macOS Monterey Can’t Change Desktop Background! (Fixed!)
Do you have problems with changing the desktop background on your Mac after updating to macOS Monterey? Is the desktop picture not changing, although you’re clicking on the thumbnail of the desired wallpaper in System Preferences?
macOS Monterey Can’t Change Desktop Background!
macOS 12 comes with a new stock wallpaper that depicts a section of the underwater Monterey canyon. Apple hasn’t included real-life pictures in the Monterey dynamic desktop.
If you don’t like the abstract design you might want to switch back to the previous desktop background available in Big Sur. However, nothing happens when you click on the Big Sur coastline image!
How To Fix macOS Monterey Dynamic Desktop Not Changing
- Right-click on your desktop and go for Change Desktop Background.
- The Desktop & Screen Saver settings open up. Tap on the desired wallpaper, available under Dynamic Desktop.
Important: If the background image fails to change, check if a small cloud icon with an arrow pointing downwards is displayed, in the top-right corner of the thumbnail.
Fix: The same icon is also displayed next to the wallpaper’s name. Click it and the desktop will start downloading. It will show up as a background as soon as the download completes.
Have you managed to fix macOS Monterey dynamic desktop not available? Do you have other questions or suggestions? Use the comments section.
Related: Other common macOS Monterey issues are:
– Photos screensavers not working, showing black screen.
– Photo slideshows not playing.
– USB hubs not working.
It will only let me tick ‘Change picture every 30 minutes’ if I use Colours. What am I doing wrong? With Desktop Pictures the box is not clickable.
Thanks for reporting Louise. Could replicate this issue. I can change picture every 5 seconds, minute, 5 minute etc.
With Desktop Pictures, the ‘change picture every x minutes’ box is not clickable indeed.
I have the same issue. It does not let you select to change the desktop picture at any interval.
I am also having the same problem the check box to allow background images to change is greyed out
Thanks for the feedback. Is it greyed out for Photos, or just for Desktop Pictures?
As long as Apple has had systems in which it was easy to set up to “change the picture (wallpaper) every 30 minutes, it is ridiculous that the new OS Monterey does not provide/allow that.
Thanks for the feedback Ed. It might be a glitch that will be fixed in the next software update.
Hello. No matter what I do I can’t get this pink off my desktop. Neither will it right click. I have to open System Preferences to get to the desktop and screensaver options. I followed your instructions to click the little cloud and highlight the thumbnail I want but still it won’t change. Very frustrating. The pink is not suitable for a calming effect for me.
That’s strange. macOS 12.1 should be released today. Please update when available and let us know if you’re able to change background afterwards.
I updated to macOS12 last night and the same pink backgound replaced my previous Big Sur background. I’m not able to change the background – I’ve tried all the recommendations previously described w/no luck. What a mess.
Glitchy. Way to role out an incomplete product, Apple. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Yeah. Sometimes changing something that’s working does more harm than good.
Does not download new images, your fix does not work
Thanks for your feedback Roger. Are you logged-in as admin?
Thanks for this. However, every time I change it (to a Big Sur Dynamic). It resets to default Monterey after a restart. Ever seen this before?
I have the very same issue. Monterey 12.1.
macOS 12.2 has been released. Does it make any difference?
Desktop Pictures selected, several downloaded. clicking on thumbnail image changes wallpaper, but dialog for changing every x minutes etc is greyed out. Monterey 12.1 (just upgraded).
won’t let me run aerial screensaver either….i had loved it….ran it for several years. grrrrr
thank you. so glad to get rid of that awful pink thing
I sometimes wonder why the Mac developers go out of their way to create probems for owners and change things that don’t need changing. I amon Monterey and it boots with the awful pink screen. I select a still image which I used successfully on the previous version and it is there while I have the Mac on. As soon as I shut down and re-boot, the pink monster appears again. I then have to re-select the image I want again. I am on 12.2 version. It would be nice if they did something useful like fixing mail to stop it marking genuine messages as spam, a problem it has had for years.
I have upgraded to Monterey 12.2.1 and I can no longer choose my own images for the background.
I too have upgraded to Monterey 126.96.36.199 and am stuck with the dreadful pink screen. Have tried clicking on image next to wallpaper’s name – but nothing changing!
Please help pink screen is fugly
I have been able to change my background on my iMac pro but cannot remove the awful pink background on my extended display , plus it bleeds thru on any document I drag over very odd.. I hooked up 3 different monitors and all are the same.. Obviously it started after downloading Monterey operating system.. HELP..
Very helpful. Thanks!
I have a letter from our state’s medical department as my screensaver!
I can’t locate any controls to delete it.
I’m running Monterey 12.3.1. It only gets worse.
LOL! A $3,700 16″ M1MAX that cannot F’ing change the background… Had Apple taken some of the their $2T Market cap and actually hired 1, grade school kid to QA this…. LOL @ the lame CEO!
And at of July 30th, 2022, none of the above works. no matter what I try…. F!
Thanks for the feedback Michael. Sorry to hear that this basic feature isn’t working for you.
I just tested it on our machines running macOS 12.5 and it works without issues. I used Dynamic Desktop Pictures, Colors as well as a random image from Downloads.
Would appreciate if you can describe your issue more. Perhaps we might be able to provide some additional tips.
No matter what I do I cannot change it either. Super frustrating.. have the most up to date 12.5.1 monterey
Sorry to hear this Angelique. Can you send a screenshot to contact[at]iphonetricks.org?
So… nobody has a solution for this, and Apple appears to have no intention to address it.
Mine won’t allow changes either. But because of the image content I know for sure that the compnay I work for has set the desktop background image. So my guess is that admin level access trumps user level access for desktop image choice. It’s pretty damn annoying though that I have to stare at the compnay-selected image. I want my favorites back!
Thanks for the info Paul. Yes, this makes sense now.
I’ve been choosing folders other than Apple’s Desktop Pictures folder as the source of my desktop pictures for some time now. This can occasionally become erratic, as when a picture file has an error in it. In this case the Desktop Pictures preference reverts to the Apple-supplied Desktop Pictures folder and selects the default desktop picture (“Pink,” in the case of Monterey) from it.
For this reason and others I recently put some of my favorite desktop pictures into Apple’s Desktop Pictures folder, only to find the “automatically change every _ minutes is greyed out” bug. Such a discovery is quite a drag when you have thousands of perfectly-sized and finished 4K photos and wouldn’t care to have to visit the control panel every time you wanted to see a new one.
For now I’ve added the Desktop Pictures folder as a user folder, using the Desktop Pictures preference panel’s “+” button. This re-enabled the “automatically change every _ minutes” check box as it always does for user folders.
I don’t know yet what will happen when a problem arises and the prefpane reverts to the default. Will the Desktop Pictures automatic change setting be kept, or will the bug reappear?
Try adding your Desktop Pictures folder as a user folder using the Desktop Pictures preference panel’s “+” button, and select it as your Desktop Pictures folder.
Thanks for the workaround Chris. We appreciate your contribution. Waiting for confirmations from other readers too.