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Use an animated GIF as a background in Mac OS X with GIFPaper

enero 20, 2020

Have you ever wanted your Mac wallpaper to be animated? A common trick to achieve this effect is to set a screen saver as a desktop wallpaper in Mac OS X, which looks great but may end up using a fair amount of processor to view animations, but another option is now available; Use an animated GIF as a desktop wallpaper on your Mac, thanks to a small free app called GifPaper.

GIFPaper a little experimental at this point, requires the elimination of Gatekeeper, uses about 15% of the CPU to display the animation, requires the manual installation of a preferences panel and, if you want to delete it, you need to force the exit the associated process through Activities Keep under control. Because of all this, the use of GifPaper probably better used exclusively by more advanced Mac users, as it is totally not supported by the developer (or anyone else). If you are not comfortable with it, do not use the GifPaper app for now. If you don't care about these warnings, here's how you can use GIFPaper to set an animated GIF as a desktop image on a Mac.

How to set animated GIFs as desktop wallpaper in Mac OS X.

  1. Get GIFPaper from this Dropbox link *, free from the developer but not supported
  2. Install the preferences panel and use the Browse option to select the animated GIF, then adjust the settings as desired
  3. animated-gif-as-wallpaper-mac

  4. The animated GIF should load immediately as a background, but if it does not manually attempt to start Gifpaper.app to load the gif as a desktop background image

Here is an example of the Mac desktop with a GIF fireplace in use as the background wallpaper image:

animated-gif-wallpaper-mac

And here is another example of a Mac desktop with animated GIF as a background via Lifehacker:

animated-gif-mac-wallpaper-Lifehacker

This can be a fun use for your Live Photos converted to GIF, than what I did in this piece with a fireplace gif that was created from a Live Photo. Obviously if you have Gif Brewery you can also use other animated GIF creations of your own creation, otherwise a quick Google image search for "animated gif (object)" or visit a site like Giphy should find something to meet your GIF needs

* Download and use this app at your discretion, there is currently no associated development page or Github page on the GifPaper app. In general, it is not wise to download and use apps or files from random web links from an unidentified developer, but this app was found by LifeHacker and works as advertised (the creepy looks of the eyes gif via 2001 (the movie) shown on page comes from Lifehacker also).

Removing the GIF card and rewinding the normal background

You can remove the GifPaper preferences panel with a right click:

gifpaper-prefs-remove

And if you want to close the animated GIF as wallpaper, restart your Mac or exit the GIF Paper process that goes through Activity Monitor:

quit-gif-paper-agent

Unfortunately there is no Github page with source or an official website for the project, although developer Tomasz Wojcik hints that they would probably put him on Github in the end. If you were hoping to have a look at the source, get support for the app or ask specific questions about the project or how it works, you will have to contact the creator directly via the readme file attached to the download, for now anyway.

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