Changing iPhone Wallpaper

iphone wallpaper
Setting Wallpaper and Lock Screen.

One of the fun things about the iPhone (and iPod touch) is that you can customize the look of parts of it to make the device our own. One thing you can customize is your iPhone wallpaper.

While wallpaper is sort of the generic term that covers everything discussed in this article, there are actually two different kinds of wallpaper you can change. The first, which is the traditional version of wallpaper, is the image you see on your device's home screen sitting beneath your apps.

The second kind is, more accurately, called the lock screen image. This is what you see when you wake your iPhone up from sleep by clicking the lock or home button to unlock it. You can use the same image for both screens, but you can also keep them separate. Here's how to set your wallpaper.

  1. To change your iPhone wallpaper (the process is the same for the screen and image), start by making sure you've got the image you want to use on your iPhone. You can get the image onto your phone by taking a picture with the built-in camera, with Photo Steam if you use iCloud, by saving an image from the web, or by adding photos to iPhone from your desktop.
  2. Once the image is on your phone, go to your home screen and tap the Settings app.
  3. In Settings, tap Wallpapers & Brightness (this is the iOS 7 name. If you're using an earlier version of the iOS, it's called Brightness & Wallpaper).
  4. In Brightness & Wallpaper, tap the images under Choose Wallpaper (that's iOS 7 again. In earlier versions, it's just labeled Wallpaper).
  1. On that screen, you'll see the list of the groups of photos your iPhone contains. Your options here are: Apple Wallpaper (just called Wallpaper on iOS 6 and earlier), which are built-in images provided by Apple on all iPhones; Camera Roll (pictures taken with your built-in camera), My Panoramas (photos taken using the iPhone's panoramic photos feature); photos taken with any photo apps; folders you've synced to the phone. Tap the collection of photos that contains the one you want to use.
  1. Tap the photo you want to make your wallpaper. If it's a photo, you can move the photo or scale it by zooming in on it, to modify how the image will appear when it's your wallpaper (if it's on of the built in wallpapers, you can't zoom in or adjust it). When you've got the photo how you want it, tap Set (or Cancel if you change your mind).
  2. Next, choose whether you want the image for your home screen, lock screen, or both. Tap the option you prefer, or tap Cancel if you've changed your mind.
  3. The image is now your iPhone wallpaper. If you set it as wallpaper, press the Home button and you'll see it beneath your apps. If you're used it on the lock screen, lock your phone and then press a button to wake it up and you'll see the new wallpaper.

Animated Wallpapers

If you're running iOS 7 or higher, you have a cool feature that wasn't available in earlier versions: Dynamic backgrounds. These are wallpaper images supplied by Apple that move on their own. So, rather than just having a still image for your wallpaper, you can have an animation. To use them, select Dynamic from the Apple Wallpaper section.

Wallpaper & Customization Apps

In addition to these options, there are a number of apps that help you design stylish and interesting wallpapers and lock screen images.

Many of them are free, so if you're interested in exploring these options, check out 5 Apps That Help You Customize Your iPhone.

iPhone Wallpaper Size

You can also 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 way described in the article above.

To do this, though, you need to create an image that's the right size for your device. These are the correct sizes, in pixels, for wallpapers:

  • iPhone 6 Plus: 1920x1080
  • iPhone 6: 1334x750
  • iPhone 5S, 5C, and 5: 1136 x 640
  • 5th generation iPod touch: 1136 x 640
  • iPhone 4 and 4S: 960 x 640
  • 4th generation iPod touch: 960 x 480
  • All other iPhone and iPod touch models: 480 x 320
  • iPad Air and Air 2: 2048x1536
  • iPad mini 2 and 3: 2048x1536
  • iPad 3 and 4: 2048 x 1536
  • Original iPad mini: 1024x768
  • Original iPad and iPad 2: 1024 x 768