Getting After Dark to Run on Mac OS 9

Getting After Dark to Run on Mac OS 9

To the great distress of many people, Mac OS 9 broke something with respect to the beloved and quirky After Dark 4.0 screen saver. It has been reported that the After Dark engine is incompatible with Mac OS 9, but for whatever reason, it simply will not work on Mac OS 9 equipped Macs. Happily, there is an answer to that, and this blog post addresses it.

There is a patched version of After Dark for OS 9 that can be downloaded from the Macintosh Garden site, at Someone going by the screen name of Daxeria produced this patched version, earning the acclaim and adulation of the entire Mac OS 9 using Macintosh community, I am sure. However, when you install it and restart, you may be a little disappointed. It has only the most basic of screen savers, After Dark’s initial starry night screen saver. Where, oh where are the beloved flying toasters, bad dogs and the rest of the crazy and lovable characters from After Dark 4.0??

After Dark Flying Toasters

Take heart. I have recently installed After Dark onto Mac OS 9.1, flying toasters and all, and this post provides a step by step “recipe” for repeating this feat.

First things first. To be successful, you will need to have a copy of After Dark 4.0, so lets start with this and get a copy. In my case, I had purchased a copy on eBay some time ago, and had it installed on a Mac OS 8.6 machine, so I was “good to go”. If you do not already have After Dark 4.0, you will need to acquire a copy. You can do this either by buying it on eBay as I did, or downloading it from at this URL

Once you have After Dark 4.0, to install a full After Dark for Mac OS 9.x, do the following:

1/ Download After Dark for Mac OS 9 from the above URL.

2/ Install this version of After Dark by dropping the After Dark 9 control panel into your Control Panels folder, and the After Dark Files folder also into your Control Panel folder.

3/ Restart your Mac and make sure that you can access and run the newly installed After Dark screen saver. As mentioned above, it will have only a few boring screen savers available, but those screen savers are not the objective of this step anyway.

Starry Night Screen Saver

The key objective of this step is that a Mac OS 9 compatible version of the After Dark engine has now been installed, and all of the necessary folder structures and support files are now in the right places.

4/ From the After Dark 4.0 that you either have previously installed, or have just acquired from the above URL, open the After Dark Files folder. From there, copy over the After Dark 4.0 folder’s contents (this is where you will find your beloved flying toasters, and many, many more quirky and fun screen savers) to the same named folder in your Control Panels After Dark Files folder.

After Dark Flying Toasters

5/ Repeat this procedure for the After Dark Images folder – copy over the contents of the After Dark 4.0 folder’s After Dark Images folder to the same named folder in your Control Panel folder’s After Dark Files.

6/ Restart your Mac

Your After Dark 9 install should now provide access to all of the wild and wonderful screen savers you know and love from After Dark 4.0.

7/ Enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Getting After Dark to Run on Mac OS 9

  1. I’m struggling like some kind of newbie with this concept… I have seemingly successfully installed the control panel app and some modules but the screensaver will never execute unless I click on the ‘demo’ button on the control panel. Any ideas about where to look at next would be warmly recieved.

    • By never run, do you mean they try to start but get immediately kicked out? That’s the issue I have. It’s like some other program that I installed is fighting with it. Demo mode works great, but After Dark always thinks I want to cancel the screensaver when I let it run normally.

  2. Pingback: OS 9 Emulator | Ingrid Richter

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