I have a large Photos library with approximately 100+ folders in My Album. I have set System Preferences Desktop to use my complete Photos library as source for wallpaper.
Occasionally I have a desktop wallpaper I would like to find the original Photos picture and folder in My Albums where it is located.

Earlier, in this forum, I found this command:

osascript -e 'tell app "finder" to get posix path of (get desktop picture as alias)'
/Users/snaguru/Pictures/Photos Library.photoslibrary/Masters/2013/09/29/20130929-164330/P1010004.JPG

When I search in Photos for P1010004.JPG I get displayed 16 pictures, none of which is the specific pictures used as wallpaper I am interested in. I have tried to use some parts of this path name to search in Photos but come up with a Not Found response.

Is there a way to find out the exact location in Photos (My Albums and sub-folder/sub-directory) of the original picture used as the wallpaper?

1 Answer 1


Here's a different approach: http://osxdaily.com/2011/11/20/show-the-location-path-of-current-wallpaper-in-mac-os-x/ In essence, type the following commands in Terminal.app:

  • Reveal the file path of the current wallpaper on the Desktop:

    defaults write com.apple.dock desktop-picture-show-debug-text -bool TRUE; killall Dock

  • Once revealed, hide the file path from the Desktop:

    defaults write com.apple.dock desktop-picture-show-debug-text -bool FALSE; killall Dock

It works this way on all recent macOS versions from 10.10 Yosemite onward (including Catalina).

  • Ok. I don't see how to reply to the previous replies.
    – snaguru
    Dec 7, 2019 at 2:15
  • I don't see how the previous responses answers the question.
    – snaguru
    Dec 7, 2019 at 2:16
  • In the approach I describe, the file path and name will appear centred on the wallpaper when desktop-picture-show-debug-text is set to TRUE. You can again hide this info by setting the parameter to FALSE. Dec 10, 2019 at 10:22
  • ShutterFreak, I understand that. What I want is the Photos folder name and image name currently being used as wallpaper. The "desktop-picture-show-debug-text" variable doesn't provide me with any information that shows what I want. It only shows me the raw file path of where image is located, which as far as I can tell doesn't give me the Photos folder and image name. Maybe I don't recognize the components (directory, sub-directory, etc) contained in the full path name for the image being the information I want.
    – snaguru
    Dec 11, 2019 at 11:10
  • The problem is that any given photo can be organised in several albums in Photos.app. There is in fact no exact relationship between the Folders/Albums managed by Photos.app (potentially overlapping collections) and the hierarchical folder structure found in a filesystem. Dec 11, 2019 at 16:29

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