon
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 18:19
  • Correct me when I am wrong but wouldn't this change it for all of them?
    – rcobelli
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 21:41
  • 1
    @Appleguy1999, you would think it would change all of them, but it does not. Commented May 8, 2014 at 1:16
  • Yeah, you are right. I just got a chance to try that.
    – rcobelli
    Commented May 8, 2014 at 3:07

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