Design

Keep Your Desktop Wallpaper Fresh With These Tools

Your desktop wallpaper can inspire or motivate you, help organise your icons and folders (or even serve as your to-do list), or simply serve as amazing eye candy. Here are several fantastic tools for keeping your wallpaper from getting stale.

Automatically Download and Update Your Desktop Wallpaper

The easiest way to keep your desktop looking good with a fresh crop of wallpapers is by having them automatically come to you.

For Windows:

  • John’s Background Switcher not only is our favourite wallpaper manager, the free program can grab photos from sources such as Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, Vlastudio, RSS, Picasa, Google Image Search.
  • If you’ve got a multi-monitor setup, DisplayFusion offers more monitor customisations and can also load photos similarly from popular online sources. There’s both free and Pro versions (you’ll need the $US25 Pro licence for random image rotating).
  • If you’re a fan of Microsoft’s Bing homepage images, the Bing Desktop program will sync your desktop background with the daily Bing.com wallpaper. It also adds a Bing search bar and news headlines to your desktop.

There are many others, including Wallpaper Juggler, which downloads images from interfaceLIFT and WallpaperStock, but the ones above are the feature-rich options.

For Mac, we recently highlighted Kuvva Wallpapers, which offers a curated selection of images from artists and photographers.

For Windows, Mac and Linux, there’s Wally, which refreshes your wallpaper at your designated intervals with images from sources like Flickr, Picasa and Photobucket.

Seek and Ye Shall Find: Great Wallpaper Sources

There’s no shortage of awesome wallpaper sources. We’ve highlighted several of our favourites a couple of times: VladStudio, 4Chan /Wallpaper Forum, Social Wallpapering, InterfaceLIFT, DeviantART, Wallbase, SimpleDesktops and Digital Blasphemy. (See our most recent roundup of the best wallpaper sites as well as the earlier version for descriptions of these sites.)

Plug those URLs/source feeds into your wallpaper switcher for a surprise every time your wallpaper changes.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our own Weekly Wallpaper roundups.

There are two other great ways to easily find beautiful wallpapers and automatically send them to your desktop wallpaper folder: Desktoppr and IFTT:

  • Desktoppr is an awesome wallpaper search engine that syncs with Dropbox (that’s a screengrab of it in the top image). You can search by resolution, date and popularity, and the Dropbox syncing means you only need to set it up once for all your computers to have those wallpapers.
  • If you’re browsing Flickr and find a photo you’d like as a wallpaper, this IFTTT recipe makes it easy to do that. Any time you favourite a Flickr photo, it will send it to where you want to put it in Dropbox. Make that Dropbox folder your wallpaper folder, and that’s it. You can create (or find) similar recipes for Facebook and Picasa on IFTTT.

Using the solutions above, you should never have to worry about running out of wallpapers or being bored by your desktop. Enjoy!