How to set your Android wallpaper

Get a custom look for your Android phone's home and lock screens.

A brand new wallpaper for your Android phone's home screen and lock screen is a nice personal touch that'll also help you tell which phone is yours and ensure you don't end up answering texts meant for an entirely different family member.

There are a few different types of wallpaper styles, but you'll typically be choosing between static and what's known as "live".

A static wallpaper is just a single image. Android will run this over your multiple home pages, so that the image shifts a little as you scroll but without distorting the image. This is particularly nice if, for example, you have a great photo of a family pet that you'd like to see every time you make a call or check Twitter.

A live wallpaper is mildly animated, either shifting slight over time or changing a little in response to touch. The modern version of a live wallpaper is not that distracting, but it does require a little more from your phone's resources. If you're feeling like your phone has gone slow or the battery is dying a little more quickly than usual, disable the live wallpaper and see if that helps.

The process is pretty simple and not that much different from getting a widget set up. As always, the caveat here is that different manufacturers may have their own spin on this, so we're using the latest Google Pixel 2 XL since it has the cleanest version of Android available.


Press and hold anywhere on the screen until you see a "helicopter view" and the options Wallpapers, Widgets and Home Settings at the bottom of the screen. Spoiler alert, we're tapping on Wallpapers.

This takes you to a view showing what you already have set, along with the gallery of options provided by your manufacturer plus your own photos.

Have a look around, see what you like the look of and what might brighten your day occasionally because it's the little things that make the difference.


Tap on an image and you'll see the option to "Set Wallpaper" at the top right of the screen. Tap it.

A dialogue box will pop up asking if you want to set the image as your home screen, as your lock screen or as both. Your home screen is the background on your phone and your lock screen is what you see before you unlock your phone. If you just choose one option, you can repeat these steps to set the other, or you can choose both.

That's it. You're all done until the next time a family member or pet is looking particularly adorable and you decide to change the lot.

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