How to Set a Live Photo as iPhone Wallpaper (2022 Update)

Apple offers free live wallpapers, or you can make your own Lock screen wallpaper from a Live Photo.

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

How do you put a live picture on your Lock screen? Apple offers cool iPhone wallpapers for free, but you can also make your own Live Photo iPhone wallpapers. Here's how to activate live wallpaper so your iPhone background is animated!

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

Live Wallpaper looks like a normal iPhone background until you touch and hold the screen and see it's animated. Let's go over how to set a free live wallpaper from Apple or make your own live wallpapers.

How to Choose Free Live Wallpapers from Apple

Apple offers several free, cool wallpapers with each new iOS update, and at least four of them are live wallpapers. Let's learn how to find and set a live Lock screen wallpaper, Home screen wallpaper, or both (though the photo won't be animated on your Home screen). To learn more about how you can customize your iPhone, sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter. Here's how to choose a moving wallpaper on an iPhone or iPad.

  1. Open the Settings app.

    iphone setings app
     
  2. Tap Wallpaper.

    uphone wallpaper settings
     
  3. Tap Choose a New Wallpaper.

    choose new wallpaper
     
  4. There are Dynamic, Stills, and Live options; tap Live.

    tap live wallpaper
     
  5. Tap the Live option you like best, then make sure Live Photo is on (no diagonal bar across the icon).

    make sure live photo is on
     
  6. Tap the Perspective Zoom icon to turn the feature off or on. (Perspective Zoom allows the iPhone wallpaper to move as you tilt your iPhone screen).

    turn perspective zoom off or on
     
  7. Tap Set to confirm your new Live wallpaper.

    tap set to turn on live wallpaper on iphone
     
  8. Tap Set Lock Screen, Set Home Screen, or Set Both. Tap Cancel if you've changed your mind about this wallpaper.

    set lock screen wallpaper home screen wallpaper or both

How to Make Your Own Live Wallpaper

If Apple's offerings aren't the cool iPhone wallpapers and backgrounds you want, you may be wondering, "how do I make a Live Photo wallpaper?" Here's how! Custom live or GIF wallpaper is easy to set up as Home screen wallpaper, Lock screen wallpaper, or both (though the photo won't be animated on your Home screen). Here's how to make moving wallpapers on an iPhone or iPad.

  1. Open the Settings app, then tap Wallpaper and Choose a New Wallpaper as before.
  2. Tap Live Photos.

    tap live photos to choose a live wallpaper
  3. Tap the Live Photo you want to use as your background.

    Tap Live Photo to use as wallpaper
  4. Touch and hold the photo, then move your finger on your iPhone screen to change which part of the photo is on screen.

    Move Live Photo wallpaper frame
  5. Make sure Live Photo is on (no diagonal bar across the icon).

    tap the live photo icon
  6. Tap the Perspective Zoom icon to turn the feature off or on. (Perspective Zoom allows the iPhone wallpaper to move as you tilt your iPhone screen).

    turn perspective zoom on or off
  7. Tap Set.  

    tap set to turn iphone live wallpaper on
  8. Tap Set Lock Screen, Set Home Screen, or Set Both. Tap Cancel if you've changed your mind about this wallpaper.

    set lock screen wallpaper home screen wallpaper or both

Now you can firmly press your Lock screen whenever you want to bring the image to life. Did you know that Live Photos can also become video loops? For more tips on how to change iPad and iPhone wallpaper, read this! 

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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.