Hands-on: Apple’s new ‘Hello’ screen saver for M1 Macs running macOS 11.3 [Video]


New M1 iMacs will ship with a new screen saver in macOS 11.3 RC entitled Hello, a not-so-subtle homage to the original Macintosh, and to the original iMac. The new Hello screen saver is available in macOS 11.3 RC, and can run on any M1 Mac with a little bit of finessing. Watch our hands-on video for more details.

To use the new Hello screen saver, you’ll first need to be running the macOS 11.3 RC. From there, it’s just a matter of visiting the following location in Finder: /System/Library/Screen Savers/ and copying the Hello.screen saver to your desktop.

Rename the Hello.saver to Hellocopy.saver and then double-click it to install. You’ll be prompted to verify the install using your administrator password. Once verified, the screen saver will be installed and available in System Preferences → Desktop & Screen Saver → Screen Saver.

Keep in mind that the Hello screen saver requires macOS 11.3, so if you try to install it on an earlier version of macOS, you’ll be met with an error telling you that 11.3 is required. Watch our video below if you need additional guidance.

Video: new Hello screen saver for macOS 11.3

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Select the Hello screen saver, and click preview to see a preview of it in action. What’s really cool is that the screen saver features several configurable options to adjust the look.

Hello screen saver options

The Hello screen saver includes three different options: Theme, Languages, and Match System Appearance. Let’s briefly break down what each option allows.


Hello features three distinct themes: Soft Tones, Spectrum, and Minimal. The default Spectrum theme is the one that provides the most visual pop, as it consists of white text on a bright colored background. Colors consists of similar colors that you’ll see on the new iMac, including orange, blue, yellow, and pink. The “hello” text on the Spectrum theme is always white, providing a nice contrast between the background color and foreground text.

The next theme is Soft Tones. As its name implies, Soft Tones is a softer, more pastel-like theme, which features colored text for less contrast.

Lastly, there is the Minimal theme, a decidedly monochromatic take that I imagine will look just as good on the silver M1 iMac as it does the space gray MacBook Pro. If you’re looking for additional variety, Apple also includes an “All” selection that randomly displays selections from all theme types.

Show “hello” in all languages

By default, the hello greeting is displayed in various languages, such as Japanese, Croatian, and Spanish, but users have the option of unchecking the Show “hello” in all languages option so that the screen saver is only displayed in English.

Match system appearance

If you’d like the Hello screen saver to match the system appearance in terms of light or dark mode, simply leave the match system appearance option enabled. Doing so will cause darker versions of the screen saver to display when dark mode is enabled on your Mac.

9to5Mac‘s take

“Hello” is a great addition to M1 Macs, and will complement the redesigned iMac, with its variety of colors, particularly well. If you own an M1 Mac on the latest 11.3 RC, I recommend taking it for a test drive.

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