How to Change the Wallpaper on Your iPhone & iPad

What to Know

  • Apple offers many free iPhone and iPad wallpapers, including the super-cool live Weather & Astronomy wallpapers.
  • To start changing your iPhone or iPad background, open the Settings app, then tap Wallpaper to view the list of options.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Since Apple came out with iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 in 2022, changing your Home and Lock screen backgrounds has even more customization options. Below, we'll show you how to change your background to one of Apple's free wallpapers or set one of your photos as your device wallpaper. Let's go over how to change the background on your iPhone and iPad. 

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Types of iPhone & iPad Wallpapers

If you want to set the background on your iPhone or iPad, you may be surprised to see how many wallpaper options there are! There are several free iPhone wallpaper options built in, including Weather, Astronomy, Color (for those who don't like busy backgrounds), and even Emoji wallpaper. Apple removed most of its preset Live Wallpapers, but a few free wallpapers still animate, including Weather, Astronomy, and the bubble wallpaper in Collections.

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Note

Since iOS 17 came out in the fall of 2023, you can now use Live Photos as Wallpapers for your Home or Lock Screen again! Learn how to update to the latest iOS.

How to Change the Background on Your iPhone & iPad (Apple Options)

In the steps below, we'll show you how to view and set one of Apple's fun wallpaper options as your Home Screen, Lock Screen, or both. Here’s how to change the wallpaper on your iPhone; the steps are the same on iPad.

  1. To set a new Apple wallpaper, open the Settings app.

    open settings on iphone or ipad
  2. Tap Wallpaper.

    tap wallpaper in settings
  3. Tap Add New Wallpaper

    tap add new wallpaper
  4. Here you'll see many cool wallpapers, including Suggested Photos, Photo Shuffle (a slideshow of your photos), Weather, Astronomy, Color, Collections, Unity, and emoji wallpaper options.

    cool iphone and ipad wallpaper options
  5. Tap Add once you've found the iPhone background you want to use.

    tap add to choose iphone or ipad background
  6. Tap Set as Wallpaper Pair to use this background as the wallpaper for both Lock and Home Screen. Tap Customize Home Screen if you want to further edit your Home Screen background.

    tap customize home screen for different lock and home screen background
  7. Customize Color, Gradient, and Blur, or tap Photo to use a picture from your Photos Library as your Home Screen background, then tap Done

    customize home screen wallpaper then tap done

How to Set Picture as Background on iPhone & iPad

Check out our free Tip of the Day for more great tutorials on iPhone and iPad customization. We'll show you how to set a saved photo or downloaded image as your new iPhone or iPad wallpaper. Here's how to set a photo as a background on your Lock Screen or Home Screen.

  1. To change your background photo, open the Photos app.

    ipad and iphone photos app
  2. Select the photo you want to use as your wallpaper and tap the Share icon.

    tap share icon to use photo as iphone or ipad wallpaper
  3. Scroll down and tap Use as Wallpaper.

    tap use as wallpaper to use photo as iphone or ipad wallpaper
  4. Swipe across your screen to view and select a filter option (Natural, Black & White, Duotone, or Color Wash), then tap Done

    choose the appearance of your ipad lock screen background
  5. Tap Set as Wallpaper Pair to use this photo as the wallpaper for both Lock and Home Screen. Tap Customize Home Screen if you want to set a different picture or edit the photo used for your Home Screen background.

    choose set as wallpaper pair or customize home screen
  6. If you selected Customize Home Screen, tap Blur, Color, or Gradient to adjust the color and blurring of the picture you had previously selected. Tap Photo if you want to set a different image as your Home Screen wallpaper.

    customize your Home Screen wallpaper
  7. When you've finished editing your Home Screen background, tap Done

    Tap Done to save your new Home Screen

Pro Tip

If you're searching for a wallpaper with a specific aesthetic or theme (like your dream vacation location), you can search for images on Google, download or screenshot your image, and turn the picture into your wallpaper.

There are many options and room for creativity with Apple's new iPhone and iPad wallpaper features! I recommend trying at least a few to see what you think—you might be surprised! If you love device personalization, you can also learn how to customize your device by creating a Memoji.

FAQ

  • How do I put different wallpapers on my iPhone screen? You can set Focus to cycle through different wallpapers throughout the day or according to your location. Or you can manually switch them by pressing and holding the Lock Screen when it's unlocked and swiping through the different wallpapers.
  • Can the Home Screen and Lock Screen be different? You can set a different image as your Home Screen by tapping Customize Home Screen after you make the new Lock Screen, then tapping the Photo option to choose a Home Screen wallpaper.
  • Can you have different home screens on iPhone? Yes, you can set up different Home Screens in Focus.
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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.