Revamp Your Mac Background with Animated GIFs

by Hiu Hiu
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How to Make a GIF Your Wallpaper on Mac

Are you bored with the static and unexciting desktop background on your Mac? Would you prefer to enhance it with an animated GIF background? If so, you’re in for a treat! It’s easy and simple to set animated GIFs as your desktop background on a Mac. In this guide, we’ll walk you through two different methods of setting an animated background on Mac.

If you’re not using a Mac and you’re interested in using an animated background on your Windows desktop instead, check out our How to Set a GIF as Background on Windows 10 article.

Key Points to Remember

  • You can utilize a third-party tool like GIFPaper to activate your animated GIF background.
  • Another approach to having an animated background is to convert the GIF into a video and let it run in the Desktop & Screen Saver settings under System Preferences.
  • Take into account your Mac’s capabilities to handle file size and functionalities, as animated backgrounds often consume more RAM and CPU resources.

How to Apply a GIF as a Background for Mac

By default, macOS does not include built-in applications for using GIF backgrounds. Nonetheless, fear not! You can still accomplish this with the aid of third-party tools. One highly recommended software is GIFPaper. This software enables you to achieve this with just a few clicks. With GIFPaper, you can easily inject your desktop with a fresh and dynamic appearance.

When it comes to creating animated GIF backgrounds on your Mac, there are advantages and disadvantages to consider. On the positive side, animated backgrounds can add a touch of vitality and individuality to your desktop that static images cannot. However, remember that animations typically demand more RAM and CPU power. Therefore, always check if the current macOS version can support the size and functionalities of the tool you intend to use.

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With that being said, here’s how to set up an animated Desktop background on Mac:

1. Download and Install GIFPaper

Visit GitHub and choose Code, then download the ZIP file. Once downloaded, extract the ZIP file. After extraction, find the unzipped GIFPaper folder. Open the GIFPaperPrefs.prefPane file in the folder.

Double-click on the file. A dialog box will appear with two options: “Install for this user only” and “Install for all users on this computer”. Once you’ve made your selection, click “Install”.

2. Launch GifPaperPrefs

Look for the app in your Mac’s System Preferences folder. Double-click to open the GifPaperPrefs app. Click on “Browse” under the Background tab to search for your animated GIF.

3. Adjust Settings

Position, scale, and center a GIF to fit any screen size while maintaining quality. Experiment with the settings until you find the optimal look. As you modify your preferences on the app, your Mac desktop background will adjust accordingly. So, keep experimenting until you discover the ideal placement for your GIF background.

Pro Tip: After every Mac reboot, the animated background may not function correctly. A quick solution to this is to add GIFPaper to Mac’s startup items. This way, the app will launch automatically, and your selected animated GIF background will greet you each time you restart your Mac desktop.

How to Convert an Animated GIF Into a Video

1. Selecting the Appropriate GIF

The initial step in making a GIF your Mac background is choosing the right one. GIFs can be found on various websites such as Giphy, Tenor, and Reddit. Ensure the GIF you select is suitable for your screen resolution to avoid it looking stretched or blurry.

2. Converting the GIF to a Video

Once you’ve found the ideal GIF, you must convert it to a video file. You can accomplish this by utilizing a free online converter like EZGIF or CloudConvert. Simply upload your animated GIF file, choose the “MP4” format, and download the converted video file.

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3. Setting the Video as Your Background

Now that you have the converted video file, it’s time to set an animated GIF as your background. Here’s your guide:

  1. Open “System Preferences” by clicking the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Go to “Desktop & Screen Saver”.
  3. Choose the “Desktop” tab.
  4. Click the “+” icon at the bottom left of the window to add a new background.
  5. Select the video file you converted from your GIF.
  6. Use the controls to set the start and end times of the video as needed.
  7. Click “Set Desktop.”

Pro Tip: You can also opt for an animated screen saver! Just go to the “Screen Saver” tab in Step #3.

And that’s it! You now have a captivating GIF as your background on your Mac.

Applying Animated GIFs as Your Mac Background

It’s time to give your Mac a fresh appearance! By downloading third-party tools like GIFPaper or converting a GIF into a video file, you can effortlessly inject some energy and character into your home screen. Just remember to be mindful of your Mac’s capacity to handle large files – when done correctly, this swift and straightforward process will have you enjoying a dynamic new look on your MacBook Pro and other modern Mac desktops in no time.

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About HiuHiu

Hiu Hiu is a dedicated professional photo editor with a passion for the art. Meticulous and creative, Hiu Hiu turns ordinary photos into captivating masterpieces, blending technical expertise with a keen artistic eye. Beyond the digital canvas, Hiu Hiu explores various art forms, enriching both skills and perspective. In Hiu Hiu’s world, every image is a story waiting to be told, where technical precision meets artistic flair.

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