How to Change the Notification Center Background Pattern on Mac OS Guide

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Tired of seeing that linen wallpaper in the background of the OS X Notification Center? You can change that line pattern to something else, which gives the Notifications panel a nice custom look when you check for notifications on your Mac. the background of the ads can be changed in two ways, the more difficult the manual way of the command line and the easy way using the free third party tool called Mountain Tweaks. We handle both, but we usually recommend the easy MountainTweaks method because it’s faster and super simple. The end result of both methods is a custom background for notifications in OS X:

On with us.

Easily change your Notification Center wallpaper

Before you start, you need the following:

  • OS X 10.8 or later
  • Mountain Tweaks – Download it here for free (click the blue “here” link at the bottom of the page)
  • Dark repeating wallpaper pattern – SubtlePatterns is a good place to start

Technically, replacement wallpaper could be lighter, but ads are hard to read. It also only needs to have a repeating pattern, although it looks much better if a tiled image is used because it repeats itself if the screen size is larger than the pattern.

Once you’ve downloaded MountainTweaks, unzip it and throw it in the /Applications/ folder, it’s a handy application, and basically serves as a simple interface to write many of the default commands we’ve discussed before. Once you have a nice replacement model, you’re ready to start:

  • Open MountainTweaks and select the Mountain Lion tab
  • Find the Change Notification Center Background option and long click on the Yes button (for some reason, normal clicking didn’t work, but YMMV)
  • Choose a new background pattern and click “Select”
  • Enter the administrator password to confirm the changes

Change the background of the notification center with MountainTweaks

That’s it, open the Notification Center and check out the new wallpaper. In this example, we chose a fairly obvious red tile replacement:

Custom Ad Center Wallpaper

Return to default settings

Hate the new look? It is very easy to cancel:

  • Open MountainTweaks again and long press NO next to Change Notification Center Background.
  • Enter the administrator password again to confirm the changes

This will put the original liner image back to the ads background, slide it open to make sure everything is back to normal.

Change the notification center wallpaper manually

This is for more advanced users who feel comfortable in the terminal. However, even if you’re a command line fanatic, it’s easier to use MountainTweaks’ automated approach. However, many of us want to know how things work and where the items are located, so here’s how you can manually change the Ads wallpaper.

1: Get the pattern and convert it to TIFFFind the appropriate replacement pattern, open it in Preview, and save it as a TIFF image called “linen.tiff” on your desktop – this is important because the new file needs to be converted to a tiff file with the same filename to work properly.

2: Backup the original line fileStart Terminal and type the following script, this will copy the file “linen.tiff” to the documents folder and act as a backup. The order is deliberately too detailed to prevent accidents:

sudo cp -R / System / Library / CoreServices / Notification Center.app/Contents/Resources/linen.tiff ~ / Documents / linen.tiff

Since this uses sudo, you will probably need to enter the administrator password.

3: Replace the original linen with a new patternAssuming your new “linen.tiff” file is still on your desktop, copy it using the following command

sudo cp ~/linen.tiff/System/Library/CoreServices/Notification Center.app/Contents/Resources/linen.tiff

Now kill everything for the changes to take effect:

killall NotificationCenter; killall SystemUIServer

Slide Open Notification Center to see the new pattern.

If you want to revert the change manually, just replace the replaced line.tiff file with the supported line.tiff file and kill NotificationCenter again.

Want to customize your Ad Center a little more? You can also change its alarm sound to something else.

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FAQ: Change Notification Center Background Pattern in Mac OS X

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