How to change wallpaper on iPhone 13 and get a customized, snazzy background

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

Sareena Dayaram Senior Editor
Sareena is a senior editor for CNET covering the mobile beat including device reviews. She is a seasoned multimedia journalist with more than a decade's worth of experience producing stories for television and digital publications across Asia's financial capitals including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. Prior to CNET, Sareena worked at CNN as a news writer and Reuters as a producer.
Expertise Huawei, Oppo, smartphones, smartwatches Credentials
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Sareena Dayaram
2 min read

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 13, but there are plenty of stock wallpapers from Apple already on your iPhone 13 that you can install right now. 

The iPhone 13 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 shades including blue, green, black, red and white wallpapers that match the different iPhone 13 phone color options. Remember, the default wallpapers change with each iOS update (iOS 15 is the most current major software update)

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. You can either "Choose a New Wallpaper," which then goes to the 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. Or you can toggle on or off "Dark Appearance Dims Wallpaper" and tap on the previews for your existing Lock Screen and Home Screen wallpaper choices and Move & Scale them as well as turn on and off Perspective Zoom.

4. 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 show off the intricate internals of your iPhone -- there's 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 13 review: Apple delivers a delightful upgrade