How to Easily Change Background on Your Mac Air

When it comes to customizing your Mac Air, changing the background is one of the simplest yet most impactful changes you can make. Whether you want to switch up your desktop look for a fresh start or create a personalized design, knowing how to change the background on your Mac Air is essential.

In this article, we’ll walk you through 12 easy-to-follow steps on how to change the background on Mac Air and provide a detailed explanation of each step. Additionally, we’ll share useful tips and tricks to personalize your background and make the most out of your Mac Air’s features.


Step 1: Choose an Image or Photo

The first step in changing your Mac Air’s background is to select an image or photo that you want to use. You can choose from one of Apple’s pre-installed desktop backgrounds, download a high-quality image from the internet, or use a personal photo from your library. Browse your options and pick something that resonates with you and your style.

TIP: Choose an image with good resolution for the best display quality.

Step 2: Save Your Image

Once you’ve selected your preferred image, save it to your Mac Air. Choose a folder where you can easily access it when you’re ready to use it for your background. Remember the location and name of the file so that you can quickly find it later.

TIP: Create a background folder where you can store all your favorite images or photos for quick access in the future.

Step 3: Open System Preferences

To change your Mac Air’s background, you need to access the system preferences through the Apple menu located at the top-left corner of the screen. Once you click on the Apple icon, select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.

TIP: You can also use the Spotlight search to quickly access the system preferences by hitting “Command + Spacebar” and typing “System Preferences”.

Step 4: Click on “Desktop & Screen Saver”

In the System Preferences menu, look for “Desktop & Screen Saver” and click on it. This option allows you to customize your desktop background and screen saver settings.

TIP: You can access the Desktop & Screen Saver preferences by typing “Desktop & Screen Saver” in the Spotlight Search bar.

Step 5: Choose the Desktop Tab

Once you’re in the Desktop & Screen Saver menu, make sure that the “Desktop” tab is selected. This tab is where you can customize your desktop background settings.

TIP: You can also access the Desktop tab directly in the Main Menu bar by clicking on the Apple icon, selecting “System Preferences”, and clicking on “Desktop & Screen Saver”.

Step 6: Click on the “+” Icon

To add a new background, click on the “+” icon located at the bottom-left corner of the screen. This action will open your Finder window, allowing you to browse and select the image or photo that you want to use.

TIP: You can also drag and drop the image file directly onto the Desktop tab in the System Preferences menu.

Step 7: Select Your Image

Locate the image or photo you want to use, click on it, and then click on “Choose” to select it. Your chosen image will now appear as your new desktop background.

TIP: You can adjust the fit of your image by selecting an option from the “Fit” dropdown menu. You can choose to fill the screen, fit to screen, stretch to fill screen, or center the image.

Step 8: Choose a Solid Color Background

If you prefer to use a solid color background instead of an image, go to the Desktop tab and select “Solid Colors”. Here, you can choose from a variety of colors and use it as your desktop background.

TIP: Add a personal touch to your background by choosing your favorite color or color scheme.

Step 9: Use Dynamic Desktop

If you’re looking for a background that changes throughout the day, use the Dynamic Desktop feature. In the “Desktop” tab, select “Dynamic Desktop” and choose an option from the dropdown menu.

TIP: Use the “Dark Mode” Dynamic Desktop for a sleek and modern look.

Step 10: Save Your Background Settings

Once you’ve chosen your background settings, click on “Save Changes” to save your preferences. Your new background should now appear on your desktop.

TIP: Use “Mission Control” or “Hot Corners” to quickly access your Desktop & Screen Saver settings in the future.

Step 11: Customize Screen Saver

In the “Desktop & Screen Saver” menu, you can also customize your screen saver settings. Explore the different options and choose a screen saver that aligns with your preferences.

TIP: Use “Hot Corners” to quickly activate your screen saver or put your Mac Air to sleep.

Step 12: Repeat Steps for Additional Desktops

If you have multiple desktops, repeat the same steps to customize each one’s background. This action allows you to personalize each workspace according to its assigned purpose.

TIP: Add an inspiring quote or words of affirmation to your background for an extra motivational kick.


Why Should You Change Your Mac Air’s Background?

Customizing your desktop background gives your Mac Air a fresh and personal touch that aligns with your taste and style. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for self-expression and creativity, especially to artists and designers who use their desktops as a space for inspiration. Changing your background also prevents your desktop from becoming stagnant and monotonous, keeping your work environment exciting and refreshing.

Can You Use Multiple Backgrounds on Your Mac Air?

Yes! If you have multiple desktops or screens on your Mac Air, you can use different backgrounds to customize each workspace. This action ensures that you have a unique and personalized interface for each desktop and helps you stay more organized and efficient.

What Are Some Tips for Personalizing Your Background?

Here are some additional tips and tricks for taking your background customization to the next level:

1. Use a high-quality image or photo with good resolution to maximize display quality.

2. Experiment with different background settings, including solid colors and dynamic desktops.

3. Use personal photos or images that reflect your personality or style.

4. Add inspirational quotes or affirmations for extra encouragement.

5. Use “Hot Corners” to quickly access your desktop preferences.

6. Create a background folder to store your favorite images and photos for easy access.

7. Choose a background that aligns with your workflow and purpose.

8. Consider using screen savers that align with your style and personality.

9. Change your background periodically to prevent your desktop from becoming stagnant.

10. Have fun and be creative!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Changing Background on Mac Air


1. Personalization: Changing the background on your Mac Air gives you the freedom to choose an image that suits your personality and preferences.

