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How to get Mojave Dynamic Desktop and Stacks features now


If you are part of Apple’s developer beta program you could get your hands on Mojave right now, and if you are signed up for the Mojave Public Beta you should be able to start using the public beta version when it arrives later in June. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some of the Mojave features right now. In this article we will show you a few ways you can get some of the new Mojave features on your Mac.

How to get Mojave Dynamic Desktop

You can download the Mojave Wallpaper and create the Mojave Dynamic Desktop feature on your Mac now.

To start you’ll need to download the Mojave wallpape, we show you how to do that here. You can grab the image from this link: images. It’s a 40MB file including all 16 sand-dune images.

Once you have downloaded images onto your Mac, drag the folder of images to your desktop, copy the folder of images to Photos.

Here’s how to set up the Dynamic Desktop:

  1. Right click on your Desktop and choose Change Desktop Background, this will take you to the Desktop & Screen Saver pane in System Preferences.
  2. Open a Finder window and drag and drop the folder of images onto the white space below Folders. Your Mojave folder will immediately appear here.
  3. Now onto the Dynamic Desktop trickery. If you would like the Mojave desert images to change throughout the day to give the impression of day and night, then look below the set of images for the option to Change picture. Click in the box to choose this option.
  4. You can now choose how often you want the image to change. The options are: Every 5 seconds, Every minute, Every 5 minutes, Every 15 minutes, Every 30 minutes (this is the default), Every hour, and Every day.
  5. Since there are 16 images available you could see a day pass every 80 minutes you could set it to every 5 minutes, for example. Alternatively pick every 5 seconds to see a day in just over a minute.
  6. If you want to try and match the images to your day, we recommend picking the image that’s most representative of where you are in the day and choosing hourly. If that method doesn’t display a daytime image when you want it to, try switching to Random images, and when you are satisfied that the image displayed fits the time of day, turn off the Random setting.
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The only issue with this method of creating a Dynamic Desktop is that here in the UK right now we’re in the height of summer, with long days (the sun was up at 4.45am this morning and will set at 9.20pm). Since there are only eight images that look sufficiently daytime that means you will only get that daylight effect for eight hours of the day, so choose wisely!

When Apple launches Mojave the Dynamic Desktop should be linked to the hours of daylight where you are based.

How to get Desktop Stacks

When they arrive in macOS Mojave, Desktop Stacks will be a neat way to organise your desktop. With Desktop Stacks turned on all the files on your desktop will automatically sort into the relevant folders, so your Desktop will always be tidy and (in theory) you will be able to find everything you need.

You can create an effect something like this right now using Smart Folders.

Here’s how to create a smart folder:

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Click on File > New Smart Folder in the menu bar.
  3. A Finder window will appear with some additional options. You can choose for the folder to be compiled based on all the contents of your Mac (in which case choose This Mac), or just your Desktop (in which case choose Desktop). For the sake of this attempt to recreate Desktop Stacks, we will click on “Desktop”.
  4. Now to choose the file types you wish to search for. Click on the plus button on the right.
  5. Here you can choose Kind, Last Opened Date, Last Modified Date, Created Date, Name, and Contents. If you want to create a folder of images, for example, Choose Kind.
  6. Now you can choose what kind of file you want to be included in this Smart Folder. Your options include, Any, Application, Archive, Document, Executable, Folder, Image, Movie, Music, PDF, Presentation, Text, and Other. Choose Image, to create a Smart Folder of all the images on your Desktop.
  7. If you’d like to be more specific about the sort of image, e.g. just stick to JPEG, then click on the dropdown beside All and choose JPEG.
  8. You will see all the images located on your Desktop in the Finder window. You could stop here, but there are a few more options open to you. If you click on the + again, for example, you can create another set of rules for the folder, for example, you could specify that only images last opened within the 10 days should appear.
  9. Once you are happy with your Smart Folder, click on Save.
  10. Now you need to choose a name for your Smart Folder, and tell your Mac where to save it.
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Your Smart Folder will now appear on you Desktop. Unfortunately this won’t automatically tidy up your desktop in the way that Desktop Stacks will, but it means that if you drag everything scattered around your desktop into a Stuff folder, the Smart Images folder will still include all the images on your Desktop.

(Note that these Smart Folders don’t move the images, they just create a sort of alias to the image in its actual location).

For more tips about organising your desktop read: How to organise your Mac desktop.

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