How to Change the Wallpaper on Your iPhone

Personalize your iPhone by changing the lock screen and background images

iPhone wallpaper setting


One of the fun aspects of owning an iPhone is that you can customize the look of parts of it. The iPhone offers two kinds of wallpaper you can change. One is the image you see on the device's Home screen behind the apps. The other is the Lock screen image, which displays when you wake up the iPhone. You can use the same image for both screens, or you can use two different images.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 12 but work with all 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. Use a wallpaper that came with the iPhone, any image in your Photos app, or a picture you took with the camera.

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

  2. Review the wallpaper options. The top of the screen offers three types of built-in stock images:

    • Dynamic: These animated wallpapers were introduced in iOS 7 and provide subtle motion and visual interest.
    • Stills: These images are just what they sound like — still images.
    • Live: These are Live Photos. Hard-press the wallpaper to play a short animation.

    Below these are the images on your iPhone, sorted by how you configured your Photos albums.

    Wallpaper, Choose a New Wallpaper, Dynamic/Stills/Live in iOS Settings
  3. Tap the image you want to use to open a preview screen.

  4. If you selected a photo, adjust or scale it using a finger pinch, which changes how the image appears as a wallpaper.

    If you choose one of the built-in wallpapers, you can't zoom in or adjust it.

  5. When the photo is how you want it, tap Set. If you change your mind, tap Cancel.

  6. Tap either Set Lock Screen, Set Home Screen, or Set Both. Tap Cancel if you change your mind.

    Set button, and options for Wallpaper in iOS

If you set the image as wallpaper for the 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 press a button to wake it up to see the new wallpaper.

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

Wallpaper and Customization Apps

In addition to these options, there are other apps that design wallpapers, lock screen images, and change the appearance of the iPhone in other ways. Many 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 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 Max2688 x 1242 6th & 5th generation iPod touch1136 x 640 iPad Pro 12.92732 x 2048
iPhone XR1792 x 828 4th generation iPod touch960 x 480 iPad Pro 10.5 (2018)2224 x 1668
iPhone X and XS2436 x 1125 All other iPod touches480 x 320 iPad Pro 10.5, Air 2, Air, iPad 4, iPad 3, mini 2, mini 32048x1536
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