How to Change the Wallpaper on Your iPhone

Personalize your iPhone by changing the lock screen and background images

iPhone wallpaper setting

iPhone image: Apple; screenshot

One of the fun aspects of owning an iPhone is that you can customize the look of parts of it to really make the device your own. The iPhone offers two kinds of wallpaper you can change: one is the image you see on your device's home screen behind your apps, and the other is more accurately called the lock screen image, which is what you see when you wake up your iPhone. You can use the same image for both screens, or you can use two different images.

The instructions we've prepared have been tested in iOS 12, but work with all currently supported versions of iOS.

How to Change the Background Image on your iPhone

Start by locating the image you want to use on your iPhone. You can use a wallpaper that came with the iPhone, any image in your Photos app, or a picture you take with the camera.

  1. Tap Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a New Wallpaper.

    iOS Settings screen
    iOS Wallpaper screen
    iOS Choose Wallpaper screen
  2. Review the wallpaper options. The top of the screen offers three types of built-in stock images. Below those, you'll see the images on your iPhone, sorted by however you've configured your Photos albums.

    The three stock options include:

    • Dynamic: These animated wallpapers were introduced in iOS 7. They provide subtle motion and visual interest.
    • Stills: These images are just what they sound like — still images.
    • Live: These are Live Photos, so hard-pressing them plays a short animation.
  3. After you find the image you want to use, tap it to open a preview screen. If you selected a photo, adjust or scale it using a finger pinch, which changes how the image appears when it's your wallpaper. (If you choose one of the built-in wallpapers, you can't zoom in or adjust it.) When you have the photo how you want it, tap Set. If you change your mind, tap Cancel.

  4. Tap one of the options on the pop-up screen. They are Set Lock Screen, Set Home Screen or Set Both. Tap Cancel if you change your mind.

    iOS wallpaper preview screen
iOS confirm action in wallpaper preview screen

If you set the image as wallpaper for your Home screen, press the Home button, and you'll see it beneath your apps. If you used it for the lock screen, lock your phone and then press a button to wake it up, and you'll see the new wallpaper.

Live and Dynamic Wallpapers can add animation to your Home and Lock screens. To learn more about these options, check out how to use live wallpapers on your iPhone.

Wallpaper and Customization Apps

In addition to these options, many other apps help you design wallpapers and lock screen images and that change the appearance of the iPhone in other ways. Many of them are free.

iPhone Wallpaper Size

Make your own iPhone wallpapers using an image editing or illustration program on your computer. If you do that, sync the image to your phone and then select the wallpaper in the same way you sync any wallpaper.

Create an image that's the right size for your device. These are the correct sizes, in pixels, for wallpapers for all iOS devices:

iPhone iPod touch iPad

iPhone XS Max:
2688 x 1242

6th & 5th generation iPod touch:
1136 x 640
iPad Pro 12.9:
2732 x 2048

iPhone XR:
1792 x 828

4th generation iPod touch:
960 x 480
iPad Pro 10.5 (2018):
2224 x 1668

iPhone X and XS:
2436 x 1125

All other iPod touches:
480 x 320
iPad Pro 10.5, Air 2, Air, iPad 4, iPad 3, mini 2, mini 3:
2048x1536
iPhone 8 Plus, 7 Plus,
6S Plus, 6 Plus:

1920 x 1080
Original iPad mini:
1024x768
iPhone 8, 7, 6S, 6:
1334 x 750
Original iPad and iPad 2:
1024 x 768
iPhone 5S, 5C, and 5:
1136 x 640
iPhone 4 and 4S:
960 x 640
All other iPhones:
480 x 320