I'd like to be able to have very ambient and persistent access to a web page.

One idea would be to set the web page as my wallpaper.

On Windows this would be easy enough, by setting an Active Desktop, but how would you go about it on a Mac.

If it is not possible, what would suggest as an alternative?

  • This is not an answer, but we are building a product that you may find useful. Screensaver.Ninja displays web pages as your screensaver, one after the other with the time delays that you specify. Apr 25, 2015 at 13:05

8 Answers 8


Qdesktop did exactly what I needed, and it’s free. It even lets you toggle being able to interact with the web page (e.g. to log on to a site).

  • This is exactly what I needed! Jan 11, 2018 at 0:22
  • 1
    brew cask install qdesktop Thanks!
    – Denis Howe
    Nov 8, 2019 at 10:48

This is a bit of a roundabout way, but you could use a screensaver like IdleWeb to show the website, and then set the screensaver as your wallpaper with Wallsaver. (By the way, this is just theoretical; I haven't actually tried this!)

  • By the way, Peter Murray, I'm not sure that GeekTool can show websites (except text ones), can it?
    – jrc03c
    Jul 7, 2010 at 15:13
  • The site is down, but CNET has it: download.cnet.com/IdleWeb/3000-2257_4-42078.html I only needed IdleWeb to be able to have the wallpaper animate the background. Exactly what I was looking for! Oct 1, 2013 at 21:34

I made a modern app for this. It's free and open-source: https://github.com/sindresorhus/Plash It supports showing both remote and local websites. It can force websites into fake dark mode. You can add custom CSS to style websites. And more.

  • A lovely piece of software!
    – MastaBaba
    Aug 13 at 22:40

What you are probably looking for is GeekTool. Take a look at the collection of "Geeklets" to see if there is something close to what you need to do and/or can adapt for your needs.

  • GeekTool would work easily if there's just a single image on the page he wants to refresh. If it's the whole page, he'd have to run a background process to render the page to an image periodically and then point GeekTool at that. Or he could use Lynx to display a text-only version.
    – NReilingh
    Jun 29, 2012 at 14:45

There is a built in solution to show a web page in the dashboard which might be "good enough" for you.

  1. Open Safari
  2. Navigate to the web page you want to show up on your desktop
  3. Select Open in Dashboard… from Safari's File Menu.
  4. The cursor changes to a white box. Move this white box over the area of the page you want to create a widget from. Click to select the area.
  5. Click the Add button top right of screen

Now you have the web page on the dashboard and it can be dragged and placed where you like. You can quickly see it by clicking the dashboard icon on your dock, or hitting the dashboard shortcut (usually F4).

Although widgets can be "detached" from the dashboard layer, they float above all windows.

  • "Open in dashboard" is greyed out.
    – jzadra
    Mar 20, 2019 at 15:35

just found this :)

An free app to display a webpage on desktop


  • 1
    As I checked it, it is $1.99
    – JoshP
    Sep 27, 2012 at 12:26
  • @JoshP $3.99 now :/ Jan 11, 2018 at 0:23

There's also Mach Desktop:


It's a full-on app made specifically for running videos and webpages on the desktop.

  • this app is about 700MB and also is not free.
    – Fabian
    Apr 28, 2017 at 21:54

There was a program called WebDesktop, but it hasn't been updated in some time. If you need something on Leopard or Snow Leopard it may or may not work.


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