Every default wallpaper of OS X and macOS

The wallpaper behind the windows is always a very important part of a product branding. Apple is particularly good at choosing the right image. Here is a gallery of default wallpapers of every Mac OS X version.

Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah, 10.1 Puma

Classic Aqua Blue

Gentle arches in the well-known blue.

Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar

Jaguar Aqua Blue

A new one in the same style: instead of abstract arches we got glowing lines.

Mac OS X 10.3 Panther

Panther Aqua Blue

The same blue again.

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger

Aqua Blue

It is very interesting, that Apple took the time to refine the details of the wallpaper. It is almost the same as Panther’s, but not exactly.

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

Leopard Aurora

Leopard brought a brand new direction: space. Until Mavericks Apple shipped every OS X with space themed wallpapers.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard


Just as Snow Leopard was a refined version of Leopard, it’s wallpaper was a refined version too.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion


This is the only wallpaper, which is missing from the current OS X Yosemite installation. The reason might be the poor image quality despite the large size.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion


Another refined iteration. This galaxy is less colorful and much higher in quality.

OS X 10.9 Mavericks


When Apple ran out of cat names, switched to places. Mavericks is a famous surf place not too far from Apple’s HQ. The beautiful colors of this wave tell you the story.

OS X 10.10 Yosemite


After the beach we went to the Yosemite National Park. This release includes a bunch of high quality images from the famous rocks of the park. The selected default wallpaper was a perfect demonstration for the new transparent interface of the operating system.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan

El Capitan

El Capitan is the name of one of the the most beautiful rocks in the Yosemite National Park. The resolution increased to 5120×3200, the resolution of the 5K iMac.

macOS 10.12 Sierra


The new wallpaper is about a mountain too.

macOS 10.13 High Sierra

High Sierra

Of course High Sierra, the highest part of the mountain is also a mountain image.

Pro tip: 512pixels web site has some of this wallpapers remastered in glorious 5K resolution.

macOS 10.14 Mojave

Dark sand dune

The wallpaper is actually a HEIC file with multiple images for each part of the day, which can change dynamically. You can find all the images extracted here: https://github.com/xtai/mojave-dynamic-heic