If you are a Mac user, you must have tried at least once to set a GIF as animated desktop background (wallpaper). However, it can’t be done directly. You will require an additional app to do that. We will provide the step-by-step guide.

First of all, you will require having a GIF image saved on your MacBook or iMac, whatever you are using. If you don’t have one, grab one from Giphy. If you want a large one in the desired size, please read our article about GIF Search, it will guide you how to find GIFs in the desired size via Google Search. If you want to make your own GIF from a video or capture desktop screen’s activity as GIF, you should check out GIF Creator guide. Save a couple of GIFs on your Mac to test the process.

How to set GIF as Animated Desktop background or Wallpaper on Mac OS X

  • Download free GIFPaper app (found on Reddit)
  • Extract the file
  • Double click on GIFPaperPrefs.prefPane
  • Now it will take you to System Preferences where you will be asked to install, so Click Install. If you can’t install it, please check Security and Privacy Setting in Preferences, and enable Allow Apps to Download from anywhere. You can disable later once it is installed.
  • Once installed, you will be taken to the window where you can select GIF, else go to System Preferences, and click on GIFPaperPrefs
  • Click on browse and select any GIF image
  • Select alignment, Scaling and Background Color
  • If GIF is already not applied as Wallpaper, please go to the folder where you extracted the downloaded ZIP file. Double Click on GIFPaperAgent, Click Open
  • Now you have set an animated desktop background on your Mac

If you don’t want to open GIFPaperAgent every time, you apply a new GIF or restart your system. You can set GIFPaperAgent as a startup item, so it will start running automatically when you turn on your Mac. Follow this instruction to do so

  • Transfer GIFPaperAgent in Application folder
  • Go to System Preferences
  • Click Users and Groups
  •  Click Login Items
  • Click + Sign
  • Locate GIFPaperAgent from Application folder, and select it
  • Check the box for GIFPaperAgent

You are done! Now Enjoy GIF as Animated Desktop Background on your MacBook or iMac.

If you are still facing any issue, please watch the video

If you want to remove it, follow this instruction

  • Go to System Preferences
  • right-click on GIFPaperPrefs
  • Select Remove
  • Go to Users and Groups –> Login Items –>
  • Uncheck GIFPaperAgent
  • Click on Minus Sign (-)
  • Now Open Finder and Delete GIFPaperAgent
  • Select any Wallpaper for your Mac (it won’t change until you restart the system)
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