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Is this really the greatest Apple Mac wallpaper of all time?

Catalina wallpaper
(Image credit: Basic Apple Guy)

While best known for its elegant hardware design, Apple also has a reputation for stunning wallpapers. New backgrounds are arguably one of the most exciting aspects of any iOS or macOS announcement (or is that just me?), and Apple fans sure do love to reminisce about their favourite wallpapers from times gone by.

And now, Apple fans have voted for their favourite default macOS wallpaper of all time. In a tournament run by super-fan Basic Apple Guy, users knocked out several designs via a survey – until just one remained. But is it really the best? One thing's for sure – they'll all look best on an LED display, so check out the best 2021 MacBook Pro deals.

Macos wallpapers

And the winner is... (Image credit: Basic Apple Guy)

From Lion's space swirls to Panther's abstract blue swirls (there are a lot of swirls), every default macOS (or as it was previously known, OS X) wallpaper was included in the tournament. Each week a design was knocked out, until we were left with a winner. 

While I've always been a fan of the more abstract, colourful wallpapers, it seems Apple fans prefer photography. The Yosemite mountains kicked out Big Sur's colourful blobs, and the newest wallpaper – for macOS Ventura, due for release this year – didn't make it past week 1. 

macos wallpapers

Catalina (right) was the winner (Image credit: Basic Apple Guy)

In the end, it was narrowed down to Lion and Catalina, with the latter winning (by just 36 votes, securing 51.5% of the total). 2019's pointy island is officially Apple fans' favourite wallpaper. If I'm honest, I'm a little underwhelmed – what about my abstract swishy colours, guys? But then again, Catalina's did look awesome with its real-time changing light during the day. If all this wallpaper talk has got you in the mood to buy a new Mac, check out today's best Apple deals.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).