MacOS Sonoma Wallpapers Issues

Two problems:

The wallpapers available in MacOS Sonoma (public/GA release) are not working/downloading.

The 'Shuffle Aerials' option to rotate through different wallpapers does not work (presumably because the wallpapers aren't downloading) and the shuffle 'Continuously' option 1) doesn't state how frequently this rotates, and 2) doesn't allow users to configure the interval.

Post not yet marked as solved Up vote post of thetrashboat Down vote post of thetrashboat
  • Update, some of these wallpapers appear to be loading, albeit very slowly (even on a 1GB network).

    I still have no idea whether the shuffle 'continuously' option works and what the interval is supposed to be.

  • I started a reddit topic on this and apparently more than a couple of people are experiencing the same thing. The "shuffle continuously" feature is not working, even after manually downloading every wallpaper.

  • I have the same problem, bul still can't download the video wallpapers.


I was facing the same download issues, restarted the device a few time and it has started downloading individually now.

I have the same problem on two iMacs and a MacBook Pro M2 Rebooting does not help solve the problem. Wallpaper loading starts and stops at 20 percent

I have same issues, but have noticed if I select one of the "missing" wallpapers (identified by the download arrow being next to the name) it will download but takes up to 5 minutes to finish downloading at 120Mbps download speeds; and then changes. If I swap to another wallpaper in the middle of the download; for example, in the Underwater section starting the download for "Humpback Whale" and then select "Jack School" before "Humpback Whale" finishes, it appears to pause the "Humpback Whale" download and only resumes when I select it again and leave it selected until it changes the wallpaper. A "Download All" option under each section would be nice and allowing the download to continue in the background, whether it is still selected or not would be helpful also.

I like the Shuffle All option, but would like the ability to Shuffle 2 or 3 verses all 4 (for example shuffle just Landscape and Cityscape) and/or the ability to select multiple individual wallpapers (for example, 5 from Landscape, 7 from Cityscape, 3 from Earth), a "Custom Shuffle" option.

The Shuffle Continuously has not seemed to work for me. I choose it and ran for a couple days and it did not change. Would like the ability to change it to a custom setting or every hour, 30 minutes, even 10 or 15 minutes.

  • Replying to find out if Apple seems at all aware of or concerned by this common issue, because this post is 6 months old and all of these issues still apply: -Absurdly slow download speeds -No background downloading of individual wallpapers -No "Download All" option -No information on what the "Continuous" interval is; limited other interval options -No options to customize Shuffle selection -No option to switch manually in "Shuffle All" Is there another way to bring this to their attention?

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+1, I have the same issue on my M2 Pro

I have this issue even with a "self added" picture. Background stays black.

  • I am having the same issue but with every wallpaper - it stays black on my main monitor and one of the side monitors, but changes for my third monitor. I have 27" I Mac 2019 3.6 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9

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The solution i found was to go to settings -> displays -> advanced -> show resolutions as list. Then i selected any other resolution and then wallpaper worked. It continued to work even when I switched it back to the original resolution. I like to put the answer first so people dont have to read too much to get what they need.

After updating to Sonoma my desktop was grey. I tried resetting NVRAM and PRAM didnt work. Also tried selecting all different wallpapers and nothing worked. Finally I hooked up an external monitor and to my surprise when I used the external as an extended display all the wallpapers were working on the extended one while my main wallpaper remained grey. Hooking up the external brought up the resolution options for the main that weren't visible before. I changed the resolution for the main and then the wallpapers started to work.

  • Thanks for the suggestion, this doesn't work for me. I won't shuffle with the aerial wallpapers, and it won't shuffle even my own photos if I choose a folder. This worked fine in Ventura.

  • I tried this solution, didn't work.

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I have the same issue where none of the wallpapers will shuffle. They won't even shuffle a folder in photos without manually downloading each photo. That is not practical when there are over a thousand photos in some folders. It worked fine before updating to Sonoma.

it's pity that worlds largest tech giant cant resolve this tiny basic issue

I imagine these are 1GB+ in size - when I select download, it downloads at 1% of my internet speed, I measure 100KB/s. Normally I get 10MB/s. So that's 1% of my normal speed, and I guess that's why it would take a very long time, were I to wait.

I always have iStat Pro running showing network activity in the menu bar.

They must be hosted on a shoebox somewhere...

If Apple could move these into one of its humongous data centers, that would be great.

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If I add a whole photo album then it does nothing. I have t manually select each photo from that album to "your photos" section. Then it shows background correctly. Is this a bug? Before Sonoma I could choose a folder and Mac Mini would display an other photo every other hour.

In my example helps severa times click on wallpaper, and wait a while.

even with a 1 gigabit internet and a wifi 6 router it takes ages to download the wallpapers. worlds most expensive company in the world should be able to solve this in beta

This fixed it for me: go into Mission Control, add a Space, and delete your default space. got the answer from @peterfreeby on X.

  • Just did that and it works for me. Make sure you delete the original space, as it will continue to go back to it unless you delete it.

  • this worked for me too

  • Worked for me too... thanks!

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Bro how do wallpapers not work in 2023. That's crazy

fr bro this is ridiculous. common Apple L