How to Add Contact Info to Your iOS Lock Screen Wallpaper

Make sure your lost iPhone or iPad finds its way home

Put Contact Info on the iOS Lock Screen Wallpaper
Get free templates and instructions to add contact info to your iPhone and iPad wallpaper in case your device is lost (and found). iPad wallpaper © Vladstudio. iPhone wallpaper © Lora Pancoast. Used with permission. Image © Sue Chastain

While no foolproof trick exists to stop you from accidentally misplacing it, there are plenty of ways to get your iPhone back in the event you do. One step that you can take toward ensuring that you get your phone again is putting your contact info on your iPhone's lock screen.

This way, anyone who happens upon your phone will know whom to call or email to return it to you. There are a few ways to add your contact info to your phone's lock screen, so take a look at all of them, and pick which one you think will work best for you.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 4 and later.

Original Method - Put The Info In Your Wallpaper

Initially, iOS didn't have any support for making contact information available on locked devices. If you have an older iOS device, this is probably still the case. As a result, iPhone users found a way to display their contact info anyway: put it in your lock screen wallpaper.

To start, you're going to need some sort of image editing software. If you have something professional, like Photoshop, you're already in great shape. Most people don't, and that's perfectly fine too. There are a few other options that don't cost a penny.

Windows users can probably get away with Microsoft Paint. GIMP is another great free option for Windows, Mac, and Linux that has many of the same capabilities as Photoshop without the lofty price tag. Choose one and open it to get started.

  1. Find an image that will fit the dimensions of your phone's screen. It'll make positioning your contact information easier.

    Here's a breakdown of recent iPhone screen sizes in pixels:

    iPhone Resolutions
    iPhone Model(s) Screen Resolution
    iPhone XR 828x1792
    iPhone XS Max 1242x2688
    iPhone XS 1125x2436
    iPhone X 1125x2436
    iPhone 8 Plus 1080x1920
    iPhone 8 750x1334
    iPhone 6, 6s, and 7 Plus 1080x1920
    iPhone 6, 6s, and 7 750x1334
    iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, and SE 640x1136
    iPhone 4, and 4s 640x960
  2. Open an image (or a blank document) in the editor that you chose. If your picture isn't exactly the size of your phone's screen, crop or resize it to match.

    A blank document in Photoshop the size of an iPhone display
  3. Find a place toward the lower middle of your image for your contact information. You're trying to place it below your clock and above the place where you swipe to unlock your iPhone. Draw a box with your image editor in that area. Then, fill the box with a darker color.

    If you can, use a screenshot of your phone's lock screen as a guide.

    A Photoshop document the size of an iPhone display with a box below the clock
  4. Use your image editor's text tool to write your contact info over the box that you just made. Choose a lighter color so the text pops, and don't get too crazy with your font choice. You want this to be easy to read.

    You have a couple of options for which information to provide. You can use your own email address, and alternate phone line that you have, or a friend's phone number. Whichever you choose, make sure that it will be simple for someone to reach you with it.

    A Photoshop document the size of an iPhone screen with contact info on it
  5. When you're satisfied with your wallpaper. Save or export it in an image format that your iOS device can easily work with. JPG and PNG are always good choices.

  6. Transfer your image to your phone. You can do this in several ways. Connecting your phone to your computer via USB is the most direct way, but you can always use an app like Dropbox, Messages, or even email to send it over.

  7. Back on your iPhone, open up your Settings app. Find and tap Wallpaper, and then select Choose a New Wallpaper.

    An iPhone displaying the path to the Choose a New Wallpaper option
  8. Locate your image on your phone, and select it. You can use your iPhone's built-in controls to adjust your image to fit perfectly. After adjusting the image, tap Set to finalize your choice.

    Your iPhone will display a new menu allowing you to choose whether you want to set your wallpaper for your lock screen, main wallpaper, or both. Choose whichever you prefer.

    Commands to set a new Lock screen for an iPhone
  9. Lock your phone, and take a look. You should see your new lock screen wallpaper with your contact info displayed prominently right where you set it.  

Apple Health App Method

The Apple Health app is a relatively new addition to iOS, but it's great for exactly this situation. As long as you're running iOS 8 or newer on your device, you'll already have Apple Health installed. It comes with iOS, and you can't uninstall it.

  1. Find your Apple Health app and open it. Tap the Medical ID icon at the bottom of the screen, and then select Create Medical ID.

    Creating a Medical ID in the Health app on an iPhone
  2. You can edit all sorts of relevant medical information about yourself on this screen. Apple Health was designed for an actual emergency, so adding this information might be a literal lifesaver. Consider doing it, but you only really need to add at least one emergency contact. Your phone will be able to call this contact, even when it's locked.

    Tap Add emergency contact at the bottom of the screen, and then pick someone from your contacts and tap how you're related to them. Review your information, and press Done to save.

    The number you add must be saved in your Contacts for it to work.

    Adding an emergency contact in the Health app on an iPhone
  3. To test it out, lock your phone. Swipe on your lock screen or press the Home button as though you were about to unlock the device, but don't. Instead, select Emergency.

    Your phone will shift to a keypad to let you make an emergency phone call. In the bottom left corner of the screen, you'll see that Medical ID icon again. Select it.

    If you use Touch ID to unlock your phone, you won't be able to access the Emergency keypad until you've tried and failed to unlock your phone with your fingerprint.

    Accessing the Medical ID on the lock screen of an iPhone
  4. Your phone will display the information that you entered in the Apple Health app along with your emergency contact. Pressing the phone icon next to the number will automatically call the number you entered. Someone who finds your lost device can use this contact to get ahold of you and return the phone.

With any luck, you won't need any of these, but you can't ever be too cautious. The Apple Health method is the only one officially supported by Apple, but it's also the one that the fewest people would know what to do with.

If you have a newer iPhone with Apple Health, it might still be a good idea to include your info on the lock screen wallpaper in addition to providing your Medical ID.