Wallpaper changes to default after restart

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by inlinevolvo, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. inlinevolvo macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2012
    Hello everyone. I found some references via a Google search but no fix, so I'm reaching out here.

    I have the base retina macbook running ML. I upgraded to ML.

    Whenever I change my wallpaper the comp defaults back to the original. My wallpapers are saved as individual files in the pictures directory, and I assign the background via sys preference. I have tried to rename the file, move to a new location, and even deleted apps thinking a conflict is to blame, nothing.

    I'm trying to avoid a clean install of ML, so hoping someone here with more experience can help. This is also my first mac, so I'm not quite acclimated yet.
  2. MoltenGold macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    I am facing the very same issue.

    Have a MBP late 2011 with a clean install of ML and SSD + HDD setup.

    Wallpaper reverts to stock everytime I restart or shutdown etc.

    Would appreciate any help on this.

    Have already tried SMC + PRAM reset and it doesn't help.

  3. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I've had this happen when the computer starts and the custom desktop file can't be found (like it's on a server or networked drive that isn't yet mounted).

    It's strange that this is happening with your internal drive.

    Does this happen with all custom backgrounds or just one? Also, if you choose a different Apple background, does that background get retained at restart?
  4. Soundflunky macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2012
    I've had wallpaper issues since the later DPs. I'd reboot and it'd change from last time. Right now, my main problem is that my login screen doesn't show my current wall.
  5. fenderbass146 macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Northwest Indiana
  6. TibookAktive macrumors member

    May 27, 2010
    I had this issue in Lion (now on ML and not had prob) and resetting the desktop preferences worked for me.

    You need to delete the following two files from your library/preferences folder.

    com.apple.desktop.plist and com.apple.desktop.plist.lockfile

    To do this, run 'Terminal' and type:

    rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.desktop.plist

    rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.desktop.plist.lockfile

    You'll be asked for your admin password. Btw, this worked fine for me and the preference files are pretty inoccuous ones with limited scope, but please do this at your own risk! I'm not responsible if this has some uninterested side effect of wiping all you files, stealing you car and preventing your kids from getting into their 1st choice college, etc, etc...

  7. charlieegan3 macrumors 68020


    Feb 16, 2012
    It happens to mine sometimes too, doesn't really bother me, just waiting for an update at some point.
  8. teerexx52 macrumors 68000


    May 1, 2005
    Florida West Coast
    I was able to get around this problem by doing the following:

    1. Select your wall paper from your choices in the Desktop folder.
    2. Then move your cursor down to solid colors and just click on it
    3. Close system preferences and restart.
    4. Problem solved?
  9. kmai macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2012
    I renamed the Galaxy.jpg default wallpaper in ~Library/Desktop Pictures/ to something else and placed my desired wallpaper in that folder, calling it Galaxy.jpg.

    Now the 'default' that it reverts to every boot is the wallpaper I chose and renamed.

    Obviously this is not an ideal fix, but if you're desperate and don't want to reset your system prefs, it works temporarily until this bug sees official attention by Apple.
  10. PEN10k macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Someone who has a new fix for this? My wallpaper keeps resetting..
  11. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    thx, i'm posting this in feedback from the apple site.
  12. 01mggt macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    This worked for me. Picked my wallpaper in my pictures folder then jsut clicked solid colors and it stuck after reboot. How is this damn bug still in the software Apple?!? Why?! Any advice on a better fix than this yet? It's basically like system preferences is not saving the change
  13. azevedo11 macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2010
    For some reason, updating the wallpaper data for any reason seems to fix it.

    I made a small applescript that does this automatically, if you set it to run at startup.

    It works by simply resetting the wallpaper rotation to zero, which seems to force an update. If you like your rotating desktops, you might not want to use it.

    Bonus feature: works with two monitors. :)
  14. Funked macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2010
    I was having the same problem and stubmled across this thread on the Apple support forums. After reading all the replies, a few people said about different drives etc. I upgraded my mac with a SSD a while ago. So I decided to boot into the HDD, change the wallpaper there, reboot into the SSD, and hey presto, the wallpaper had changed! I realise not everyone here has two drives so this won't solve everyones problem. But if you have two HDD's or a SSD + HDD, I would advise you to boot into the native drive and change the wallpaper, then you can continue using your prefered drive with the successfully changed wallpaper.
  15. unsu macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2013
    Hi everyone! Here is the solution.
    I had the same problem: I change my wallpaper, but after reboot it changed to default galaxy wallpaper. Observation: this happens only when your system is set up to login automatically. If you change the auto login to off, wallpaper won't change to galaxy again.

    Anyway, to fix it, delete the file ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.desktop.plist
    When reboot, change wallpaper. Now it is fixed. Try rebooting, you will see wallpaper won't change to galaxy again.
  16. hotelfish macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2013
    You are the man TibookActive. This has seriously bugged me for days.
  17. Pooreman1972 macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2014
    Wallpaper Problems

    Hi All

    Solution is quite straight forward.

    When in the wallpaper settings select the folder that contains the picture(s) you want to use. Then below there is a + & - box, select + to add the folder to the wallpaper list.

    Voila! You can now select the wallpaper and it will stay when rebooted etc.

    Well it worked for me anyway.
  18. sanseref macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2010
    Memphis, TN
    What if I don't have these files on my computer?
  19. medusia macrumors newbie


    Mar 11, 2016
    Thank you, this worked for me. My only issue now is that I have two screens and
    Thank you, this worked for me. I have a second screen running from my Macbook pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015).
    What i did: found my background image in 'Photos', selected 'share' -> 'set desktop picture' which set the photo on my *macbook screen* where Photos was open. I then simply moved the Photos window to my *second screen* and chose another photo, 'set as desktop image' to have different photos on each screen.
    The image filled the whole desktop which is not what i wanted so i went to system preferences and changed to 'fit to screen'. Restart and no issues, just back to how i want my desktop to look.
    Thank you!
  20. TLovern macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2016

    no, it does not. I'm selecting the photos from my photos library, and it is reverting to a default background on re-boot.
  21. fenderbass146 macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Northwest Indiana
    It clearly worked for the above post? Are you using the Photos app or iPhoto?

    If it's the photos app. Select the photo you want. Click the share button. One of the options should be set desktop wallpaper. That's worked for everyone I know that has had this problem.
  22. Karma13 macrumors newbie


    Jul 16, 2016
    I have had the same problem.
    What I did though is...

    Went to System Preferences (usually, will be on hot bar desktop)
    Desktop & Screen saver
    I chose which folder/photo I wanted by adding it
    Went to where it says Apple with a small arrow and made sure that the arrow was pointing to the side so that the options for that area are not visible... I did the same for the Photos option.
    After that is should work.

    Attached Files:

  23. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    I vaguely recall this being a bug in a non-public pre-release, maybe it was the pre-release of Mountain Lion.

    Some of you might like to try what worked at http://apple.stackexchange.com/a/76057/8546

    I have a vague hunch that deleting defaults-related files, such as those, may be not a reliable approach. For a technical explanation, please see the accepted answer to my question Why is a command line change to ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.LaunchServices.plist not effective immediately?

Share This Page

29 July 31, 2012