Incredible Free Apple Wallpaper Collections | From Mac OS & ios

Above: These incredible collections are free for all users…not just Apple users.


Baby boomers like myself who are also techies, will probably remember many of these favorite old Apple wallpapers.  Right around the time that we got our first Apple Computer our 2 almost teenaged sons seemed to dominate its use, so it was quite a while before I had a chance to see the wallpaper photos Apple includes with every computer,

When I did I was blown away!  

Apple’s background and wallpaper images were so uniquely beautiful (and generally still are!) but in entirely different ways than most of the wallpaper images I was familiar with up until then…which was basically Windows.

Below: 2 Beautiful Mac Wallpapers I’d Not Seen Before


About the Incredible (and almost complete) Collections of Apple Wallpapers

Without a doubt, Apple has had some of the most incredible and intricate wallpapers of any computing device known to man!  Unlike Windows computers which many times maintain the same sets of graphic images for many years running, Apple doesn’t keep theirs around for very long As soon as a new operating system (an annual event,)  is launched old wallpapers seemed to be ‘deep-sixed’.

So many times I’ve seen something that reminded me of one of the old ones that I used to use and which I’ve randomly searched for in vain time and time again.

image 2025

ios Wallpapers

There are about as many ways to download images as there are devices themselves. Since vsatips is primarily about Apple mobile devices, I wanted to make sure that those users know how to download these wallpapers in the best way possible. So a little further down the page I’ve written a quick tutorial on exactly that.

If you want to know why I bothered to go to all that trouble there are two reasons primarily. The first is that it actually is a little tricky. While you can easily download them or take screenshots of them, that doesn’t guarantee that you get the best resolution. The second reason is because personally I’ve always harbored strong feelings and attachments to some of my oldest wallpapers.

The iOS wallpapers are some of my all-time favorites. After all, who do you know that isn’t married to their cell phones these days? We all got into that habit pretty early. So if that old adage, familiarity breeds contempt were really true (which I’ve always contended is not the case,) we wouldn’t all have such a fondness for those things which harbor the greatest nostalgia in us…i.e favorite old iPhone wallpapers.

I only bring this up because the creator of this amazing collection isn’t a retired baby boomer at all, but rather someone you might think would have been one of the most unlikely to have done so.

The collection creator’s name is Evgenii Bogun. He’s an 18-year-old art and design student in Moscow! He goes by the Reddit handle of nucleam.



According to the Cult of Mac author Luke Dormehl, who actually managed to track him down and interview him…

Bogun told Cult of Mac that he only got his first Apple products in 2013, but said that he wanted to produce a comprehensive archive of older wallpapers due to the fact that, “Apple has [the] best wallpapers among other companies, and people generally have some memories associated with wallpapers they had at a time.”  


The images have been compiled from a variety of sources, including wallpaper packs already online to ones downloaded from older systems directly. The collection isn’t quite complete.

“There are some wallpapers I’d like to have,” Bogun said. He’s missing a few from iOS 6, and some of the classic versions of Mac OS (as it was styled before the current macOS) wallpapers are also absent. “Readers can support albums by sending wallpapers that are not in the album or in better quality,” he said.

Mac OS X Wallpapers

It just so happens that we still have a relatively early model iMac. It’s still setup and it runs. In case you’re wondering…no one really uses it anymore but I’ve always loved that computer…it was our very first Mac. I kept it in part because it’s worth nothing to anyone else today and scrapping it just seems wrong!

Also, I had the idea that I could use it to learn about how Macs are built…which I tried to do somewhat when I upgraded the memory. But it turns out that iMacs aren’t great for that purpose. I think it’s because it’s form factor makes it impossible to see inside the machine. iMacs are basically composed of a few circuit boards which sort-of slide out of this slot.

I bring this up because our old iMac could prove to be invaluable as a wallpaper resource. I examined each wallpaper collection carefully and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process. Seeing so many old wallpapers brought back many happy memories!

But I also noticed that this collection is missing some very old favorites of my families.

How Legal Are These Collections?

It’s unclear what the actual legal status of any Apple wallpaper collection offered for download to the public is. In the strictest sense, Apple could say that users don’t have the right to freely distribute content the company creates. However, it’s a practice that’s gone on for decades, and to my knowledge Apple has never made any attempt to curtail it.

And imo, In my opinion (imo,) Apple benefits from this free publicity and for all I know these images are considered ‘in the public domain’ in some instances because of their age, or in others because of the ways they’ve been redistributed for years and years.

But what the true legalities are is in question. So, I recommend that anyone who’s interested in downloading some or all of these wallpapers, do so sooner rather than later. You never know if or when they might disappear completely, and once they are in your possession they are essentially yours to do with what you will!

How to Contribute to Evgenii Bogun’s Effort

Providing better resolution wallpapers or missing wallpapers is one important way you can support the creator. However, you can also support the wallpaper collection’s creator, who’s also know as Reddit user nucleam, by making a Paypal donation. You’ll see the notice below immediately upon entering each collection.

Donate to PayPal to support this wallpaper collection

In addition to operating system wallpapers these collections also include Apple graphics from many of their special campaigns, such as the one below.

Tips to Download Archival Wallpapers

Part 1 | Viewing the wallpapers in a browser on mobile ios devices is tricky (this probably also pertains to people who are on most mobile devices!)

There are about as many different ways of capturing web images as there different types of devices. Since vsatips is primarily a site about Apple mobile devices I want to make sure those users know one of the absolute best ways of downloading images using ios devices that preserves resolution.

If you want to download these images in the highest resolutions possible using a mobile device such as an iPad or a cellphone follow these steps.

