How to Change the Wallpaper on Your Computer or Phone

How to change the wallpaper on desktop & mobile devices

What To Know

  • Windows: Open in Photos > right-click > Set as > Background.
  • Mac & Linux: Open in file browser > right-click > Set Desktop Picture/Set as wallpaper.
  • Mobile: Settings > Wallpaper (iOS); Settings > Wallpaper & style (Android).

This article explains how to change your desktop wallpaper across various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.

How to Set the Windows Desktop Background

Changing the Windows desktop background is easy. There are two methods, depending on whether the image is currently open.

With the photo open, right-click or tap-and-hold it, and then choose Set as > Background, or in older versions of Windows, Set as > Set as background or Set as desktop background.

The Set As Background command

Alternatively, perform a similar step in File Explorer: right-click the image and select Set as desktop background.

The "Set as Desktop Background" command

Another method that works in Windows is through the Personalize option from the desktop:

  1. In Windows 11/10, right-click the desktop and select Personalize. In Windows 8/7/Vista, access the Control Panel's Personalization applet.

    The Personalize command
  2. Select Picture from the menu in the Background section.

    The Picture option on the Background tab

    If you can't decide on just one background to use, and you have more than one monitor, you can set different wallpapers on dual monitors.

  3. Use an image from Microsoft or select Browse photos or Browse to find a different picture on your hard drive.

    The Browse button

    Use an image you already own, or see this list of the best free wallpaper sites to download some others. We also keep a list of websites dedicated to free desktop wallpapers of a certain type, like beach wallpapers and backgrounds for the seasons (like Autumn wallpapers and summer wallpapers).

  4. Optionally fit, stretch, or fill the screen with the photo, or even tile, center, or span it across several screens.

    Some versions of Windows offer additional options, like a slideshow that automatically changes the wallpaper after a period of time, which comes in handy if you don't want to settle with just one background.

Changing the Wallpaper on Other Devices

Windows isn't the only operating system that can have its desktop wallpaper customized. Below are some instructions for other devices.

macOS and Linux

Right-click a photo and choose Set Desktop Picture. Use pictures from online or ones saved to your computer.

The "Set Desktop Picture" command

Another way to change the desktop image on a Mac is to right-click a blank area on the desktop and choose the Change Desktop Background option. If you use this method, choose some other wallpapers and have all of them cycled on a schedule. You can also use System Preferences to change the wallpaper.

If you're using a Linux OS, such as Ubuntu, right-click the photo saved to your computer and pick the Set as Wallpaper option from the menu. Another option is to right-click the desktop and go to Change Desktop Background.

Set as Wallpaper

iOS, iPadOS, and Android

Use this Android guide for changing your wallpaper, or check out this guide for picking a new iPhone wallpaper, or this one for setting your iPad's background.

Changing Android wallpaper from the Photos app
Changing Android wallpaper from the Photos app.

Images you take with a phone or tablet will fit perfectly as the wallpaper image, but you can also visit sites that offer perfectly-sized images for your device. Unsplash is a great option for both platforms; see their iPhone wallpapers and Android wallpapers.

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