iPhone 101: How to Change Your iPhone Wallpaper

Welcome to iPhone 101, TiPb's single point of success for new iPhone users, and for veterans who know new users and need a quick and helpful place to point them. This time we're going to take a look at how to personalize your iPhone with a different -- even custom -- wallpaper of your own choosing, including your own photos and artwork.

We'll show you how, after the break.

Wallpaper Settings

Begin from your iPhone's home screen. If you're not on the home screen, just press the big button on the bottom of your iPhone, then tap the Settings icon (default location is on the first Home screen, right hand side in the middle). At the bottom of the Settings screen will be the Wallpaper option.

Tap on Wallpaper and a set of galleries will slide across into view.

The topmost gallery is chock full of Apple provided wallpapers, focused on organic imagery including flowers, insects, rocks, trees, etc., as well as famous works of art, and a few patterns. (See the screenshot at the top of this how-to)

Below the default gallery is a list topped off by your Camera Roll (any pictures you've taken with your iPhone camera), and Photo Library, which includes every other picture currently stored on your iPhone (synced from your PC or Mac via iTunes).

Lastly are all the individual photo galleries, if any, listed by name. This can be a quicker way to find a specific photo in your library, provided you remember in which gallery you've filed it.

Choosing Your Wallpaper

To pick your wallpaper, starting by choosing one of the photo galleries outlined above. This will bring up a series of thumbnails containing all the images in the chosen gallery. If there are too many thumbnails to fit on a single screen, you can swipe up or down to navigate through them.

When you find the photo or image you want, tap on it. A full screen preview will slide up.

From this screen, you can scale the image by touching two fingers to the screen and pinching them together (to shrink it) or spreading them apart (to grow it).

If the image is larger than the iPhone's display (320 pixels wide by 480 pixels high in portrait mode), or you've zoomed in on it, you can also touch one finger to the screen and move it around to slide the image into exactly the right position (for example, to center a face in a photograph).

To return the image to it's original size and re-center it, just double tap the screen.

Setting Your Wallpaper

When you've got the image just the way you want it, tap the Set Wallpaper button on the bottom right and the next time you wake your iPhone, your new wallpaper will leap up to greet you.

Quick Tip: Setting Your Wallpaper From the Photo App

We've shown you before how to email a picture from within the Photo viewer. The same process can be used to quickly set any picture you're currently looking at as the default wallpaper, simply select the Use As Wallpaper option instead.

Looking for More Wallpapers?

Now that you know how to change your wallpaper, maybe you're looking for some images to try out? Look no further than TiPb's iPhone Forum, where our resident super-moderator Bad Ash kicked off a thread now containing a veritable gold-mine of wallpapers. And if you have any trouble, it's the perfect place to ask questions and get some personalized help. You can even share some favorite wallpapers of your own!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone 101: How to Change Your iPhone Wallpaper

4 Comments

This is such limited option on the iPhone, it's disappointing. I'm not sure why but Apple seems to believe the phone should be limited to having a boring black background behind our icons instead of allowing us to pick and choose whatever image we desire. Our dekstops can do it, my Razr could do it. The iPhone 3G can do it by "jailbreaking" it. I jailbreak mine just so I can have that functionality. Come on Apple, it's a simple request. Springboard Wallpapers!

Problem with changing iphone wallpaper --> I cant change my wallpaper picture and have tried many options but failed. Some said my phone "got virus from PC sync". The pict just appear by itself and I cant find the pict that appeared on my wallpaper in my phone / pc harddisk. Can anyone help?
p/s: This is an original 3Gs iphone that i recently brought. No 3rd party software install in it. It happened when the phone download backup data from my old 2G iphone... please help