How to Change Background on iPhone & iPad (iOS 15 Update)

Changing your iPad and iPhone wallpapers is a great way to personalize your device, and you can find the best iPhone wallpapers for free!

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

Cool iPad wallpapers and iPhone backgrounds can make your device feel brand new again! We'll walk you through finding cool iPhone wallpapers for free, perfect for any model and device. We'll also cover how to set up wallpapers on the iPad and iPhone Lock screens and backgrounds, including custom backgrounds and live or dynamic wallpapers.

Related: How to Turn a Live Photo into a Video or GIF on Your iPhone (Updated for 2020)

What's in This Article?

How Do I Change My Background on My Phone & iPad

The sky's the limit when it comes to changing your Home and Lock screen backgrounds! Here’s how to change the wallpaper on your iPhone, the steps are the same on iPad:

  1. Open the Settings.

  2. Tap Wallpaper.

  3. Toggle on Dark Appearance Dims Wallpaper if you'd like your wallpaper to automatically dim based on ambient light.

    lock screen iphone wallpape
  4. Tap Choose a New Wallpaper

    how do you change the background on iPhone
  5. Tap Dynamic, Stills, Live, or one of the photo categories below.

    live photo wallpaper
  6. When you tap on a potential wallpaper, you will see a preview. If you don’t like it, tap Cancel.

    iphone home screen wallpaper
  7. If you like it, tap Set.

    iphone background wallpaper
  8. If you want the wallpaper to be for your Lock Screen, tap Set Lock Screen. To make it your Home Screen background, select Set Home Screen. You can also set the wallpaper for Home Screen and Lock Screen by selecting Set Both.

    good wallpapers for iphone

Return to top

Dynamic, Stills, Live & Photo Home Screen Wallpapers Explained

There are several built-in iPadOS and iOS wallpapers that you can pick when changing the background of your device. The three categories are Dynamic, Stills, and Live wallpapers. Dynamic wallpapers move when you move your device while Stills remain static. 

Live wallpapers also move, but only when you press on the Home screen on the Lock screen, just like a Live photo. These stock wallpaper options change with every new software update. Live wallpapers are available for devices with a 3D Touch Screen, including the iPhone 6, and newer, including the second generation of the iPhone SE.

If you have chosen one of Apple's Live wallpapers or a Live photo of your own, you will have three options: Still, Perspective, and Live Photo. If you choose Still or Perspective, the background will no longer move if you press the screen.

Return to top

How to Set Picture as Background on iPhone & iPad

Many people like to take photos or download pictures for phone wallpapers. When you follow the steps to change your background, you will see the photos saved on your device that you can pick as your new wallpaper. You can also do this directly from your Photos app.

  1. Open Photos.

    Open Photos - iphone home screen background
  2. Select the photo you wish to use as your wallpaper.

    Select the photo you wish to use as your wallpaper - ios wallpaper iphone
  3. Tap the share button.

    Tap the share button - lock screen cool wallpaper
  4. Select Use as Wallpaper.

    Select Use as Wallpaper - iphone default wallpaper
  5. Here you can adjust the photo by dragging and zooming in or out.

    iphone screen savers
  6. At the center of the bottom of your screen, you will see the Perspective Zoom button. If you tap it and see Perspective Zoom: Off, your background will stay in the same position all the time.

    lock screen wallpaper
  7. If you tap and see Perspective Zoom: On, and the wallpaper will shift when you tilt your iPhone or iPad.

    iphone screen background
  8. If this is a Live Photo, you will also be able to keep it on or turn it off depending on if you want it to move when you press on it. Tap the Live Photo button to toggle this on or off.

    moving wallpaper iphone
  9. Once you are satisfied, tap Set. If you don’t like it, tap Cancel.

    iphone se wallpaper
  10. If you want the wallpaper to be for your Lock Screen, tap Set Lock Screen. To make it your Home Screen background, select Set Home Screen. You can also opt for both by selecting Set Both.

    background iphone wallpaper

Return to top

Now you know how to change the wallpaper on your iPad and iPhone login screen and Home Screens. You can find cool lock screen wallpapers for your iPhone and iPad anywhere on the internet for free. Just search for images on Google and download or screenshot your image and follow the steps to turn a picture into your wallpaper. Next, learn how to customize your devices even further by creating a Memoji!

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at 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.