How To Use Custom Wallpapers on the iPad

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cutsom wallpaper on iPad

One of the very first things Steve Jobs mentioned about the iPad when he introduced it is the ability to set custom wallpapers for both the home screen and lock screen.  This is a nice, and very easy, way to personalize your iPad – so it seems well worth a quick how to post.

Here’s a quick rundown of how you can use custom wallpapers on the iPad:

Where to get images for use as wallpapers:

You can easily grab an image sent to you in an email or one that catches your eye when browsing the web on the iPad, for use as a wallpaper.  To do so, in both the Mail and Mobile Safari browser apps, you just press and hold on an image, wait for a popup dialog to appear, and tap on ‘Save Image’.

There are a large number of web sites that feature right-sized images for iPad and iPhone wallpapers, as well as a great number of wallpaper apps in the App Store. One that I would highly recommend is the site, and its accompanying app.

How To Set Your Custom Wallpaper for the Home Screen and Lock Screen

Once you have saved an image that you’d like to use as a wallpaper, here’s how you set it to be displayed as your home screen background, lock screen background, or both:

— Go to the Photos app and tap on the image you want to use.

— Tap on the Share button at the top right of the screen and choose the ‘Use as Wallpaper’ option

set wallpaper on iPad

— You should then see three buttons at the top right of the screen: Set Lock Screen, Set Home Screen, and Set Both.  Use the appropriate choice in these three according to where you want this image to appear. 


I find that very plain color gradient or textured / abstract images work best for me on the home screen, so they do not distract from app icons, while more flashy and complex images work nicely on the lock screen.

You can also go to the Settings app, and the Brightness & Wallpaper section, to set your custom wallpaper.  You simply tap on Wallpaper and choose an image from stock images or any of your photo albums on the iPad.

That’s all there is to it.  A very easy way to make the iPad a little more your own.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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