The Festive Apple: Snow applications for the Mac

Sections: Home and Personal, Mac Software, Originals

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I like snow, although I’m never sorry if it holds off till Christmas. Here on the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, we usually don’t get snow that sticks until after Christmas. The weather has been extraordinarily mild so far this season, with the exception of one major snow storm a couple of weeks ago that had me plowing the driveway with my 4×4 pickup, but it melted off to bare ground again in a few days.

However, if you’re a snow fan, wherever you live you can still enjoy some snow on your computer desktop for Christmas, and the great thing about virtual snow is than you don’t have to shovel or plow it!

There are more desktop snow applications for the Mac than you might imagine.


Let It Snow – $0.99

Bring a Winter Wonderland to your desktop with Let It Snow’s realistic snow fall and get into that festive holiday feeling as snow covers your dock and settles on windows whilst you work.



  • Realistic snow fall – using a physics engine
  • Snow drifts – that build up at the bottom of the screen
  • Snow covered windows – snow settles on the currently active window
  • Random flurries of snow – so you’d better wrap up warm
  • Melting snow – snow disappears after a period of time

Product [Let It Snow]

Snow Dance 3D Screensaver 1.2 – $12.95 Shareware

Smoothly falling flakes create sensation of calmness and serenity.

Snow Dance 3D

Snow Dance 3D Screensaver shows you the bewitching attraction and purity of snow-white winter. Imagine that you are on mountain top and take pleasure in a magnificent landscape of mountain nature. Huge flakes of snow softly lay down on the earth, forming a snow-white airy cover. The well-shaped evergreen, splendid firs, muffed with snow, harmoniously brighten a panorama and decorate solitary, centuries-old mountains. Harmony and pacification reign everywhere.

More than just a screensaver:

  • Each screensaver contains a clock of two kinds (analog and digital)
  • Each screensaver contains a calendar
  • Screensavers work under Windows and Mac OS X

Product [Snow Dance 3D Screensaver]

Snow in the Dashboard – Free

A snow animation for your dashboard.

E Snow in the Dashboard

Product [
Snow in the Dashboard]

Snow 1.2 – $10 shareware

Back when I was running the Classic Mac OS, my favorite snow application was Rick Jansen’s Snow for Macintosh, which let it snow on your desktop and on your windows, adds a Christmas Tree, and sends Santa and his sleigh flying around your screen for extra festive season cheer. However, one of the cool things about Classic Snow is that since the whole process of letting it snow on your windows is somewhat CPU intensive; if you found Snow slowing down your machine you could use the preferences to choose fewer or smaller snowflakes, no Santa, no tree, or no snow at all. You can set the number of flakes, how fast they fall, Santa’s speed limit etc. It all worked very well.

Snow 1.2

Rick has happily released an OS X native version of Snow for the Macintosh. It still snows on your desktop and Santa and his reindeer still fly around your screen while snow piles up on top of your windows. However, the tree is gone, having been replaced by an ambling Polar Bear and resizable snowdrop plants. Rudolph the Reindeer’s nose also glows red once you register the application.

New in this version:

  • Improved performance
  • Universal Binary (PPC and Intel)

Product [Snow]

Snowfall: The Ice Storm – Free

Quartz composer screensaver for Mac OS 10.4 Tiger features snowflake images by Wilson Bentley – The Snowflake Man. Once it’s installed in the Library/Screensavers, you can customize it to suit your tastes by modifying the options in System Preferences.

Snowfall: The Ice Storm

“Under the microscope, I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty; and it seemed a shame that this beauty should not be seen and appreciated by others. Every crystal was a masterpiece of design and no one design was ever repeated., When a snowflake melted, that design was forever lost. Just that much beauty was gone, without leaving any record behind.”

– Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley 1925

Product [Snowfall: The Ice Storm]

LotsaSnow 1.5 – Free

LotsaSnowThis screensaver draws snowflakes falling down your screen. Simple enough, but the oh-so-clever part is that it uses a semi-physical model for growing each snowflake, meaning every snowflake is actually unique, and also that it uses a quite a bit of processing power. But that’s the price you pay for indivduality.

Product [

Mac OS Classic

Snow – Free

Dave Warker’s’ Snow is a small, free application for Macs running the Classic Mac OS, categorized as a “Sanity Saver” by its author, that drifts snowflakes down your monitor screen accompanied by the gentle sound of sleigh bells or Christmas music.

SnowYou can select the desired snowstorm intensity using the Flakes sub-menu, from gentle flurries to blizzard conditions. Turning on causes some of the flakes to be blown about. Snow supports multiple sets of flakes.

You can also adjust the volume of the jingling sleigh bells, or turn them off completely. The Tunes menu requires QuickTime 2.0 or later By default, Snow plays available tunes in random order, but you can uncheck the Random Order menu item to hear them sequentially. You can also add more tunes by placing MIDI files in the Snow Tunes folder. Several download site links are included in the program’s online documentation.

The package includes sample QuickTime music files of jazzed up holiday favorites. With this release you can now convert MIDI files to QuickTime music files via drag-and-drop.

This version has only been tested under System 8.1 and later versions of the MacOS, but the basic flakes and sleigh bells should work on any Classic Mac except those that use the original 68000 processor (Mac Plus, SE, Portable and the original 128k/512k Macs.) 68000 based Macs. Users of those machines should continue to use version 2.2. Note that the new music files will work fine with this version. The automatic wake-up feature uses system features that may not be present on recent system releases. It doesn’t crash but it is possible that it may wake up when it shouldn’t.

Automatic wake up requires System 7 or later. Music requires at least QuickTime 2.0 but for best results you should be using Apple’s latest QuickTime package. You can download it from the QuickTime site at

Snow is free for personal use.

Product [Snow]

Snow’ed 1.0 – $1.00 shareware

Snow'ed Snow’ed is another older desktop application for the Classic Mac OS that puts snow on your desktop, this time in a window frame. From the menu bar you can choose options like different color window frames and how much snow to fall.

The snow in the application is anti-aliased, and each flake has its own speed and brightness.

You have your choice of four window styles : White, Brown, Moonlit, and Walter Mitty.

System requirements:

  • “Snow’ed” requires thousands of colors minimum with millions suggested.
  • Best at resolution of 800 x 600 or higher, will work at a lower resolution of 640 x 480 though.

Product [Snow’ed]

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