First, note the words in the blue box towards the bottom of the first screen you’ll arrive at and also depicted in the screenshot below.  It says:

Open In App


No wallpapers will be displayed for you in Safari’s mobile view because Google Photos wants you to download their Google Photos app and to view the wallpapers using their app.

But it’s so much easier just to download the wallpapers from within the Safari browser. Also, unless you actually use Google Photos you’d be downloading an app that you really won’t use again!

Important Note:

Google Photos is aggressive…I didn’t realize how aggressive until I started working on this with perhaps my 4th iPad.  I wasn’t even shown the above ‘Open App’ message.  It just opened the Google Photos app!

If that happens to you the fastest thing to do (rather than trying to figure out how to change some G. Photos Settings for example) is just to delete the Google Photos app entirely and then redowkwk  I had to do that on two iPad’s in order to even get to the place where I could initiate Desktop View…which is my next topic below.

Below:  Mac OS Wallpaper Gallery of Some of My Favorite Wallpapers

Tip to Bypass the Google Photos App & Make Wallpapers Visible to Mobile Devices

You need to switch to Desktop View in order to view or download any wallpapers. This method will also assure that you download the images in the highest resolution possible too.

Refer once again to the screenshot further up above. The purple arrow demonstrates how to switch to Desktop View. You do so by tapping on the Share Icon (the little box with the arrow in the upper right corner) and scrolling the display that opens until you see the menu item ‘Request Desktop View.’ Tap on that and your display will shift to Desktop View.

You should see something similar to the screenshot shown below.


Note that now you can see all the wallpapers, despite the fact that you’re using a mobile device.

You can download the images now just as if you were using a computer!

Part 2 | Actually downloading a wallpaper

The next step is to tap on any wallpaper. It will open in a second dedicated screen that looks like the one below. In the top right hand corner you’ll see a three dot menu. Tapping on it will open a menu which finally has the ‘Downloadcommand.


When you tap on the word Download you’ll be taken to the third and final screen. Below is an example of that screen…it’s the third and final screen. It’s also the actual download screen.

If you follow the instructions on the screenshot and long press anywhere in that screenshot and eventually the words ‘Save Image‘ should appear. You may need to try long pressing several times, because it’s finicky on ios devices.


If long pressing just won’t work for you there’s a second way to save the image. It involves using the Share Icon again. Tap on the Share Icon in the upper right hand corner and scroll through the bottom row of commands until you find the ‘Save Image‘ one…see below.

Save image from Share icon


Gorgeous Free Non-Apple Wallpapers

UnSplash is Also a Great Site to Get Free Beautiful & Contemporary Images for Use as Wallpapers

As a blogger I’m always on the lookout for free images to use on my websites. A year or two ago Unsplash entered the scene. It’s completely changed this task from an effort-based one into a pleasurable one because their images are gorgeous!

The way it works is this. Amazing photographers from all around the world submit their favorite images to Unsplash AND make them freely available for use by the public under Creative Commons laws. Then the general public can come and search their database for the images they need…and no user account is required!

Unsplash reminds you that it’s not necessary to credit individual photographers, but it’s always appreciated, and they provide you with a fast and easy way to do so. So whenever I download images from there, I always attach a small text file with the photographer’s name.

Below: A Sampling of the Kind of Wallpapers You’ll Find at UnSplash

image 2043img_5831

Links to Additional Information

I’ve compiled a list of several other websites that reported the news of this great new archive in July 2018 when the news broke, for anyone who’s interested  in seeking out more in-depth information.

There are also links to a few other sites which offer different archives. The ones from iDownloadBlog and 512Pixel are of particular interest imo. They’ve commissioned an artist to re-render various Mac OS wallpapers so they can be used on iPhones.

CNET’S  Get all the wallpapers for all the versions of iOS and MacOS in history

512Pixel’s  Every Default macOS Wallpaper – in Glorious 5K Resolution

MacRumor’s  Archive Offers Up All Past Mac and iOS Wallpapers

iDownloadBlog’s  MacOS Wallpaper for iPhone

iDownloadBlog’s  artist renderings of Mac OS Mojave for iPhones


Latest arenders Show the 2018 iPad Pro Designs

Apple News

Apple is set to host a keynote on October 30 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

New iPad announcements are expected. Macs and iPads are expected to take up most of the stage time but hopefully predictions of new AirPods, AirPower and an iPad mini will come true too.

9 to 5 Mac’s New iPad Pro Rendered

Below:  9 to  5 Mac’s Artist Rendering of the Expected New iPad Pro

Affiliate Disclosure

I’m an affiliate with Amazon & Apple iTunes.

My Affiliate Disclosure



About vsajewel

Hi...I'm the author of 2 main blogs on WordPress...vsatips...where I write tech tips for mobile devices...primarily ios...2nd is vsatrends...where I write less about tech things and more about everything else. I also host a YouTube channel which I use to better illustrate some of the 'how to's' in my posts. I love everything about technology. Currently, my main interests/platforms are ios, Windows and Amazon Echo. Recently I decided we were spending way too much money with our local cable provider. So I decided to cut the cord. There is a definite learning curve, especially the antennae part, but we successfully did that and are now saving a boatload of money, so I write some about that. I also am extremely conscientious about security because of an event my family endured , so I write a lot about that too. Two sub-categories of security I tend to focus on are the password manager Dashlane and Hardware Firewalls. Last, I take a lot of notes and have been a beta tester for Evernote for many years. I love Evernote! In recent years Apple has beefed up Apple Notes a it’s become a fairly serious note long as its OK if you lose or mess up all your Apple note data. I write about those 2 note platforms primarily.
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