How to Set a Live Photo as the Wallpaper (Background) on Your iPhone

How to Set a Live Photo as Your Lock Screen

Starting with the iPhone 6s, Apple introduced a selection of free Live Photo Wallpaper images to bring color and animation to your iPhone background. You can use one of these free Live Photos as your iPhone wallpaper on your Home screen or Lock screen, although the picture will only move on your Lock screen. If Apple's offerings aren't the cool iPhone wallpapers and backgrounds you want, you can always use your own Live Photo instead. Live Wallpaper looks like still wallpaper until you activate 3D Touch, or press and hold the screen. We've already gone over how to take a Live Photo and how to turn a Live Photo into a bounce GIF, now, let's go over how to make your own Live Photo wallpaper on your iPhone.

Related: How to Use the Live Photo Long-Exposure Photography Effect on Your iPhone

First, let's go over how to select one of Apple's Live Photo Wallpaper options. Keep in mind, you can choose a Live Photo as your Home screen and Lock screen background, but it will remain static on your Home screen, and move only on your Lock screen.

How to Choose Free Live Wallpapers from Apple

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

    iphone settings appiphone wallpaper settings
  3. Tap Choose a New Wallpaper.
  4. There are Dynamic, Stills, or Live options; tap Live.

    choose a new iphone wallpaperfree wallpapers
  5. Tap the Live option you like best.
  6. Make sure Live Photo is on, then tap Set.

    free live backgroundschange iphone background to live photo

How to Make Your Own Live Wallpaper

To make your own wallpaper from a Live Photo and use it as a Lock screen or Home screen background, you can go through the Settings app, as above, or you can start from the Photos app. 

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Tap Albums at the bottom of the screen, scroll down to Media Types, and tap Live Photos.

    iphone photos applive photos
  3. Tap the Live Photo you want to use as your background, then tap the Share icon
  4. Tap Use as Wallpaper.

    iphone share icon use live photo as wallpaper
  5. Make sure Live Photos is on, then tap Set.
  6. Tap Set Lock Screen, Set Home Screen, or Set Both from the menu that pops up.

    tap set to set live photo as wallpaperset live photo as your wallpaper or home screen

Now you can firmly press your Lock screen whenever you want to bring the image to life.

Top Image Credit: Sanguanwong /

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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.