📅 January 05, 2021     🕐 4 minutes read

HOW TO: Run Apple’s Gorgeous Aerial Screensavers on Mac

run Apple TV’s gorgeous aerial screensavers on your Mac

 

Back in 2015, I showed you how to run the new ( back then ) and gorgeous Apple TV aerial screensavers on your Mac. This is possible thanks to an app called Aerial.

Aerial is a macOS screensaver that lets you play videos from Apple’s tvOS screensaver. This includes classic Aerial videos shot over various cities and locations (New York, San Francisco, China…), Earth videos from the ISS, and the new underwater videos introduced in tvOS 13.

Starting with version 2.0, Aerial also includes videos from 3rd parties that kindly shared them, and you can also now add your own!

Before we get started, you should know that if you’re running macOS Catalina or Big Sur, a screen saver can no longer update itself, so Aerial now comes with a separate companion app that can update in the background or when you manually choose to update it.

ALSO READ

 

INSTALLATION: METHOD 1

1. Quit System Preferences if open for any reason

2. Download the latest version of Aerial here ( this includes both the screen saver and the updater app – it will also update the current version if you already have it installed )

3. Open the downloaded .dmg file and drag Aerial Companion.app into your Applications folder.

 

4. Now just run the Aerial Companion.app from your Applications folder and follow the instructions.

 

 

INSTALLATION: METHOD 2

1. You can install Aerial with Hombrew.  Just open a terminal an run brew install --cask aerial

2. To update Aerial just run brew upgrade --cask aerial.

NOTE: if you prefer using homebrew install to update Aerial, you should disable Sparkle auto updates in the Updatestab.

NOTE: If your settings aren’t saved in Catalina,  check if this folder exists:  ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.ScreenSaver.Engine.legacyScreenSaver/Data/Library/Preferences/ByHost/. If it doesen’t exist you will need to create it manually.

 

INSTALLATION: METHOD 3 – No automatic updates

1. Download the latest release of Aerial

2. Unzip the downloaded file which should give the needed Aerial.saver

NOTE: you might get a message saying “This app is damaged and can’t be opened, you should move it to the trash”. To fix this:

 

3. Double-click Aerial.saver; it will open in System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver and ask you if you want to install for all users or for your user only.

NOTE: installing for all users will require a password at install and each subsequent update

 

 

USAGE

Go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver, select Aerial from the screen saver list and click on Screen Saver Options... to configure Aerial the way you like it.

 

 

UNINSTALL

Method 1. Auto uninstallation

System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver, right-click on Aerial in the screen saver list and select Delete "Aerial". This will uninstall the screen saver automatically.

 

Method 2. Manual uninstallation

You can either use Finder or the terminal to browse to /Users/user_name/Library/Screen Savers/. Delete Aerial.saver

If you’ve installed the screen saver for “All Users” the location you’re looking for is /Library/Screen Savers

ALSO READ HOW TO: access the hidden “Library” folder on your Mac

 

Method 3. Homebrew uninstallation

If you’ve installed Aerial via Homebrew, to uninstall it you can run brew uninstall --cask aerial

 

 

REMOVING THE CACHE

Aerial stores your videos in a local cache on your machine. It’s location depends on the version of macOS you used, how you installed Aerial and when you first installed Aerial. You can find the location of the cache prior to uninstalling by going into Aerial’s Caches tab.

1. Prior to macOS Catalina (10.15), the cache for multiple user was either :

  • /Library/Caches/Aerial (long time users)
  • /Library/Application Support/Aerial (if you installed for the first time after summer 2019)

2. Prior to macOS Catalina (10.15), the cache for a single user was either :

  • ~/Library/Caches/Aerial (long time users)
  • ~/Library/Application Support/Aerial (if you installed for the first time after summer 2019)

3. Starting with macOS Catalina (10.15), each user has a cache in it’s own sandbox at this location :

  • ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.ScreenSaver.Engine.legacyScreenSaver/Data/Library/Application Support/Aerial

4. Finally, the preference file is located either at :

  • ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.JohnCoates.Aerial.{UUID}.plist (before Catalina)
  • ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.ScreenSaver.Engine.legacyScreenSaver/Data/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.JohnCoates.Aerial.{UUID}.plist (starting with Catalina)

 

For more info and troubleshooting you can visit the official Aerial project page on GitHub.

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