my question is exactly as it sounds. Is there anyway to make a "moving" or "non-static" desktop wallpaper in macOS. I'd like a loop or repeating video or something similar to what Josh Fluke has in many of his videos. I'm quite experienced in python, java, apple script etc. and know of no solutions to this problem. I've also seen various tutorials that work for Windows but not Mac. Additionally, many tutorials on the subject fake video wallpapers by merely playing a video in the background or requiring an app to be open all the time (e.g. VLC)—and I'd definitely like to avoid apps that must appear in the task bar or occlude my desktop icons. Ideas?

  • I tried GIF, and it failed, shows a static picture. :(
    – anki
    Jan 4, 2020 at 9:41

1 Answer 1


You can play any video as a Desktop wallpaper using VLC from the command line if you pass the option --video-wallpaper to the VLC executable. This will play the video behind your Desktop files. The VLC executable is located at /Applications/VLC.app/Contents/MacOS/VLC. I have that aliased to vlc, using:

alias vlc='/Applications/VLC.app/Contents/MacOS/VLC'

You can now play any video using:

vlc --video-wallpaper movie.mp4

This will cause the VLC application to be in your Dock. If you would like it to be hidden, follow the instructions in this answer, or copy the example below:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c 'Add :LSUIElement bool true' /Applications/VLC.app/Contents/Info.plist

uses the native utility PlistBuddy to edit the Info.plist file in /Applications/VLC.app/ so that VLC no longer appears in the Dock. If you would like to undo this so VLC will show up in the Dock again, use:

/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c 'Delete :LSUIElement' /Applications/VLC.app/Contents/Info.plist
  • Thanks. I can play videos perfectly fine as the wallpaper, the only problem occurs when I attempt to hide it from the dock. When I ran /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c 'Add :LSUIElement bool true' /Applications/VLC.app/Contents/Info.plist the wallpaper stops working. But when I run /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c 'Delete :LSUIElement bool true' /Applications/VLC.app/Contents/Info.plist it starts working again Jan 4, 2020 at 17:15
  • Are you running the command while VLC is open? If so, see if quitting VLC, then running the command before reopening.
    – beninato
    Jan 4, 2020 at 17:21
  • I ran the command while VLC was both open and closed and it didn't work either time. Jan 4, 2020 at 18:49
  • Is VLC permanently added to your Dock? I don't think VLC can be in the Dock while closed if you want to hide it.
    – beninato
    Jan 5, 2020 at 0:37
  • Sorry, I phrased it wrong. If I completely quit and remove VLC from the dock, then add the Plist command, followed by creating the wallpaper, the wallpaper will not show up. The VLC is not pinned to my dock. I'm relatively experienced in programming and have eliminated the "obvious" reasons as to why it's not working as intended:) Jan 5, 2020 at 2:01

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