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How to change wallpaper on iPhone 12 and get a customized, snazzy background

It's super easy and will only take you a few minutes to get done.

On an iPhone with 3D Touch, you can use a third-party app to play longer-duration "Live" photos on your lock screen.

Patrick Holland/CNET

You probably already know you can easily turn your photos into wallpaper on the iPhone ($499 at Apple), but there are plenty of stock wallpapers from Apple already on your iPhone 12 ($829 at Amazon) you can install right now. 

The iPhone 12 comes with a slew of vivid wallpapers available for use with both light mode and dark mode, highlighting Apple's colorful design language. You can choose from blue, green, black, red and white wallpapers that match the different iPhone 12 phone color options. Remember, the default wallpapers change with each iOS update (iOS 14.4 is the most current, and iOS 14.5 is on the way soon).

Read more: Here's how to customize your iPhone home screen, and these are the best iPhone 12 cases.

Keep reading to learn how easy it is to download some Apple-designed wallpaper.

1. Go to Settings, then scroll down to tap Wallpaper.

2. Select from Dynamic, Stills or Live. When you decide which wallpaper you want, hit the Set button. It'll give you the option of adding the wallpaper to your home screen, lock screen or both. 

3. Feast your eyes on your new wallpaper! You can check it out on your lock screen (by locking your phone) or your home screen (when you unlock the device). The fun part, at least for me, is watching a Live wallpaper (or photo) in action. You can do that by touching and holding the lock screen. 


Live wallpaper options available on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Screenshot by Sareena Dayaram/CNET

If you want wallpaper options beyond those offered by Apple, there's a bunch of third-party websites or apps (like Vellum, UnSplash or even iFixit) where you can quickly download some gorgeous wallpapers or photos to add that dose of personalization to your home screen. iFixit for instance, releases an annual "transparent" wallpaper that lets you showoff the intricate internals of your iPhone -- there's already one for the iPhone 12 for you to get your hands on. And if you've got your iPhone covered and are looking for eye-catching wallpapers to give your desktop a refresh, here are some CNET-curated sources to do just that. 

Read more: iPhone 12 review: One of our highest-rated phones of all time

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