How to Display the Currently Playing Song Lyrics on Your Mac Desktop

This guide will show you how to display the lyrics of the song you’re listening to on the Desktop of your Mac.

Using the app DesktopLyrics 2, you can have the lyrics of the song that’s playing in the Music app displayed right on your macOS Desktop. Here’s how –

  1. Head over to the Mac App Store and install DesktopLyrics 2 by clicking on the Get button and then the Install button. DesktopLyrics requires you to be using macOS Catalina (10.15) or higher.
  2. an arrow pointing to the Get button for an App in the Mac App Store

  3. Once the installation has completed, click the Open button.
  4. an arrow pointing to the Open button for an App in the mac App Store

  5. The first time DesktopLyrics 2 opens it’ll ask you to configure a couple of things. If you want it to start automatically when your Mac boots up, toggle the Launch DesktopLyrics at login: switch to ON. If you want DesktopLyrics 2 to display in them Menu Bar instead of the Dock (recommended), toggle the Display Menubar instead of the Dock: switch to ON. Then click the Finish Setup button.
  6. the DesktopLyrics initial setup screen

  7. Now the DesktopLyrics Settings will appear. Review them and make any changes you see fit and close the Settings window when you’re done.
  8. the DesktopLyrics Settings for displaying song lyrics on the Mac Desktop

  9. Launch the Music App and start playing a song (any song, doesn’t matter).
  10. the Music app for macOS

  11. You’ll be prompted to grant DesktopLyrics permission to control the Music app – click the OK button.
  12. an arrow pointing to the OK button on a Grant Permission window in macOS

  13. If that track doesn’t already have lyrics associated with it, you’ll see a message on your desktop letting you know as much. No problem.
  14. the DesktopLyrics lyrics not found message

  15. Click the DesktopLyrics icon in your menu bar, select Lyrics Search and then Search for Lyrics…
  16. an arrow pointing to the Search for Lyrics option in a menu

  17. Your browser will open and in a new tab you’ll see search results for the lyrics to that song. Choose one and then copy the lyrics from that page.
  18. song lyrics highlighted to copy to a Mac

  19. Back in the Music app, right-click (ctrl + click) the song and select Get Info
  20. the Get Info option of the Mac Music App

  21. Choose the Lyrics tab and then place a check in the box labelled Custom Lyrics
  22. a Custom Lyrics check-box

  23. Finally, paste the lyrics into the provided space. When you’re done, click the OK button.
  24. song lyrics pasted into the Music app for a Mac

  25. Ta-da! Now the song lyrics are displayed on your Mac Desktop. At this point you may want to go back into the DesktopLyrics Settings (click the DesktopLyrics icon in your menu bar and then select Open DesktopLyrics…) and change the location where they’re displayed on your Desktop via the Placement tab.
  26. song lyrics displayed on a Mac Desktop
    click to enlarge

  27. Adding lyrics one track at a time is obviously a tedious affair. Fortunately there’s an app that will do it for you, and we have a guide on how to use it.

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2 thoughts on “How to Display the Currently Playing Song Lyrics on Your Mac Desktop”

  1. Great app – and great guide!

    One Q though: Anyone know how to set a MINIMUM lyrics size? I can only find a maximum size-option, and 30-40% of my lyrics are pretty long which means that they become so small on the screen, that I cant read them.

    Solutions on how to solve that, anyone?

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