How to Use an Animated GIF as the Wallpaper on Your Mac

Animated Gif For Macos

Animated GIFs are everywhere. You’ll find them in your Facebook feed, Twitter timeline, and WhatsApp messages. You also can set an animated GIF as your desktop wallpaper on Mac.

Your Mac may not support GIF wallpaper out of the box, but you can create animated wallpaper with the help of a third party app. In this tutorial, we show you how.

Introducing the GIFPaper application

Below are the instructions for creating animated wallpaper using the free GIFPaper application.

1. Head over to the project’s GitHub page. Select “Code -> Download ZIP.”

Download GIFPaper from popular code sharing website, GitHub.

2. Unzip the zip file. Inside this folder, launch the “GIFPaperPrefs.prefPane” file. 

Launch the GIFPaper agent.

3. At this point, macOS may warn that GIFPaper is from an unidentified developer. If you encounter this warning, select the “Apple” logo in your Mac’s menu bar, navigate to “System Preferences -> Security & Privacy,” and change your settings so that GIFPaper can run normally.

4. When you successfully launch “GIFPaperPrefs.prefPane,” you’ll be asked whether you want to install GIFPaper for your account only or for all users on your machine. Make your selection, then click “Install.”

5. Instead of appearing in the Applications folder, GIFPaper is installed as a new preference pane in your Mac’s System Preferences. 

You can access GIFPaper via your Mac's System Preferences.

You can launch GIFPaper by double-clicking this preference pane. Note that when you first try to launch GIFPaper, you may encounter another warning that GIFPaper is from an unidentified developer. If you encounter this warning, select the “Security & Privacy” pane, then click “Open Anyway.” You should now be able to launch GIFPaper without any issues. 

Creating an animated GIF wallpaper

When the GIFPaper panel appears, select “Browse.” Choose the GIF you want to use as your desktop wallpaper. 

Select the GIF that you want to transform into an animated GIF wallpaper.

Select the GIF in question, then check out your desktop. GIFPaper should have created and applied your animated wallpaper automatically!

There is a catch to using GIFPaper: by default, you’ll lose your animated wallpaper every time you reboot your Mac. To fix this problem, add GIFPaper to your Mac’s startup lists. This ensures that every time you restart your Mac, GIFPaper runs automatically and restores your animated wallpaper to its rightful place. 

Adding GIFPaper to the Startup Items List

To launch GIFPaper at startup:

1. Select the Apple logo in your Mac’s menu bar.

2. Navigate to “System Preferences -> Users & Groups.”

3. In the bottom-left corner, select the little padlock icon and enter your password when prompted.

4. In the panel on the left, select your account. 

5. Select the “Login items” tab. This displays a list of all the applications that launch automatically when your Mac boots.

You can add the GIFPaper animated wallpaper application to your Mac's startup list.

5. Select the “+” icon. 

6. In the subsequent window, navigate to your unzipped GIFPaper folder.

7. Select “GIFPaperAgent,” then click “Add.” 

You’ve now successfully added GIFPaper to your startup list. Now, every time your Mac boots, GIFPaper will launch and restore your animated wallpaper. 

If using animated GIF as a wallpaper on your Mac is not of your taste, you can download high-quality dynamic wallpapers on these sites.

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Jessica Thornsby Jessica Thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.

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