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How to change the wallpaper on an Android smartphone

Your smartphone is uniquely yours, and nothing says that quite like your own wallpaper. Whether it’s cool fan art of your favorite character, a picture of a family member or a beloved pet, or just a landscape you really like, picking the right wallpaper is key to your enjoyment of your phone. After all, picking a wallpaper that makes you feel happy is a great way to get a small boost whenever you open your phone.

But few things worth doing are easy. Thankfully, this is one of the few, and changing your wallpaper on an Android smartphone is fairly straightforward. Of course, you need to know where to start, and that’s what this guide is for. Here’s how to change the wallpaper on an Android smartphone.

Changing the wallpaper on a stock Android/Google Pixel phone

There are a number of smartphones that run the basic version of Android, which is known as “stock Android by most people. Google’s own Pixel phones, Nokia phones, and a number of other smaller brands all use a version of Android that’s close to stock Android, which means you can use these instructions to change the wallpaper on a large number of phones.

Step 1: Head to your home screen and long-press on the background. Select Styles & Wallpapers from the pop-up menu.

Step 2: Select Wallpaper at the bottom if it isn’t already on that screen. From this menu, you can select from My Photos for your own photos and downloaded images, or select from any other folder offered.

Step 3: When you’ve selected a category, you can choose a single image to use as your background. Select one. If it’s a wide image, you can scroll the image to select which part you’ll see on your main page. Tap Set Wallpaper to confirm. Finally, touch Home ScreenLock Screen, or Home Screen and Lock Screen to choose where you want to see your wallpaper.

Step 4: Alternatively, go back to the main folder of images and select Daily Wallpaper to have your wallpaper cycle between all the images in this folder.

Changing the wallpaper on a Samsung phone

Samsung has long sported its own version of Android, sometimes with mixed results. But regardless of how you feel about Samsung’s Android skin, be it TouchWiz, Samsung Experience, or One UI, the way you change your phone’s wallpaper is going to be different from stock Android. Here’s how you can change your wallpaper on a Samsung smartphone.

Step 1: Long-press on your Home Screen and select Wallpapers from the bottom of the screen.

Step 2: Select My Wallpapers to get access to pre-made Samsung wallpapers, including “video” wallpapers exclusively for your lock screen. Alternatively, select Gallery from the main Wallpaper section to choose from your own images.

Step 3: Regardless of whether you’re choosing from Gallery or My Wallpapers, tap on your choice and select Set On Lock Screen (for the options marked “video”), or choose between Home Screen, Lock Screen, or Lock and Home Screens for the static variants. If you’re selecting from your Gallery, then you can pick up to 15 photos for your wallpaper to cycle through.

Step 4: Finally, tick Apply Dark Mode to Wallpaper if you want your wallpaper to darken slightly in tone whenever Dark Mode is on. This should stop you from getting too dazzled when you go back to your phone’s home screen in the evening.

Step 5: Alright, so this is more an addendum than a final step. If you’re looking for more exciting wallpapers, then tap the Explore More Wallpapers button at the bottom of the main Wallpaper section to go to the Galaxy Themes store, where you can find a range of possible wallpapers for your phone.

Where are the best places to get wallpapers?

Refreshing your wallpaper is as easy as lining up your smartphone camera and snapping a shot of a landscape, person, or animal you like. But if you want something a little more stylish or out-of-this-world, then there are places you can go to download wallpapers specially created for smartphones. Unsplash and Pexels are two such websites that specialize in free wallpapers for smartphones, and we recommend you start by looking there.

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Mark Jansen
Mark Jansen is an avid follower of everything that beeps, bloops, or makes pretty lights. He has a degree in Ancient &…
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