4 ways to change the wallpaper on your Android smartphone

While you might not realize it, you see the wallpaper on your Android smartphone more often than any other image. So it makes sense to be picky about it and change it when you get bored with the old one, when you see something more interesting, or if you just want it to fit your current mood. Did you know there is more than one way to change the wallpaper for both your Home screen and your Lock screen on Android? This tutorial shows you how to change the wallpaper on Android smartphones and tablets, using four different methods:

NOTE: For this tutorial, we used an ASUS ZenFone Max Pro device running Android 9 Pie. The steps involved are the same, even if you have a smartphone from Samsung, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia, or some other manufacturer. If you do not know your Android version, read How to check the Android version on your smartphone or tablet.

What you need to know about wallpapers for your Android smartphone

By default, your Android smartphone comes with several images and wallpapers, and some of them can be quite pretty. They also have the advantage of fitting your screen perfectly. Still, you only get a limited number, so no matter how much you like them, you are bound to get bored with them at some point.

The default images in Photos, on our ASUS ZenFone Max Pro

Luckily, there are several ways to get new wallpapers on your Android smartphone: you can choose from the photos you've taken, download cool wallpapers, or transfer them from your Windows 10 device via Bluetooth or a USB cable.

There are two types of wallpapers you can use on your Android smartphone:

  • Still or regular wallpapers - photos and still images. Most Android smartphones come with high-resolution screens, so take that into account when you're deciding on a wallpaper image.
  • Live wallpapers - animated and sometimes interactive, as they can react to your actions. Some live wallpapers come with their own settings, which let you customize some of their features. You can download live wallpapers from the Play Store.

This tutorial focuses on still wallpapers, but the instructions in the first two sections can easily be followed to set a previously downloaded Live wallpaper. You should be able to also find and enable Live wallpapers directly from your All Apps screen.

1. Change your Android wallpaper from the Home screen

The fastest and most straightforward way to change your Android wallpaper is from your smartphone's Home screen. Tap and hold the wallpaper on your Home screen to bring up a menu, and choose Wallpapers.

Tap on Wallpapers from the Home screen menu

Choose an app to complete the action. You can select one of the default Wallpapers, one of the Live Wallpapers, or you can "Complete action using Photos" to set one of your pictures and saved images as your wallpaper. Tap on Just once if you want the option to select something different during this step, or Always if you plan to always use the same type of wallpaper images. We mostly use Photos, but we like to keep our options open, so we tapped on Just once.

Choose an app to complete the action

On the next screen, tap on the folder where the wallpaper image is stored.

We recently downloaded some seasonal wallpapers, so we tapped on Download.

Tap on the folder with the image you want to use

When the folder opens, tap on the thumbnail of the photo that you want to use as your smartphone's wallpaper.

Tap on the photo you want as your wallpaper

This gives you a preview of what the image looks like full screen. If you are happy with it, tap on Set wallpaper.

To use this image, tap Set wallpaper

Android asks if you want the image as your wallpaper for the Home screen, the Lock screen, or both. Tap on one of the options to apply the wallpaper to that screen.

Select the screen(s) for your wallpaper

The wallpaper is instantly changed for your chosen screen(s).

2. Change your Android wallpaper from the Settings app

You can also change your wallpaper from the Android Settings. First, swipe up on your Home screen or tap the All apps button to open the All Apps screen, and then tap on Settings.

Tap on the Settings app to open it

In the Settings, tap on Display.

Go to Display

Tap on Wallpaper under Display settings.

Select Wallpaper

Tap on the type of wallpaper images that you want to use. We used Photos. You may also choose Live wallpapers or Wallpapers.

Select the type of wallpaper you want

Tap on a folder to open it. We tapped on Download to select a recently downloaded holiday wallpaper.

Tapping on a folder opens it

Tap on the thumbnail of the photo that you want to use as your Android smartphone's wallpaper.

Tap on an image to see it full screen

You get a preview of what the image looks like full screen.

Tap on Set wallpaper to set it as your Android's wallpaper.

If you like the image, tap Set wallpaper

Choose where you want the wallpaper to show: on your Home screen, your Lock screen, or both.

Tap which screen you want the wallpaper on

The wallpaper is instantly changed for the screen(s) you chose.

3. Change your Android wallpaper from the Photos app

If you don't know exactly what you want, you can look around and set an image as your wallpaper straight from the Photos app. To open the Photos app, swipe up from your Home screen or tap the All apps button to open the All Apps screen, and then tap on Photos.

Select Photos to open the app

When the Photos app opens, there are several tabs at the bottom of the screen. If you are thinking of an image from your photos, you need the Photos tab. Otherwise, go to Albums. We chose Albums to reach the images that fit our Christmas spirit.

We accessed Albums

Select a location with many potential wallpapers. We downloaded some merry images, so we tapped on Download.

Select the folder containing potential wallpapers

Tap on the thumbnail of an image to select it and open it full screen.

Tap on an image that interests you

You can now see the image more clearly. If you can't make up your mind, slide left or right to view more images from that folder in full screen mode. When you decide, access the contextual options for that image. Either swipe up or tap on the button that looks like three vertical dots from the upper right corner of your smartphone's screen.

Open the menu of an image

You should now see a menu and some details about the image that you selected. In the menu at the bottom of your image, slide your finger to the left to scroll through the available options.

Scroll through the menu with options for your image

Tap on the Use as option.

Select Use as from the menu

You are asked for a way to complete the action. Tap on Wallpaper.

Choose Wallpaper

The image opens full screen again, but the option Set wallpaper is at the top of the screen. Tap on it.

Tap on Set wallpaper

For the last step, you have to decide if you want this wallpaper on your Home screen, your Lock screen, or both.

Choose where to use your wallpaper

The setting is immediately applied, and you can see the new wallpaper on your Android smartphone.

As opposed to the two previous ways of changing your Android smartphone's wallpaper discussed above, the method illustrated in this section only applies to static or regular wallpapers. You can not use it to select a Live wallpaper. To learn other ways of customizing your Android Home screen, read 7 ways to personalize the home screen of your Android smartphone or tablet.

4. Change your Android wallpaper with Google's Wallpapers app

Google's Wallpapers app is a great way to get and use new wallpapers on your Android smartphone. You can even use it to automatically change your wallpaper daily. To learn more about it, read How to get daily wallpapers from Google on your Android device.

The gallery in Google's Wallpapers app is organized by categories

How easily do you get bored with your wallpaper?

We get bored easily, so we change our wallpapers often, both on our smartphones and on our Windows 10 devices. We do it based on our moods, our current preferences, and the time of the year, and we also insist on changing them whenever we write a new tutorial to make sure you guys don't get bored with us. 🙂 What about you? How easily do you get bored with your wallpaper(s)? Is there any wallpaper that you absolutely love right now? We are always looking for new ideas, so show us or comment below.

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