Skip to Content

How do you change the background?

Changing the background on your computer is a great way to customize your desktop and make it feel more personal. With just a few simple steps, you can set a new wallpaper background image, color, or pattern on your Windows, Mac, Chromebook, iPhone, or Android device.

Finding a New Background Image

The first step in changing your background is finding a new image to use. Here are some great places to find new wallpaper images:

  • Wallpaper websites – There are many websites dedicated to wallpaper images, like Unsplash, Pexels, and WallpaperAccess.
  • Google Image Search – Search for topics like “landscape wallpaper”, “abstract wallpaper”, or anything else you’re interested in.
  • Your own photos – Use a beautiful photo you’ve taken yourself.
  • Art and photography sites – Sites like DeviantArt have tons of great images by artists.

Make sure any image you select is high resolution, so it looks sharp on your display. For best results, choose an image with the same aspect ratio as your screen.

Setting a New Background on Windows

Windows makes it very simple to change your background image or color:

  1. Right click on your desktop and select “Personalize”.
  2. Click on “Background” in the Personalization window.
  3. Select “Picture” to set a new image background. Choose an image file from your computer to upload.
  4. To set a background color instead, select “Solid Color” and pick a color.
  5. Click “Save Changes” to apply the new background.

You can also right click on an image file in File Explorer and select “Set as Desktop Background” to quickly make it your new wallpaper.

Setting a New Background on Mac

Mac OS also lets you easily customize your desktop background:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop.
  2. In the left sidebar, select the desktop background you want to use. You can choose from images, solid colors, or even photo albums.
  3. If selecting an image, click the “+” button below the thumbnails to add a new image.
  4. Drag new images into the thumbnails to rearrange them.
  5. Click “Change Desktop” to save your new background choice.

You can also drag and drop an image file directly onto the Desktop & Screen Saver window to set it immediately.

Setting a New Background on iPhone and Android

Smartphones also make changing up your background simple with these steps:


  1. Go to Settings > Wallpaper.
  2. Tap “Choose a New Wallpaper”.
  3. Select from Dynamic, Stills, Live, or a photo album.
  4. Tap “Set” to save the wallpaper.


  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Display > Wallpaper.
  3. Tap “Gallery” or “Wallpapers” to choose a background.
  4. Select an image and tap “Set Wallpaper”.

You can also long press on an image in the Photos app and select “Use as” > “Wallpaper” to quickly set it.

Setting a Background on Chromebook

Chromebooks also make customizing your background a breeze:

  1. Right click anywhere on your desktop.
  2. In the menu, click “Set Wallpaper”.
  3. Choose from the available photos gallery or upload your own image.
  4. Click “Open” or “Set Wallpaper” on your selected image.

Your new wallpaper will be immediately applied to brighten your Chromebook desktop.

Tips for Choosing Background Images

Picking the perfect background image for your screen isn’t always easy. Here are some tips:

  • Choose high resolution images for crisp quality.
  • Look for simple, uncluttered images for a clean look.
  • Match the aspect ratio of your screen size.
  • Pick soothing colors and scenery to reduce eye strain.
  • Coordinate your background with your device covers or cases.
  • Rotate between a few favorite images to keep it fresh.
  • Set an inspirational or productivity-themed image for motivation.

You can even create a customized background using your own photos and images with apps like Photoshop for a more personalized feel.

Background Ideas for Different Themes

Not sure where to start in picking a background? Here are some ideas for different themes and styles:

Theme Background Ideas
Nature Forests, lakes, landscapes, animals
Travel World landmarks, maps, airplanes, luggage
Space Galaxies, planets, stars, astronauts
Minimalist Solid colors, simple patterns, minimalist art
Productivity Desk space, notebooks, calendars, pens

Get creative and choose a background that motivates you or matches your style. Change it frequently to keep things fresh.

Using Video or GIF Backgrounds

If you want to go beyond static images, both Windows and Mac allow animated GIFs and short video clips to be set as live background wallpaper. Here’s how:

Windows 10

  1. Right click the desktop and select “Personalize”.
  2. Click “Background” > “Video”.
  3. Select a MP4 video file from your computer.
  4. Click “Select video” > “Save changes”.


  1. Open System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Screen Saver.
  2. In the left sidebar, select the animated GIF or video file.
  3. Click “Preview” to see it in action.
  4. Click “Use as Screen Saver” to set it.

Just be aware animated backgrounds can use more system resources. Try them out, but switch back to static images if your computer starts running slowly.


Customizing your desktop, phone, or Chromebook background is an easy way to add personality to your device. Finding the perfect wallpaper can take some time, but is worth it to make the space your own. Set an inspiring image or relaxing landscape and change it up anytime you want a fresh look. With the simple steps outlined above for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android and Chromebook, you’ll be changing backgrounds in no time.