How to Change the Wallpaper on Your Computer or Phone

How to change the wallpaper on desktop & mobile devices

Changing the wallpaper, or background on your computer, is an easy way to quickly personalize your user experience.

Each major operating system has a different procudure for changing the wallpaper. Use the instructions below to learn how to make nearly any image your wallpaper, whether you have a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, or would like to know how to change the wallpaper on your phone.

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 holiday wallpapers, wallpapers for each season (such as Autumn and Spring), beach wallpapers, and more.

How to Set the Windows Desktop Background

In Windows, one of the easiest ways to set a picture as the desktop wallpaper is to save it to your computer and then open it so that you can see the image.

  1. Locate an image you want to become your wallpaper and open it. (By default, it will open in Photos.)

  2. Right-click or tap-and-hold it to choose either Set as > Set as background or, in older versions of Windows, Set as desktop background.

    The Set As Background command
  3. Alternatively, perform a similar step in File Explorer. Open File Explorer, right-click the image and select Set as desktop background.

    The "Set as Desktop Background" command

Another way to change the desktop wallpaper in Windows is to open the Personalize option on the desktop:

  1. Right-click the desktop and select Personalize. (Or in the Windows 10 menu, go to Settings > Personalization > Background.) In Windows 8/7/Vista access the Control Panel's Personalization applet.

    The Personalize command
  2. Under the Background dropdown, select Picture.

    The Picture option on the Background tab
  3. Use an image from Microsoft or select Browse to find a different picture on your hard drive.

    The Browse button
  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 automatically changing the desktop 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 including how to change it on a wide variety of mobile phones.

On macOS and Linux

Right-click a photo on your Mac and choose Set Desktop Picture. Use photos online or ones saved to your computer.

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.

The "Set Desktop Picture" command

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

On Apple and Android Devices

IOS and iPadOS

One way to change the wallpaper on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is to first save the image to your phone and then open the Photos app to view it. With the image now open, use the More button on the bottom of the screen to select Use as Wallpaper, and then choose Set Lock Screen or Set Home Screen to pick whether to use it on your home screen and/or lock screen background.

Images you take with an iOS devices will fit perfectly as the wallpaper image on your iPhone, or visit sites that offer perfectly-sized images for iPhone or iPad wallpaper, like PhoneWalls.

Changing iPhone wallpaper from the Photos app

Android

Use this Android guide for changing the wallpaper. As with iOS devices, you enjoy plenty of free websites to download hundreds of Android wallpapers, such as AndroidWalls.