How to Customize Your Android Wallpaper

Android 4.4 (Jelly Bean) wallpaper settings


One of the greatest things about Android-based phones is their open architecture. Basically, what this means is that Android is an open platform that allows anyone with the know-how to create apps for Android phones. But for the vast majority of us Android phone owners, an open platform means that we have choices when it comes to how our phones look, operate, sound, and what they can do.

The directions below should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.


Nothing makes your phone yours more so than the wallpaper you choose. Though the custom wallpapers on Androids may be appealing, they are far from personalized. Android phones come with three options for wallpapers, although on more recent models they don't necessarily break them down this way:

  • Gallery or "My Photos" -This option uses your personal pictures that you have either taken with your phone's camera or have downloaded and saved in your Gallery.
  • Live Wallpapers -These animated wallpapers give an added dimension of movement to your wallpaper. Though these can be battery and processor hogs, they can give your phone the "wow" factor that many people are looking for. While Samsung manages the Live Wallpapers well and has some very interesting choices, we found that the stock Live Wallpapers for the HTC and Motorola were a bit bland. We also feel that Live Wallpapers draw the battery down very quickly, so think twice about Live Wallpapers on the Droid. 
  • Wallpapers -The final choice is just using a stock image for your wallpaper. These stock images are usually very good photographs. 

The process involved in changing your wallpaper is very simple and take just a few steps. On most recent Android phones:

  1. Long-press on your existing wallpaper on your home screen. (Long-press means you hold your finger down until you feel a feedback vibration.)

  2. Tap Wallpapers. 

  3. Browse the existing choices of wallpaper and live wallpapers at the bottom of the screen or tap My Photos to choose a photo from your gallery. Live wallpapers no longer look any different than standard wallpapers from a browsing perspective, but the final wallpaper will be interactive. 

  4. Tap Set Wallpaper to finish the process. 

On older Android phones:

  1. Tap your Menu - This will bring up a list of options that will include a shortcut labeled "Wallpaper."

  2. Tap Wallpaper -Your screen will show the three wallpaper options you have to choose from.

  3. Choose from Gallery, Live Wallpapers or Wallpaper. -Selecting each option will bring you to the available images under each choice. Choosing "Gallery" will bring you to your saved images and photographs.

  4. Tap the Set Wallpaper  button once you decide on your new wallpaper.

Once you set your wallpaper, you will be brought back to the main screen where you will be able to admire the new, customized look of your Android smartphone's appearance. Go through the same steps anytime you want to change the look again. 

Finding New Wallpapers

To find a practically unlimited number of wallpapers, do a search on the Google Play for wallpapers. There are several free apps available for download that will give you access to thousands of free wallpapers.