A Windows port of Apple Mac's Mojave Dynamic Desktop feature

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 15, 2018
Updated • Jun 17, 2018
Software, Windows 10

WinDynamicDesktop is a free open source program for Windows 10 that brings Apple Macintosh's Mojave Dynamic Desktop feature.

Mojave Dynamic Desktop is a new feature of Apple's Macintosh operating system that alters the background image of the desktop dynamically based on the time of day.

While Windows does support loading different wallpapers either natively, in Windows 10, or through third-party applications like Bcall, Wally, or Wallperizer, none as far as I know link the loading of wallpapers to the time of day.

All that happens really is that Mojave Dynamic Desktop keeps track of the time of day in the location to load different wallpaper images that depict the time of day.

Update: The developer released an update which addresses issues mentioned in the review. It drops memory use, does away with the bulk of crashes, and unlocks an option to set custom desktop backgrounds.


WinDynamicDesktop brings the feature to Windows 10. It is an open source program based on Microsoft's Net Framework that you can run right after the download. Note that Windows SmartScreen may kick in as the app is new and not widely used.

The app has a size of less than 1 Megabyte but it comes without any of the wallpapers that it uses. It will download the wallpapers on first start.

All you have to do is enter a location as it will change the desktop backgrounds on the system based on the location. You can enter town, country to set a location and maybe other location-based information such as zip codes as well but I did not try that.

Once you have done that and clicked on the set location button the wallpaper images get downloaded and set automatically by the application provided that it is running in the background.

dynamic wallpapers windows

The application downloads and stores 16 wallpapers on the system which it loads based on the time of day. The screenshot above highlights them all; as you can see, light and shadow changes throughout the day so that you get a bright almost shadow-less image at noon and darker photos at night.

There are a couple of things that you need to be aware of:

  1. The app threw exceptions regularly but it worked nevertheless.
  2. It is not possible currently to use a custom set of wallpapers. You could try and replace the wallpapers with your own, not sure if that would work though (retain the name).
  3. The app uses quite a bit of memory. It used 55 Megabytes on a Windows 10 Pro device running version 1803.

Closing Words

Dynamically changing the desktop background based on the time of day is certainly an interesting feature. Question is, is it worth running a 55 Megabyte of RAM using background app all the time for that? I can see this app becoming popular if the developer manages to cut RAM use a lot and introduce new functionality such as selecting custom wallpapers or time intervals.(via Deskmodder)

Now You: Do you use a wallpaper changer?

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  1. Timothy J. said on June 17, 2018 at 4:55 am

    I’m the developer of this app, thank you for reviewing it.

    I wanted to mention that I just released a new version (1.1) which addresses the issues mentioned in this article:
    1. A number of bugs have been fixed, so the program should crash less now. If it still crashes, the error info is now written to a log file which contains useful information to report.
    2. It is now possible to use a custom set of wallpapers if you create an images.conf file. More details about how this works and the format of the file can be found in the readme on GitHub.
    3. I fixed a memory leak in the app that reduced the memory usage significantly from 55MB to around 15MB. I hadn’t noticed the excessive memory usage before, so thanks for pointing it out.

    The new version also includes an option to start the program automatically when Windows boots.

    Thanks again for the review. The publicity of this little app increased way more quickly than what I expected, but I’m glad if other people find it useful.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 17, 2018 at 7:04 am

      Hi Timothy, thanks for letting us know. I have updated the review to reflect the changes.

  2. Weilan said on June 15, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    This seems as useful as Aero glass is, that’s why I’m using Windows Basic.

  3. Anders said on June 15, 2018 at 10:51 am

    55MB is “quite a bit” memory of usage? Get out of XP era and buy some RAM.

    1. Yuliya said on June 15, 2018 at 11:09 am

      I think 5 MiB would be too much for a wallpaper changer. Explorer alone can accomplish this, and it takes about 30 MiB of RAM, and it’s the entire Windows shell, not just a wallpaper changer.

    2. Tom Hawack said on June 15, 2018 at 11:08 am

      It’s not because you earn an extravagant salary that you’ll spend more for a product than its value. If you do you’re a “new rich”!

  4. Cryohellinc said on June 15, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Thanks Martin!

    Any other places where we can get source images for this? Haven’t seen any website which offers 16h time-lapse wallpapers. Thanks!

  5. Yuliya said on June 15, 2018 at 10:04 am

    You don’t really need that program. If you set Windows to change the wallpaper at 1 hour, it will change it at every exact hour, not when you made the change (it will change at 13:00 and 14:00 and so on). Same if you set to 30 minutes (will change at 13:30, at 14:00, at 14:30 and so on).

    What you really need are 24 (or 12 and set it to change every two hours) wallpapers which cycle with the time of day on the same location. The only downside is if you shut down your computer the cycle will stop and resume wher it left off last time. So you’ll need to adjust it with a couple of clicks at the beginning (right click on desktop > next wallpaper). Imo it’s a good trade for not having an additional process in background.

  6. Tom Hawack said on June 15, 2018 at 9:38 am

    No wallpaper changer here. I use a desk background image I like and when I get fed up I switch to another one, may last 1 day, week, month, year. No need to say (why do I say it then?) that such an application as this Apple Mac’s Mojave Dynamic Desktop feature, heavy-weight and moreover unavailable for Windows7 cannot and would not be a favorite here (even if I ran Win10!).

    I forgot to mention that I dislike dark environments, dark wallpapers, so at night time I’d be having the blues (when blue remains my favorite color). Complicated?!

    1. jern said on June 16, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      Changing wallpaper all the time would drive me crazy. On my Macs I use what’s called “Solid Gray Pro Dark.” It’s easy on the eyes and on the screen. I hope Apple doesn’t start falling into the feature-itis syndrome (sorry, they already have). There are at least a dozen apps that I would delete if Apple hadn’t locked them up and declared them essential to OS operation (along with a crap-load of foreign fonts that I will never use in my lifetime).

  7. CoolCatBad said on June 15, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Not worth the RAM overhead, you can automate changing desktop pictures natively in Windows 10.

    1. Anders said on June 15, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Really? Still on XP with 512MB?

      1. Kaaaa said on June 16, 2018 at 2:34 am

        50mb for an app that just changes background image is a lot.

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