I have set my desktop background image to automatically change every 30 minutes.

Most of the time, I have at least 3 Desktops/Spaces open on my MacBook; so sometimes I see the same image on 2 different Spaces.

Apart from increasing the number of images (which may decrease the likeliness of occurrence), what can I do to prevent the same image from being set as background on more than one Space?


The technique mentioned below would work if you do not set the Desktop background from the standard images provided in System Preferences.

  1. Create a directory to hold the desired background images at some convenient location in your Home directory.

  2. Within the created directory, create one directory for each open Space.

  3. Place desired background images in each of the directories for Space. You can ensure that there are no duplicate images between directories.

  4. Go to each Space one-by-one and choose custom directory for background image.

  5. Set the background image for each Space from the respective directory.

Using this approach you can ensure there’s no duplication.

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    It's a novel solution. But I don't know how many desktops I will have at any given time, as they are opened and closed all the time. It would be impractical to manually set background images every time I open a desktop. – Gnoliz May 12 '18 at 6:38
  • Yeah that’s right. That’s my workflow as well. The technique works best when the number of Spaces aren’t changed frequently. – Nimesh Neema May 12 '18 at 6:43
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    I'd ask why you feel the need to create & destroy Spaces all the time. Just set a number higher than you need & stick to it. That way you can actually benefit from being able to pin apps to specific Space numbers & switch to them by key command. – Tetsujin May 12 '18 at 7:54
  • @Tetsujin That seems like a bigger sacrifice than occasionally having the same background image for two desktops. – Gnoliz May 13 '18 at 1:33
  • That must be some new meaning of the word 'sacrifice' of which I was previously unaware. I cannot think of one practical way that creating & destroying Spaces continually is of any benefit whatsoever. – Tetsujin May 13 '18 at 4:59

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