How to Change the Wallpaper on your iPhone

iPhone wallpaper
Setting Wallpaper and Lock Screen.

One of the fun things about the iPhone 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 the generic term that covers everything discussed in this article, there are actually two kinds of wallpaper you can change. The traditional version of wallpaper is the image you see on your device's home screen behind 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. You can use the same image for both screens, but you can also keep them separate. To change your iPhone wallpaper (the process is the same for both kinds):

  1. 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 Wallpaper (in iOS 11. If you're using an earlier version of the iOS, it's called Display & Wallpaper or other, similar names).
  4. In Wallpaper, you'll see your current lock screen and wallpaper. To change one or both, tap  Choose a New Wallpaper.
  5. Next, you'll see three kinds of wallpapers that come built into the iPhone, as well as all of the kinds of photos stored on your iPhone. Tap any category to see the available wallpapers. The built-in options are:
    1. Dynamic—These are animated wallpapers were introduced in iOS 7 and provide some motion and visual interest.
    2. Stills—Just what they sound like—still images.
    3. Live—These are Live Photos, so hard-pressing them plays a short animation.
  1. The photo categories below that are taken from your Photos app and should be fairly self-explanatory. Tap the collection of photos that contains the one you want to use.
  2. Once you've found the image you want to use, tap it. If it's a photo, you can move the photo or scale it by zooming in on it. This changes how the image will appear when it's your wallpaper (if it's one 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).
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Wallpaper & Customization Apps

In addition to these options, there are many 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, you need to 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 X: 
2436 x 1125

5th generation iPod touch:
1136 x 640
iPad Pro 12.9:
2732 x 2048
iPhone 8 Plus, 7 Plus, 6S Plus, 6 Plus: 
1920 x 1080
4th generation iPod touch:
960 x 480
iPad Pro 10.5, Air 2, Air, iPad 4, iPad 3, mini 2, mini 3:
iPhone 8, 7, 6S, 6:
1334 x 750
All other iPod touches:
480 x 320
Original iPad mini:
iPhone 5S, 5C, and 5: 
1136 x 640
 Original iPad and iPad 2:
1024 x 768
iPhone 4 and 4S: 
960 x 640
All other iPhones: 
480 x 320