6 Easy Ways To Tweak Your Mac Desktop’s Appearance

Nancy Messieh 23-05-2011

<firstimage=”//” />tweak mac desktopWe’ve already given you a few tips and tricks on how to spice up your Mac desktop 8 Mac Apps Which Will Definitely Spice Up Your Desktop Read More with apps like Pic-a-POD, Vladstudio Companion, Desktoptopia and DeskLickr. There are a few other ways you can adjust your desktop’s appearance depending on your needs.


From any easy way to change sidebar icons to automatically changing your wallpaper image, these apps make it more than easy to get it just the way you want, practically at the click of a button. Also be sure to check out the in-depth review of the popular, cross-platform wallpaper rotation app, Wally Wally- Awesome Wallpaper Rotator for Windows, Mac & Linux Read More .

Refinery [No Longer Available]

Refinery gives you instant access to tons of tiny little tweaks and changes to your Mac’s appearance.

You can tweak the dock’s appearance or positioning and control window minimization.
tweak mac desktop
You can also easily change your dock by drag and drop icons, dividers, indicators and more to get your dock just the way you want.
changing mac desktop
You can also download ready made docks to import from Leopard Docks.
changing mac desktop
With Refinery you can also easily tweak the Desktop icons size, font size, window title style, show hidden files, and more.
changing mac desktop
Other Finder options include changing the Sidebar icons and Toolbar icons, by dragging and dropping them onto the app.
mac desktop changes
You can also change the login window background, and system alert icons, also using the drag and drop method.
mac desktop changes
Any changes that you make can be easily reverted with the click of a button. Refinery is donationware, meaning you can use it for free for as long as you like, but if you find the app handy, you can also show your appreciation with a small donation to the developer.

Wallpaper Wizard Lite

Wallpaper Wizard Lite [No Longer Available] [App Store link] is available as a free download from the Mac App Store. The free version of the app does come with its limitations – namely you only have access to 100 of the available images. That said, the sets that are available are pretty impressive, divided into the four categories, animals, exotic, cars and nature.
mac desktop changes
There are several ways you can change your wallpaper using Wallpaper Wizard Lite. There is a mini-wizard where you can randomly shuffle between the available wallpapers, or even automatically change your wallpaper at specific intervals.
6 Easy Ways To Tweak Your Mac Desktop's Appearance WPWShuffle
Alternatively, you can open up the main window of the program to select the wallpaper yourself.
6 Easy Ways To Tweak Your Mac Desktop's Appearance WPWChoose
Upgrading to the paid version gives you the ability to upload your own images, turning Wallpaper Wizard into the ultimate wallpaper manager.


Loginox is a great little free app which makes it extremely easy to change the image you see when you’re logging in to your Mac. If you’re bored with the default Leopard Aurora image, you can choose any photo of your liking by dragging onto the Loginox app and hitting Set new login image. If you decide you want to go back to default image, simply select, Reset to default image.
6 Easy Ways To Tweak Your Mac Desktop's Appearance Loginox


Desktop Calendar

Desktop Calendar isn’t so much a wallpaper manager, as much as it gives you a quick and easy way to place a calendar over your wallpaper. The app is far from feature rich, but it gets the job done.

After downloading and launching the app, it displays a calendar on your desktop.
6 Easy Ways To Tweak Your Mac Desktop's Appearance DC1
To move or alter the size of the calendar, hit the Desktop Calendar menu in the status bar and select Enter Layout Mode or use the shortcut Command-M.
6 Easy Ways To Tweak Your Mac Desktop's Appearance DC2


Wlppr harnesses the power of, a wallpaper repository updated on a daily basis. Sitting quietly in your status bar, upon launching, you can set the app to launch at startup and automatically change your wallpaper for you on a daily basis.
6 Easy Ways To Tweak Your Mac Desktop's Appearance wlppr

Desktopple Basic

While not as robust as the pro version of the app, Desktopple Basic is definitely a useful app if you want a quick and easy way to clear your desktop. Unlike Desktoday 10 More Free Mac Gems In The App Store With every visit you can find one or more free nifty apps in the Mac App Store. There’s absolutely no easier way to quickly download applications without visiting several web sites. We here at MakeUseOf... Read More , rather than physically move the icons into an folder, Desktopple Basic temporarily hides them much like Camouflage 5 Great Tips and Tools For a Clean and Minimalist Mac Desktop Read More .


tweak mac desktop


One drawback we noticed to using Desktopple is that if you use a gesture shortcut to show the desktop, Desktopple has no effect. Desktopple Basic is donationware, meaning like Refinery, you can show your appreciation with a small donation.

Do you have any tips or tricks on how to tweak your Mac’s desktop appearance for free? Let us know in the comments.


Related topics: Application Dock, Calendar, Mac App Store, Wallpaper.

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  1. Croquet Brian
    December 11, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Can anyone suggest how "Pages" docs on Desktop, can show the written detail, rather that the Pages Logo.

  2. Alex Shen
    May 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Love the Refinery app!

  3. Mini HTPC
    May 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    I'm looking for a tweak to make pinching and zooming on OSX default to not need the Option key to be held. I use a Mac Mini as a HTPC and have a Magic trackpad for couch use. The app "Airmouse" natively works to pinch and zoom the whole display without a key needing to be pressed. The app seems to be sending the Option command automatically. Does anyone know of a way to set this so the Magic trackpad can do the same without the need for a keyboard?

    • Anonymous
      June 1, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      My built in trackpad doesn't require a key to be pressed to pinch and zoom. Have you checked System How about the unchecking the option that says, "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys"? You can find that under the Keyboard pane.