Change the Notification Center Background Wallpaper the Easy WayBefore beginning, you’ll need the following:
OS X 10.8 or newerMountain Tweaks – Get it here for free (click the small blue “here” link at the bottom of the page)
A dark repeating wallpaper pattern – SubtlePatterns is a good place to start
Technically, the replacement wallpaper image could be lighter, but you’ll find notifications are very hard to read. It also doesn’t need to be a repeating pattern, though it will look much better if a tiling image is used because it becomes repeated if the screen size is larger than the pattern.
Once you’ve downloaded MountainTweaks, unzip it and toss it into your /Applications/ folder, it’s a handy app to have and basically serves as a simple front-end to many defaults write commands that we’ve discussed before. When you have a nice replacement pattern ready, you’re ready to begin:
- Open MountainTweaks and choose the “Mountain Lion” tab
- Look for “Change the Notification Center background” option and give a long click on “Yes” (for some reason a normal click didn’t work, but YMMV)
- Select your new wallpaper pattern and click “Choose”
- Enter the admin password to confirm the changes
Revert Back to the DefaultHate the new look? It’s very easy to undo:
- Open MountainTweaks again and long press the “NO” button next to “Change the Notification Center background”
- Enter the admin password again to confirm the changes
Changing the Notification Center Wallpaper ManuallyThis is aimed more at advanced users who are comfortable with the Terminal. Even if you’re a command line fanatic it’s still easier to use the MountainTweaks automated approach outlined above. Nonetheless, many of us just like to know how things work and where stuff is located, so here’s how to manually change the Notifications wallpaper.
1: Find a Pattern & Convert it to TIFFFind a suitable pattern replacement, open it in Preview app, and save it as a TIFF image named “linen.tiff” to the desktop – this is important because the replaced file must be converted to a tiff file with the same file name in order to work properly.
2: Backup the Original Linen FileLaunch Terminal and enter the following command string, this will copy the ‘linen.tiff’ file to your documents folder and serve as a backup. The command is intentionally overly verbose in order to prevent accidents:
- sudo cp -R /System/Library/CoreServices/Notification\ Center.app/Contents/Resources/linen.tiff ~/Documents/linen.tiff
3: Replace the Original Linen with a New PatternAssuming your new ‘linen.tiff’ file is still on the Desktop, use the following command to copy it over the
- sudo cp ~/linen.tiff /System/Library/CoreServices/Notification\ Center.app/Contents/Resources/linen.tiff
- killall NotificationCenter;killall SystemUIServer
If you want to revert the change manually, just swap out the replaced linen.tiff file with the backed up linen.tiff, then kill NotificationCenter again.
Want to customize the Notification Center a bit more? You can also change its alert sound to something else.
Note: If this tutorial worked for you (and it should work), please leave a comment below. Thanks.