We are aware of issues when syncing some wallpapers on macOS Sonoma. We have reported these bugs to Apple and are hopeful that a fix will be available in the future.
In the meantime to avoid the frustration of Portal incorrectly reverting your wallpaper back to the wrong image we have chosen to automatically disable wallpaper syncing when we think you might be affected.
How do I know if I'm affected?
If you are running macOS Sonoma and have your desktop set to either the default "Sonoma" dynamic wallpaper or one of the new Landscape wallpapers then you are affected. If you are not using these wallpaper options then you should be unaffected.
What's the issue?
If you are using one of the affected wallpapers and have the "Sync wallpaper" option turned on then when Portal reverts your desktop it will always revert back to the "Sonoma Horizon" wallpaper. This is a macOS bug that we are unable to work around which is why by default Portal will suspend syncing in this situation.
There is another related issue where if you are using one of the built-in "Dynamic" wallpapers that displays differently due to time of day or light/dark mode you may find that the correct version is not automatically selected when reverting your wallpaper.
Which wallpapers are affected?
Unfortunately most of the built-in macOS wallpapers with the exception of the “Pictures” category are affected.
- Dynamic Wallpapers: Will revert to the correct wallpaper but might not revert to the correct version.
- Landscape / Cityscape / Earth / Underwater / Sonoma: Will always revert to “Sonoma Horizon”.
- Colours: Will always revert to blue.
Custom pictures you add and the built-in “Pictures” category are not impacted.
What’s the impact of not syncing wallpaper?
By default Portal syncs your desktop wallpaper, we do this to better integrate with macOS. Without wallpaper syncing you will notice:
- The macOS menu bar will not take on the colour of the current Portal scene.
- Portal backgrounds will not show in Mission Control or on the Lock Screen.
- Window tinting will not take on the shading of the current Portal scene.
You may wish to disable window tinting by turning off "System Settings > Appearance > Allow wallpaper tinting in windows".
Is it safe to sync my wallpaper anyway?
In a word yes, as long as you are aware that Portal may not be able to correctly set your wallpaper back to your previous selection and you may instead end up with "Sonoma Horizon" as your new wallpaper when you pause or exit Portal.
If this happens you can manually select your preferred wallpaper in System Settings > Wallpaper.
Are any work-arounds available?
The best work around we have for this is to ask you to choose a wallpaper that is not one of the affected wallpapers, this way Portal should always be able to revert correctly.
Alternatively you may choose to disable Desktop visuals entirely and instead choose to enjoy the visuals only within the Portal window. Turn off "Sync desktop background", click “Set Surroundings” then click anywhere on the in-window visuals to hide the interface.
If you choose to continue without syncing your wallpaper then you may find your experience is improved by turning off "System Settings > Appearance > Allow wallpaper tinting in windows".