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How to set a video as your wallpaper on your phone screen

Take your Android phone or iPhone's lock screen to the next level.

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A hidden delight on the S10 Plus is that you can set a video as your phone's wallpaper.

Angela Lang/CNET

Making a wallpaper for your phone screen is one of the best ways to customize it and set it apart from everyone else's phone. Normally when you choose a wallpaper, you might select one of the default images that came with your phone, or search your camera gallery for one of your own photos to really add that personal touch.

But video wallpaper takes customization a step further by letting you relive a key moment in all its glorious motion. Video wallpaper not only looks stunning, but it doesn't get as tiresome as fast as a simple static photo. 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video on your phone's home screen is worth at least a million. Here's how to set it up on almost any phone.

Having a video for your wallpaper is so much more interesting than just a simple photo.

Bryce Ashford/CNET

Before we get started, can your phone do this? 

Both Android phones and iPhones ($1,000 at Best Buy) support video wallpaper, but there are different ways to get them working depending on the specific model you have. Some phones, such as the Galaxy S10, have built-in support for video wallpaper. Other Android phones, such as the Google Pixel 3 ($813 at Walmart), require a third-party app to get a moving image on your screen.

If you're using an iPhone, video wallpaper is basically a long-form version of a live photo, and only works with iPhones that use 3D Touch. You still have to press and hold on the screen, but instead of a three-second clip playing, you get something longer. 

Samsung phones have video wallpapers built in

1. Open your Gallery app and select the video of your choice.

2. Next, click the three vertical dots in the top right corner.

3. Then, click Set as wallpaper.

4. Next click the Edit button to trim your video to under 15 seconds. 

5. Finally, click Set as wallpaper.

Video wallpaper on a Pixel 3, OnePlus 7 Pro and more

1. Go into the Google Play Store and download the app Video Live Wallpaper by Naing Group.

2. Once you install and open the app, you'll see a screen that shows all of the settings for your video wallpaper.

3. Click on the box with the camera icon and then choose the video you want to turn into your wallpaper. 

4. Click Scale fit in order to edit the size and appearance of the video.

5. Once the edits are complete, you can exit out of the app, and your video will automatically become your wallpaper.

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For Android phones that don't offer built-in video wallpaper try the app Video Live Wallpaper.

Angela Lang/CNET

iPhone live photos, only longer

You can make live wallpapers on the iPhone's lock screen play longer, but sadly iOS doesn't support true video playback for wallpaper.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Trying to get set a regular video as wallpaper on an iPhone won't work because iOS doesn't support it. 

But there is a hack that turns longer videos (more than 3 seconds) into live wallpaper. Unfortunately, this trick only works on iPhones with 3D Touch -- that's the iPhone 6S and newer models except for the iPhone XR ($750 at Amazon). The first thing you need to do is use a third-party app that can convert regular videos into live photos. 

1. Download PicPlayPost from the App Store

2. After the app has installed, open it, and then click New Project.

3. Tap Create a Movie or Sideshow, and then select Vertical 9:16 ratio. 

4. Next, click Full screen, and select your video. 

5. Customize your video by adding music, effects, transitions or stickers. 

6. Select your video, and then click Save & share. 

7. Click Live Photo/ Wallpaper and then head over to your phone's Settings app.

8. Scroll down, and click Wallpaper.

9. Select Choose a New Wallpaper, and tap on your new video. 

10. Finally, click Live Wallpaper, then press okay, and then you're done.

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With contribution from Jessica Dolcourt.