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How To Use IFTTT and flickr to Rotate Wallpapers

Table of Contents

Flicker and IFTTT

Flickr is one of the most popular photo sharing applications out there today. Pair that with one of the most powerful web services out there, If This Then Than (IFTTT) and you’ve got a tag-team of awesomeness that can be used for a lot of different tasks. Today we’ll talk about using Instagram and IFTTT to rotate wallpaper on your Mac.

Before going any further, you’ll need the following:

  1. A Mac (duh)
  2. An IFTTT account (don’t worry, it’s free!)
  3. A flickr account (1 TB of storage for free)
  4. A Dropbox account (free for what you need it for)
  5. Dropbox installed on your Mac

Once you have these, you can get started.

Setting Up IFTTT

To start this off, you’ll need to log in to IFTTT.

Instagram IFTTT

Once you’re logged in you need to activate the flickr and dropbox channels inside of IFTTT. Activating a channel is as simple as entering your login information for these services. Just click on Channels in the upper right corner then scroll down till you see Dropbox and flickr. Both will be greyed out until they are activated.

IFTTT Channels

Once both channels are activated with your login information, click here to use the recipe that’s already built for you. Basically this recipe looks for any public picture you like (star) in flickr and downloads it to a folder in your Dropbox called “flickr.” Don’t worry if that folder doesn’t exist yet, IFTTT will make it for you automatically.

IFTTT Recipe

IFTTT runs every 7-15 minutes so the download of the images isn’t immediate, but it’s quick enough. Once you have this all set up, every time you’re logged in to flickr and star a public picture it will download to your dropbox. Make sure you’re logged in to flickr or this won’t work. With the IFTTT side of things complete, it’s time to get your Mac looking in the right place for wallpaper.

Setting Up Your Mac

With the hard part out of the way, getting your Mac seeing these pictures is pretty easy. Open up System Preferences and click on Desktop & Screen Saver.


Once the Desktop and Screen Saver window loads click the + button at the bottom of the left-hand side of the window to add the new IFTTT flickr folder.


Navigate to Dropbox > IFTTT > Flickr and click Choose.


The last step is to check the Change picture box at the bottom of the window. Once checked, you can choose how often you want your wallpaper to change. The default is 30 minutes and it’s not recommended to set it any lower than 15 minutes to avoid too many changes.


If you have a second monitor you can set this up for it as well. A similar window should have appeared on the other monitor as well that will allow you to do these settings.

When you’re all done you can close the System Preferences to complete the process. Now, just make sure you’re heading over to flickr every now and then to like pictures so you have a never-ending set of options for your wallpaper.

Kossi Adzo

Kossi Adzo

Kossi Adzo is a technology enthusiast and digital strategist with a fervent passion for Apple products and the innovative technologies that orbit them. With a background in computer science and a decade of experience in app development and digital marketing, Kossi brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to the Apple Gazette team.

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