How to Change iPad & iPhone Wallpaper with Cool, Free Backgrounds

Are you getting bored with seeing the same old screensaver or phone wallpaper, and wondering how to change the background on your iPhone or iPad? There's a ton of cute iPhone wallpaper to choose from, so you can have cool iPhone and iPad backgrounds like your friends. Here's how to change the wallpaper image for every iPhone, whether its an iPhone X, XR, XS, XS Max, or 11, as well as older devices like the iPhone 8 or 7. Whether you like a custom background, a live wallpaper, a dynamic wallpaper, or a personalized wallpaper with a photo of your kids or pets, here's how to put a fresh, new iPhone wallpaper on your Home screen, Lock screen, or both!

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

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

How to Change Your Lock Screen Wallpaper & Home Screen Wallpaper

The sky's the limit when it comes to changing your Home and Lock screen backgrounds! Here's how:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Wallpaper.

  3. Toggle on Dark Appearance Dims Wallpaper if you'd like your wallpaper to automatically dim based on ambient light.
  4. Tap Choose a New Wallpaper
  5. Tap Dynamic, Stills, Live, or one of the photo categories below.

    dark appearance dims wallpaperlive photo wallpaper

Choose from the options your iPad or iPhone offers you or select one of your own photos. Dynamic wallpapers move when you move your device, and Stills remain static. Live wallpapers move when you press on the screen (but only on the Lock screen), just like a Live photo. These stock wallpaper options change with every new iOS and iPadOS.

Live wallpapers are available for devices with a 3D Touch Screen, including the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, XS, XS Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, and iPhone SE (second generation). 

Unless you have chosen one of Apple's Dynamic wallpapers, you will be given the option to choose between Perspective Zoom On or Off.

  1. Turn Perspective Zoom Off, and your background will stay in the same position all the time.
  2. Turn Perspective Zoom On, and the wallpaper will shift when you tilt your iPhone or iPad.

    perspective zoom offperspective zoom on

You can choose an image that you've taken or downloaded from one of the photo albums listed below Apple's wallpaper selections. If you own an iPhone with a 3D Touch Screen, you can even use a Live Photo as your wallpaper.

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.

  1. If you've chosen one of your own photos, you can zoom in and out by pinching, and drag the picture to the left, right, up, or down.

    personalized iphone wallpaperzoom in on photo
  2. After editing your new wallpaper, tap Set.
  3. Tap Cancel to start over from the beginning of the process.
  4. Tap Lock ScreenHome Screen, or Set Both. You can have different Lock and Home screen wallpapers if you want!

    cancel or set new wallpaperset lock screen wallpaper, set home screen wallpaper

That's it; now you have a brand new wallpaper!

Check out our free Tip of the Day for more Apple device tutorials.

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.