Have you recently changed the desktop background on your Mac, only to have the computer revert it to its previous state? You’re not alone.
The bug, which appears to have occurred since the macOS 11.3 update, appears to be affecting many users.
I’ve seen it happen on my own MacBook Pro and others are reporting the issue on devices like the Mac mini and MacBook Air, suggesting it’s not limited to a particular type of device.
The embedded video below, taken by a Mac mini owner on Reddit, shows the problem, where the Mac hangs with a wallpaper and restarts with a completely different one.
Not all systems seem to use the same wallpaper by default. I feel like Macs reset to the desktop background that was in place when macOS 11.3 was installed – at least that’s what happens on my computer.
Possible workarounds for the problem include saving the chosen image to the default wallpaper image file that the Mac chooses for your computer, but this is by no means a straightforward solution. because of the way these files are saved. It’s probably safer to wait until Apple fixes the problem in a future update and put up with the wallpaper that the Mac has decided to stamp on your desktop for a while.
The other alternative is not to restart your Mac and just put it to sleep whenever you’re done.
Apple has been asked to comment on the bug.
New iMac Wallpapers
By the way, if the bug is fixed and you feel like using one of the wallpapers Apple released for the new iMac lineup released last month, you can. It’s just hidden deep in macOS 11.3.
To find them, open the Change Desktop Background menu by right-clicking on your desktop. Then double-click on Desktop Pictures, open the Desktop Pictures folder which should appear in a window, and scroll down to the pictures called “Hello.” Drag the chosen image to the desktop, right click on it and choose Set Desktop Image.