Have you ever wished you could have an animated GIF as the screen saver on a Mac? Well there’s no reason to wish, because an animated GIF screen saver can be a Mac reality, with no rubbing of genie bottles needed.
Using an animated GIF as a screen saver is a bit goofy and probably not appropriate for most people, but if you have a favorite animated GIF and want some low-resolution eye candy for fun or enjoyment, then this screen saver option may be right for you.
How to Use an Animated Gif as Screen Saver in Mac OS
This guide will be using a free third party screensaver to enable the usage of animated GIFs as the Macs screen saver, here are the steps:
- Download AnimatedGIF screen saver here from GitHub
- After you download the AnimatedGIF screen saver file, you can install the screen saver manually or double-click it and install it on the Mac that way
- Now go to the Apple menu and choose “System Preferences” and go to “Desktop & Screen Saver”
- Under the ‘Screen Saver’ tab, select “AnimatedGIF” from the left side menu, then click on “Screen Saver Options” to configure your animated gif screen saver
Now you just need an animated GIF to use as your screen saver.
There are a variety of settings to configure, including whether you want to center or stretch the gif on screen, adjust frame rate, load the animation, change the surrounding background color if the gif is centered, amongst other options, but all you really need to do is set the animated GIF path to the animated GIF of your choice.
It’s up to you how you want to arrive at an animated GIF to use as your screen saver (more on that in a moment). In the examples above I used a simple animated GIF created for this article about posting Live Photos to Instagram and Facebook. If you just want a quick animated GIF to test this out with yourself, you can try this fireplace GIF I created some time ago for a different post:
You can find animated gifs just about anywhere on the web. You can find one and save it from the web, you can make your own animated GIFS, you can convert a video to an animated GIF using GifBrewery or the simple Drop to Gif tool, you can send Live Photos as animated gifs to yourself and use that, or you could convert a Live Photo to animated gif using an iPhone app. You can even browse and send animated GIFs directly in the Messages app of iPhone and iPad, of which you could find a suitable animated GIF, send it to yourself, save that picture message to the Mac, and then use that as your screen saver. Or maybe you’re a huge Animoji fan and you want your Mac screen saver to be a talking Animoji, in which case you can use this guide to convert an Animoji to animated GIF and then use that for this purpose.
Don’t forget that you can also set a screen saver as Mac desktop wallpaper too, which works great with this – just in case you want an animated GIF as your desktop background – or you can use a free tool called GIFpaper to achieve a similar effect.
The potential is endless with animated GIFs, and with screen savers for that matter (the Apple TV screen savers on the Mac is my personal favorite, and using a movie as a screen saver is a neat trick too, though for Mac laptops I often use a custom “lost and found” message screen saver when traveling), so find something that suits your fancy and enjoy.