There are a few ways to customise your iPad or iPhone. Usually these will involve decorative cases, such as those found in our Best iPad 2017 cases and bags guide, but the easiest way is simply to change the wallpaper background image.

We show you how to achieve this in a few quick steps, plus a few places where you can find new images online.

How to change the wallpaper on iPad and iPhone

Changing the wallpaper on your iOS device is simple, and requires the same method whether you're using an iPad or iPhone.

All you need to do is go to Settings > Wallpaper and then tap Choose a New Wallpaper.

how to change wallpaper on ipad or iphone

Next, you'll be presented with a number of options. At the top are two portrait images entitled Dynamic and Stills. While beneath them are the various photo collections you might have on your device.

how to change wallpaper on ipad or iphone

Dynamic wallpaper

Tapping the Dynamic icon will open up another menu with several colour variants of the current bubble style wallpaper.

how to change wallpaper on ipad and iphone

The reason these are called dynamic is that they move around the screen. The animations are also interactive, thanks to the Perspective Zoom feature. With this turned on you'll see that if you tilt the display the bubbles will change position, as if you're floating above or below them.

Select one and you'll be presented with a preview of how it will look on your device.

how to change wallpaper on ipad and iphone

If this is the adornment you want then tap the relevant option at the bottom of the screen. You can set the image to appear on either the Lock Screen, your normal Home Screen, or both. There's also an option to turn off the Perspective Zoom if you find it a bit dizzying.

Stills wallpaper

Selecting Stills will open up a selection of static images that Apple provides with every iOS device.

These will perfectly fit to the dimensions of your display, no matter the orientation, and once again can be set to either appear on the Lock Screen, Home Screen, or both.

how to change wallpaper on ipad and iphone

 Using Photos as wallpaper

Images of planets, landscapes and exploding flour is all fine and dandy, but if you want to really personalise your iOS device then a photo you've taken yourself is an excellent way to go.

To do this you'll need to ignore the Dynamic and Stills options and scroll down to the various photo collections you'll see listed below.

Select one that contains images you think will work, bearing in mind that your wallpaper will need to be a landscape shot rather than portrait, so that it can span the various screens on your device without getting horribly cropped.

Ideally, you'll also want your wallpaper to be HD, so that it looks sharp on your Retina display. Most modern smartphones take high quality images, so this shouldn't be a problem, but older or scanned items might appear a bit grainy.

The best way to find out is just to choose an image and see how it looks.

how to change wallpaper on ipad and iphone

In the preview mode you'll be able to move the image around and zoom in and out until you find the best placement. Once you're happy, you can choose where it's displayed. This once again includes the options of the Lock Screen, Home Screen, or Both.

Remember that busy images can look great on the empty Lock Screen, but make it hard to read app names when on the Home Screen. So experiment with a few images to see what works best for you.

Live wallpapers

If you have an iPhone 6s or later then you'll also have the option to use a Live wallpaper. These are short animations, triggered by pushing down on the screen.

These also include any Live photos you may have taken on your iPhone. If you're unfamiliar with the feature than it's worth reading our How to take Live Photos on iPhone guide.

To select one of Apple's Live wallpapers, tap on the Live icon at the top of the screen, then select the one you want.

how to change wallpaper on ipad and iphone

If it's a Live Photo you prefer then scroll down until you see the Live Photos folder, then tap on that.

In either case you'll be able to preview the image, and then set it as either a Still, Perspective, or Live Photo.

Still and Live Photo are as you'd expect, but Perspective is a little different in that as you tilt the display the angle of the image will change, giving it a slight 3D effect. It can be quite cool, and again you can sample it before you decide.

When you're ready, tap the Set button at the bottom of the screen, choose where you want the image to appear, and you're good to go.

Where can I get new wallpapers for my iPad or iPhone?

If you don't fancy any of the stock Apple offerings, and can't find a photo that quite matches your mood, then there are plenty of options online.

Opening Safari, or any other browser, and searching for iPad wallpaper will return a huge number of images. Be sure to tap on the Images section of the results, then look for one that catches your eye.

how to change wallpaper on iphone and ipad

When you've found one, tap on it to bring it up on the screen, then tap and hold until a menu appears. Top of the list should be Save Image. Tap this and the wallpaper will be saved to your Photos.

how to change wallpaper on ipad and iphone

Now, just repeat the steps listed above in the 'Using Photos as wallpaper' section and you'll have a new backdrop for your device.

Alternatively you could also head to the App Store and search for wallpaper apps.

how to change wallpaper on iphone and ipad

There are quite a few on there, so it's worth taking your time and reading the reviews from other users to see which ones are the best. We suggest putting the kettle on and finding a comfy chair, as once you start perusing, you might find you're there for quite a while.