When I go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver, I see many images in folders such as "Desktop Pictures", "Nature", "Plants", etc. Where are these images located?

I want to use them in an application such as SpaceSuit to set them as background images for different spaces.

5 Answers 5


They're in /Library/Desktop Pictures/


As of macOS 12:

  • Desktop JPEG wallpaper are located in /Library/Desktop Pictures
  • Pre-installed dynamic wallpapers (HEIF) are located in /System/Library/Desktop Pictures
  • Any dynamic wallpapers downloaded by the user (from the "Desktop & Screen Saver" preferences) are located in /Users/$USER/Library/Application Support/com.apple.mobileAssetDesktop

As of macOS 10.15 (Catalina) the location is /System/Library/Desktop Pictures. I'm unsure what version the location switched.


Further update for macOS 14.

/Library/Desktop Pictures no longer exists.

These are still valid:

/System/Library/Desktop Pictures
/Users/$USER/Library/Application Support/com.apple.mobileAssetDesktop

The new screen saver/desktop videos are kept in subdirectories for various resolutions and HDR/SDR here:

/Library/Application\ Support/com.apple.idleassetsd/Customer/


For future reference: up to macOS 12, you can get macOS to show you the folder by opening System Preferences > Desktop and screensaver then double clicking the folder name on the left where it says Apple > Wallpapers. It will open the folder on Finder (which is on /System/Library/Desktop Pictures).

I couldn't find a way to get the folder from System Settings on macOS 13 Ventura.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .