How to Set a Custom Live Wallpaper on Macbook with Any Videos + Troubleshoots

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2024/06/26 05:54
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Hey guys, welcome to the blog again!
I've noticed a trend of setting up custom live wallpapers on TikTok lately. Although my content centers around Notion, my interests are not limited to it. I am also passionate about everything related to digital setups, productivity apps, and MacBooks. So today, I thought I'd share a mini-tutorial on how you can set a live wallpaper on your MacBook here on my blog.
It's not as complicated as you might think. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process and get you up and running in no time.
I've received some comments from people unable to do so. I've tried going through other posts, but there don't seem to be many posts on it, other than comments like "install the latest version of macOS". It's challenging to determine the exact issue without seeing it firsthand. However, I have conducted some research and experiments and tried to be as specific as possible. Hopefully, this will help you address some of the problems you're encountering, or at least give you a better understanding of what might be wrong.
so without further ado, let’s get started
 Table of content

Disclaimer & prerequisites

For this tutorial, a video file preferably 4K with 16:9 ratio. Although I said preferably here, depending on your macOS, this requirement may be must. Read this to find out more.
You also need to have the latest version of macOS installed. Currently, I am using macOS Sonoma 14.5.
The wallpaper I used for this example is from the movie Big Fish. If you have seen my previous video, "The Reason Why I Got a MacBook," which went viral on TikTok, you can email me at, and I will be more than happy to send you the link to the custom gradient heart wallpaper I created.

Step 1: Download a Suitable Video:

First things first, you need to download a video that you would like to set as your live wallpaper. Ideally, the video should be in 4K resolution with a 16 to 9 aspect ratio to ensure the best display quality on your Mac's screen.

Step 2: Navigate to System Settings:

To start the process, go to your system settings and navigate to the Wallpaper, where you can change your desktop background.

Step 3: Download Any of the Existing Wallpapers:

Next, select and download any of the existing live wallpapers. This step is necessary because you will replace this wallpaper with the video you downloaded earlier. Once the wallpaper is downloaded, it should appear right on your screen. For now, feel free to revert back to your original wallpaper; we will come back to this later.

Step 4: Locate the Downloaded Wallpaper:

Finder > Macintosh HD > Library > > Customer > 4KSDR240FPS
Open the Finder and navigate to Macintosh HD. From there, proceed to Library, then Application Support, and Within this folder, navigate to the subfolder named Customer, and then to the folder labeled 4KSDR240FPS. Inside this folder, you'll find the wallpaper that you just downloaded.

Step 5: Rename and Replace the Original Wallpaper:

The next step is to copy the name of the downloaded live wallpaper inside folder, locate the video you want to set as your wallpaper, and paste the copied name onto it including the extension! Once you've done this, replace the original wallpaper file with your newly renamed video file.

Step 6: Set Your Custom Video as Wallpaper:

Now, go back to the System Settings and navigate to Wallpaper again. You won't see a new thumbnail for your video, but if you click on the thumbnail of the old video that you just replaced, you'll see your own custom video playing as a wallpaper.

Note that:

One important note to remember is that after the Sonoma update, it's no longer possible to have separate images for the lock screen and the home screen. The lock screen image will match the home screen. Also, remember that the screensaver is not the same as the lock screen or the wallpaper. Now, you can enjoy your custom live wallpaper every time you use your Mac.

Troubleshoot 1: My screen is either black or it worked, then turned black.

Here are some potential reasons as to why the screen stays black.
(most likely cause) Please be aware that the system needs some time to adjust to the new settings. Try restarting the mac and give it a few hours.
I also encountered an issue where the live wallpaper suddenly turned black once. Just a simple reset resolved it for me. I restarted my device, switched to a different wallpaper, and then back to the live wallpaper. This process helped restore it. Live wallpapers can be inconsistent. For more details, check out troubleshooting tip #2
(most likely cause) Ensure that your macOS version is Sonoma 14. Please note that for this tutorial, I am using Sonoma 14.5. It is irrelevant whether you have a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro; you just need to have Sonoma 14 installed.
Ensure that the video you're using isn't of low quality or an unusual size. It's recommended to use a 4K video with a 16:9 width to height aspect ratio.
(if it just black) The video name is incorrect. Ensure you've copied and pasted both the name and the extension (.mov) correctly.

Troubleshoot 2: The animation stopped working

Unfortunately, in MacOs in general the live wallpapaer is pretty inconsistent. You will find it sometimes works and sometimes stops working. A way around it to improve the performance is 1. Set it as a Screen Saver. 2. Then, change the battery settings or connect to the power adaptor.
Setting the Wallpaper as the Screen Saver can be one solution. Go to System Settings → Wallpaper and turn on the Show as a Screensaver toggle. Next, navigate to System Settings → Lock Screen. Make sure the screensaver starts before the display turns off. Here are my current settings for your reference.
The issue might be related to efficiency. To resolve it, try turning off the Low Battery Mode and connect your device to a power adapter. After that, wait for the screensaver to activate and see if the problem is resolved.

Troubleshoot 3: I can’t locate the folders

Where is Macintosh HD?
Simply, go to Finder → Go → Computer and you will see Macintosh HD there.
Where are Customer, 4KSDR240FPS,, etc?
First and foremost, ensure you're in the correct directory. You could also copy the text provided below. Then, navigate to Finder → Go → Go to Folder… and paste it in.
/Library/Application Support/
Plain Text
b. Ensure that your macOS version is Sonoma 14. Please note that for this tutorial, I am using Sonoma 14.5. It is irrelevant whether you have a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro; you just need to have Sonoma 14 installed.

Troubleshoot 4: The video is not in 4KSDR240FPS

You need to download any of the default live wallpapers via System Settings → Wallpaper. The video file is large and may take some time to download. The progress is indicated by a ring. Once the download is complete, check the folder again.


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