How to set up and use video screen savers in macOS Sonoma

Want a more fun way to move from desktop wallpaper to screensaver on Mac? Well, macOS Sonoma can do just that with a very neat new feature of the operating system.

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In macOS Sonoma, Apple introduced many new features, including a new type of screensaver and desktop wallpaper mashup. How it works is pretty simple: Apple offers a number of video screensavers, including those that soar through the air or travel through underwater worlds. When the screensaver ends, it slows down and turns into a static image, which becomes your Mac’s new background image.

It’s a very subtle effect, but it looks great in action. Even better, setting up these video screensavers is easy and only takes a few minutes. Here we’ll show you how it’s done.

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How to Set Up a Video Screensaver

Step 1: Open the System Settings app and click on screen saver in the left sidebar.

Step 2: There are four categories of video screensavers: Landscape, Cityscape, Underwater, and Earth. There is also an additional group called “Shuffle Aerials” that brings together multiple screensavers within these categories (for example, there is a “Shuffle Cityscape” group that cycles through every Cityscape video screensaver). Click on the screen saver in either box and it will automatically start the download.If for some reason it does not appear, click the download button.

The System Settings app in macOS Sonoma opens the Screensaver submenu, allowing users to choose a video screensaver.
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Step 3: After downloading the screensaver of your choice, you will have a few options.enable show as wallpaper Toggle to set a screensaver of your choice as your desktop background. Doing this allows the screensaver to seamlessly start and end with the image from the video. Disabling this toggle means you keep your previous wallpaper while still using the video screensaver – macOS Sonoma will just switch from one to the other when the screensaver starts.

Below this option, show on all spaces Toggling applies the settings you choose to every desktop space you open.

If you choose one of the shuffle options, you can also decide how often the screensaver will switch between different videos. You can choose every 12 hours, daily, every two days, weekly or monthly.

Step 4: There is another way to interact with the video screensaver.First, click wallpaper In the System Settings sidebar. Here you can choose to use the wallpaper taken from the video screensaver without enabling the screensaver itself. Just click on an option in one of the categories listed in Step 2.If you want to pair it with a video screensaver, enable show as screen saver. Otherwise, disable this toggle to use a different screen saver.

The System Settings app in macOS Sonoma opens the Wallpapers submenu, allowing users to choose a desktop background taken from a video screensaver.
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Step 5: The image in the video screen saver is not only available on your desktop, but also on your Mac’s lock screen. If you set a wallpaper from one of the video screensaver categories, the video will play on the lock screen. When you log in, it will continue playing for a few seconds before going to a static wallpaper.

This works if both your wallpaper and screensaver are from a video screensaver set, or if you only have your wallpaper (but your screensaver isn’t). As long as your wallpaper is from a set of video screensavers, it will also appear on your lock screen.

Note that if you set up a video screensaver but use a different image for your Mac wallpaper (i.e. not from a set of video screensavers), your lock screen image will match the regular desktop wallpaper instead of will match. is a video.

Lock screen in macOS Sonoma with video screensaver playing in the background.
Alex Black/Digital Trends

The Video Screensaver in macOS Sonoma creates a very neat effect, giving you a choice of gorgeous wallpapers and screensavers that complement each other perfectly. They’re easy to use and offer a variety of options for how your Mac looks. They might not be major groundbreaking additions to the OS, but they’re definitely worth trying.

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