I added a folder with some wallpapers to the Desktop settings and also applied Change Picture every 30 mins. However, the folder randomly disappears and the wallpaper switches back to the Galaxy one for unknown reasons. I tried multiple settings and even without adding the folder (using the default folder but with rotation), but still get the same weird result after some time. I am not sure why this happens, but was wondering if there is a way to fix it ?

Any ideas ? I tried one of the answers but I still have the same problem ..


Okay I managed to find something new today !! I was working with multiple desktops and noticed that Desktop 2 still changes the backgrounds at set intervals! Is there a glitch with my first desktop or something ?


Apparently desktop 3 did not change wallpapers ... unless I change the settings. So why did desktop 2 decide to change its wallpapers without me changing its settings ? Could this be creating a conflict ?

  • I know there was an issue with this when tinkering with Lion's home folder permissions...do you have Lion or Mountain Lion, and have you installed the latest updates for either?
    – Ethan Lee
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 4:22
  • Mountain Lion, and I got my macbook up to date !
    – Render
    Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 11:39

3 Answers 3


Just open you Library folder by holding down the option key (alt) and select Library from the Go menu in Finder. Navigate to the Preferences folder and delete com.apple.systempreferences.plist

Empty your trash then restart. Then try adding the folder and changing your wallpaper again. There's a stuck setting.

*Apple Certified Mac Technician

  • 1
    Aren't the settings for desktop pictures stored in com.apple.desktop.plist? Why would you need to empty the trash?
    – Lri
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 0:17
  • They are, but this isn't a wallpaper issue. this is a DESKTOP settings issue (hence why the folder disappears). Resetting the preferences resets this particular preference. Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 0:19
  • And emptying the trash breaks the association with the plist. the Mac os still associates system files even when they are in trash Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 0:19
  • Okay I've done that. Lets see if it actually works. I have to wait for a while before it resets (hopefully it won't)
    – Render
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 0:30
  • The folder for random desktop pictures is also stored in com.apple.desktop.plist. Just moving preference files usually disables them though.
    – Lri
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 0:31

The problem seems to have fixed itself randomly...

All I did was start using a second desktop where wallpapers do not reset. ( desktop 1 seemed to have a glitch ). After a few days of using Desktop 2 as my main desktop, and then using desktop 3 for other work, Desktop 1 went back to normal. I am not sure why or how this happened.

The solution is to work on another desktop with your preferred wallpaper settings until it fixes itself. That is what happened with me.


The answer to this is really really basic - so basic it took me a really long time to figure out :) You'd think that the desktop picture settings in the settings window are global, but they are actually ONLY for the 'desktop' or space you are working on. I have 6 spaces I use with El Capitan, I needed to open the desktop preferences window on each space and make the changes while the window was on each, then it worked perfectly!

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