Over the years, I’ve really enjoyed letting macOS auto-change my wallpaper once a day. I used to enjoy seeking out wallpapers that fit my style or mood, but the delight and intrigue I feel when presented with random wallpapers outweighs that personal hand-picked satisfaction — plus it requires way less time and effort.
While macOS has a built-in function for auto-changing your wallpaper at different frequencies, it can only use images that you curate into folders on your Mac. I wanted something that pulled new and interesting wallpapers from the internet. For a while, I used Unsplash’s official Mac app to fit this need, and it worked okay. I could only pick from existing channels, and it was really buggy on my Mac. I found myself discovering that the wallpaper hadn’t changed in days despite my setting to change it once every 24 hours. Sigh.
I discovered Irvue shortly after that, and I haven’t looked back. Irvue is a third-party automatic wallpaper switcher that lives in the menu bar and pulls from Unsplash’s amazing library of photos, but it provides so much more fine-grained control over the images it uses. And, it’s rock solid.
What I love about Irvue is that I can create custom filters for it to use as an image pool. One of my favorite filters combines a few space-themed channels and searches to give me an endless supply of outer-space wallpapers. Adding space, nebula, galaxy, and orbit as a search filter returns some amazing results.
You can also create custom channels that combine multiple Unsplash channels into one. On top of that, you can tell Irvue to skip any images that have people in them (like portraits) and stick with landscape-style imagery. I like this option because it’s always a bit weird when a random person pops up on your desktop. That was always an insta-change for me.
There are a few other nice options as well, like matching the menu bar theme to the current wallpaper tone (light or dark). Here’s a full list of all the features:
- Change wallpaper automatically every: 30 minutes, hour, 3 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, week, two weeks or month
- Customizable shortcuts
- Multi-display setup support
- Channels: new, featured and many others, which you can choose yourself
- Every photo is available for download to your Mac
- Auto-adjustment of your macOS theme depending on the current wallpaper
- If you have an Unsplash account, you can like photos, create collections, and add photos to them
- Hidelist for photos and authors
- Feature for advanced users: AppleScript support
Irvue is free to use, but you are limited in the number of channels you can add. The $7.99 in-app-purchase to unlock the channel limitation is well worth it in our opinion.
The Sweet Setup Staff Picks for 2022
We spend an inordinate amount of time sorting through hundreds of apps to find the very best. Our team here at The Sweet Setup put together a short list of our must-have, most-used apps in 2022.