2. Mood Enhancer: When you choose a background that inspires you, it can uplift your mood and create a positive environment for work or leisure.

3. Organization: Setting a different background for different tasks, such as work, study, or entertainment can help you stay organized and focused.

4. Creativity: Changing backgrounds regularly can boost your creativity by exposing you to new images and ideas.

5. Aesthetics: A beautiful background can enhance the overall look of your Mac Air and make it more appealing to look at.

6. Impressions: If you use your Mac Air in professional settings or for business purposes, changing the background to something more formal or branded can create a lasting impression.

7. Privacy: If you share your Mac Air with others, changing the background can prevent others from seeing your personal photos or other sensitive information.

8. Accessibility: For individuals with visual impairments or color blindness, changing the background can make it easier to navigate and use their Mac Air more effectively.

9. Seasonal: Changing the background to match the season or upcoming holidays can add a fun and festive touch to your device.

10. Refreshing: Changing your background every now and then can help you feel more refreshed and motivated to use your Mac Air.


1. Distractions: Choosing a busy or highly-detailed background can be distracting and take away from focus and productivity.

2. Compatibility: Some high-resolution images may not be compatible with all Mac Air models and could cause display issues.

3. Battery Life: Choosing a bright or moving background can drain your Mac Air’s battery life faster than a plain, static background.

4. File Size: Large image files can take up valuable storage space on your Mac Air that could be used for other applications or files.

5. Inappropriate Content: Changing your background to an image that is inappropriate or offensive can cause social or professional backlash if seen by others.

6. Branding: Changing your background to something unrelated to your brand or personal/business identity can confuse or deter potential clients or customers.

7. Technical Skills: Changing your background may require technical skills that are beyond your current abilities or comfort level.

8. Security: Changing your background on a public or shared network could open your Mac Air up to security risks or hacks if not done properly.

9. Compatibility Issues: Certain applications or programs may not work properly with certain backgrounds, causing performance issues or glitches.

10. Time-Consuming: While changing your background may seem like a quick and easy task, browsing for the perfect image or adjusting settings can be time-consuming and take away from other priorities.


1. Can I change the background on my Mac Air?

Yes, you can change the background on your Mac Air to a custom image or one of the default options provided.

2. How can I change my background on Mac Air?

To change your background, go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop. From there, you can choose a new background image or add your own.

3. Are there any limitations to changing the background on Mac Air?

No, there are no limitations to changing the background on Mac Air. You can choose any image you like, as long as it is in a compatible file format.

4. Can I use my own images as a background on Mac Air?

Yes, you can use your own images as a background on Mac Air. Simply select the image you want to use from your files, and it will be set as your desktop background.

5. What file formats are compatible with background images on Mac Air?

Common file formats like JPEG, PNG, and BMP are compatible with background images on Mac Air.

6. How do I set my background to change automatically on Mac Air?

To set your background to change automatically, go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop. Check the box for “Change picture” and select the time frame for the images to rotate.

7. How do I remove a background image on Mac Air?

To remove a background image on Mac Air, go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop. Select the image you want to remove and hit the delete key on your keyboard.

8. Can I set different backgrounds for different desktops on Mac Air?

Yes, you can set different backgrounds for different desktops on Mac Air. Go to System Preferences > Mission Control, and check the box for “Displays have separate Spaces.”

9. Are there any keyboard shortcuts for changing the background on Mac Air?

No, there are no keyboard shortcuts for changing the background on Mac Air. You must go through System Preferences to make any changes.

10. Will changing my background affect the performance of my Mac Air?

No, changing your background will not affect the performance of your Mac Air.

11. Can I create a slideshow of images to use as a background on Mac Air?

Yes, you can create a slideshow of images to use as a background on Mac Air. Go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop, and select multiple images while holding down the “Command” key.

12. Is it possible to use a video as a background on Mac Air?

No, it is not possible to use a video as a background on Mac Air.

13. How do I optimize my background image for best display on Mac Air?

You can optimize your background image by selecting an image with the same resolution as your screen or resizing your image to fit your screen. You can also compress your image to decrease the file size without sacrificing quality.

How to Change Background on Mac Air

Changing the background on your Mac Air can be a fun way to personalize your device. Whether you want to use a photo from your recent vacation or a cool abstract design, it’s easy to set up your own unique style. Follow these simple steps to change the background on your Mac Air.


Changing the background on your Mac Air is a snap. Once you know how to get into the System Preferences, all you need to do is pick the photo or design you want to use. Whether you want a photo of your cat or a sleek geometric design, you can easily find an image that speaks to you and set it as your background. With just a few clicks, you can make your Mac Air feel like your own personal space.


Thanks for reading our article on how to change the background on your Mac Air. We hope that you found this guide helpful in customizing your device. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different background images and designs until you find the one that suits you best. Happy customizing!