I've got 5-6 desktops going in mission control and I have a random wallpapers on each that change every 30 minutes. I've become very annoyed with the fact that OS X doesn't change the desktop on a space I'm not using until I switch to that space. I'm getting tired of seeing fading wallpapers every time I switch to a desktop.

The only thing I've come up with is running killall Dock but that's pretty brutal and I don't want to run it all the time.

Is there a way to get OS X to refresh all the desktops at once? Are there any defaults write tricks for this in Lion or Mountain Lion?

  • I currently do not know of any defaults write, but I refresh via GeekTool and shell.
    – homework
    Aug 16, 2012 at 17:01
  • How do you do it with geektool?
    – bootle
    Aug 16, 2012 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


I did find another answer which provides two applescripts. One answer gives an apple script to trigger the image change on the current desktop. Another example shows how to do this iterating all desktops.

Maybe you could create a hybrid script mixing both (the solution that works and the solution for all desktops). Then, set your system preferences to random wallpapers changing every X seconds. This will work for the current desktop as you experience now, so maybe you could thrown in a cron which at X seconds - 5 calls this new applescript which forces a switch on all desktops?

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