How to Make Custom iPhone Wallpapers (No App Required)

Custom wallpaper created with an iPhone

Changing your iPhone lock screen and home screen wallpaper is probably the most effective way to make your phone look and feel unique. Now you can take your wallpaper to the next level by creating or changing your own themes with just a few taps – no app required.

Create your own iPhone backgrounds

You can create your own wallpapers using the lock screen gallery. To access the gallery, tap and hold the lock screen to view it.

From here you can tap “Customize” to change your existing lock screen, or tap the plus sign “+” to create a new lock screen.

Customize option on iPhone

When you create a new lock screen, you will go directly to the wallpaper selector. You will then see some options at the top of the screen to create your own wallpaper:

  • Photos: Select a photo from your media library and adjust it by swiping left and right to apply different filters.
  • Photo Shuffle: In random mode, you can choose more than one wallpaper. These photos then change throughout the day. You can also let your iPhone choose photos for you.
  • Emoticons: Choose your favorite emoji and then choose from different patterns and background colors.
  • Weather: The weather option is a dynamic background that changes depending on the weather conditions in your area.
  • Astronomy: This dynamic background changes depending on the position of the earth, the moon or the planets in our solar system.
  • Colour: Choose a solid color, then swipe left and right to choose different effects like gradients and color intensity.

You can create multiple wallpapers and save them in the lock screen gallery and then switch between them at will by tapping and holding on your lock screen at any time.

Emoji wallpapers

Probably the most fun you can have here is creating custom emoji and color wallpapers. Creating wallpapers with your own photos is also easier with these tools. You don’t need to edit or apply filters to your photos in the Photos app first.

Some photos can even be used to create a depth effect that superimposes subjects across the watch (although getting this to work is a bit of a hassle).

TIED TOGETHER: Why isn’t my iPhone Depth Effect wallpaper working?

Choose from existing designs

You can also use the lock screen gallery to choose from existing or featured themes. Check out the Featured and Collections sections to see some of Apple’s best deals.

Various background options in iOS 16

iOS also includes photos in the Suggested Photos slider that should work well on a lock screen, many of which are compatible with the depth effect mentioned above.

Remember that if you use widgets on your lock screen, you will lose the ability to use the depth effect.

There’s also a wide range of apps on the App Store for creating or downloading custom wallpapers, including Vellum, Everpix, and Pixs. Unlike these apps, Apple’s built-in options are completely free to use.

Requires iOS 16 or later

You can access the new wallpaper creation tools and lock screen gallery with iOS 16. If you don’t see the lock screen gallery when you long press on your lock screen, you may need to update your iPhone to iOS 16.

Find out if your device is compatible with iOS 16 and what else is worth checking out in the September 2022 Update.

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