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. One of the things you can customize is your iPhone wallpaper, which is the background image that appears behind everything else on the phone.

The iPhone has 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.

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

  1. Go to the iPhone home screen and tap the Settings app.
  2. In Settings, tap Wallpaper (in iOS 11 and up) or Display & Wallpaper (in earlier versions of the iOS).
  3. In the Wallpaper screen that opens, you'll see your current lock screen and wallpaper. Tap Choose a New Wallpaper to change one or both,
  4. At the top of the screen are three kinds of wallpapers that come with the iPhone. Beneath them are the albums of photos stored on your iPhone in the Photos app. Tap any category to see the available wallpapers. The built-in options are:
    • 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.
  1. After you find the image you want to use, tap it. If it's a photo, you can move the photo or scale 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.
  1. 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.

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.

Wallpaper and Customization Apps

In addition to these options, there are apps that 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

You can 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.

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

iPhoneiPod touchiPad

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