I change my background in system preferences and it says my background is a picture, but my desktop is still a blank gray. How can I fix this?

  • 1
    What version of OS X? Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 4:30
  • Mac OS X 10.7.2
    – Seany242
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 15:41
  • Are you using a Thunderbolt Display? Mine has been turning off randomly, and after that the desktop picture has sometimes been replaced with a solid gray background.
    – Lri
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


Try opening Terminal, type killall Dock and press return. Dock controls the desktop background in Lion.

If it's still grey after that, try rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.desktop then killall Dock

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