I like to keep mixing up my background images every half an hour or so. Additionally, I have about 1,500 wallpapers in my Pictures folder on my Mac:

musically_ut@Schiaparelli ~/Pictures
> $ ls | wc -l

Most of these are hand curated, but some are from wallpaper dumps I found online (e.g. from r/wallpapers). Some of these don’t suit my taste or are mildly inappropriate. I would like to get rid of those images.

Though Mac allows you to change the desktop every X minutes, it does not provide an easy way of mapping back a wallpaper to the file it was from.

I got quite annoyed by this, and created this small app to fix the problem for myself.


Enter WhichBG.

It is a small Mac app I wrote which should show you the currently active wallpapers (for all the monitors). It does that by reading an sqlite file where OSX (Yosemite+) saves the currently active wallpapers.


It sits there demurely in your status bar as an icon until clicked. Upon clicking, it generates a scrollable list of all active wallpapers:

Sits in the status bar

When you find the wallpaper you would like to locate on your disk, you can double click it and it’ll open it in a Finder window:

Double clicking a wallpaper will open it in the Finder

Upon subsequent clicks, it’ll re-use the same Finder window, if open.

Download or see source


This project uses an icon made by Freepik from, licensed under CC BY 3.0