I have just bought myself a new Mac and am finding the new OS a little alien at present. I've just downloaded a new background screen and moved it to the /Library/Desktop Pictures/ folder. However when I go to "System Preferences"->"Desktop&Screen Saver" none of my newly downloaded images are showing up for me to choose a new background image.

Any idea why this is happening as I was told that that folder was the default location where all desktop background images are stored (NB: I do NOT want to leave my newly downloaded images in any other folder but the default one)

1 Answer 1


Rather than /Library/Desktop Pictures/ try ~/Library/Desktop Pictures/
That's where mine seem to be stored.

Mac has 2 [or more] libraries, one for the whole system & one for each user.
The tilde ~ is a shortcut for boot_drive/users/my_name/ - your Home folder.
[Think of it like using %appdata% etc. from the Start menu in Windows]

The /Library folder is hidden by default, but easily accessible.

Quickest way to get to it from the Finder is

  • Cmd ⌘ N for new window
  • Cmd ⌘ Shift G for Go...
  • Copy/paste ~/Library or ~/Library/Desktop Pictures/ in this particular case.

If you find that you need to access it more frequently, there are methods to show it permanently, but I'll leave that for another question.

From discussion, this folder may not exist by default... so here's how to make then add to Desktop & Screen Saver.

  • Open ~/Library then
  • Cmd ⌘ Shift N for New Folder. Name it Desktop Pictures. Drop your intended backgrounds in there.
  • Open System Prefs > Desktop & Screen Saver
  • Drag the new Desktop pictures folder to 'Folders' in the list on the left of Desktop & Screen Saver
  • It should be immediately usable as a source.

enter image description here

  • It appears that although ~/Library is there ~/Library/Desktop Pictures/ isn't. I'm using Maverick on a Macbook Pro. Here is what it shows when I try to go to that location: i.imgur.com/m6pXOT3.png Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 10:54
  • hmm... interesting.. OK, adding to my answer so I can use pics... few ways to do it, this might be easiest.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 11:32

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