How to Change Your Home Screen Wallpaper in iOS 16

A few things have changed in iOS 16. One of the major ones is the customizable Lock Screen for your iPhone. Along with the Lock Screen changes have come changes to the way you set a wallpaper or background for your iPhone Home Screen. In iOS 16, the Lock Screen and Home Screen options are tied together, but you can make changes to your Home Screen without changing your iPhone’s Lock Screen. You should note, however, that if you change to a new Lock Screen, you will need to customize another Home Screen (that will be associated with that Lock Screen).

Change your iPhone’s Home Screen background

There are a couple of different ways to change your Home Screen. You can:

  • Set your iPhone’s Home Screen when you customize your Lock Screen.
  • Change your Home Screen wallpaper from Settings.

In iOS 16, your choice for a Lock Screen determines your options for your Home Screen wallpaper. For more on how to customize your Lock Screen in iOS 16, see How to Customize Your iPhone Lock Screen in iOS 16. For this article, we’ll show you how to make changes to your Home Screen wallpaper from the Settings app.

wallpaper in settings
  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Wallpaper.
  3. Under Current, you’ll see that you can customize either your Lock Screen or your Home Screen. You can also add a new wallpaper.
    • If you choose Customize under your current Lock Screen image, you can make changes to the Lock Screen, and then also choose and make changes to your Home Screen wallpaper. For more on customizing your Lock Screen, see the linked article above.
    • If you choose Add New Wallpaper, you will be choosing a new wallpaper to customize for your Lock Screen and then have the option to make adjustments to your Home Screen wallpaper as well. For more on customizing your Lock Screen, see the linked article above.
    • For the purposes of this article, we will go ahead and tap on Customize under the Home Screen image.
  4. After you tap on Customize (under the Home Screen image), you will be able to choose the look for your Home Screen. There are five buttons near the bottom of the screen. We will go over what each of them does in the next section.

Home Screen customization

Original

The Original button is what is selected by default. It is usually the Lock Screen wallpaper, just blurred (or sometimes not blurred by default).

Color

The Color button allows you to choose a color for your Home Screen. This color doesn’t need to have anything to do with your chosen Lock Screen image. To set a color for your Home Screen:

the color option for Home Screen wallpaper
  1. Tap the Color button, then tap it again.
  2. Choose a color disc. After you tap on a color disc, you can refine the color using the slider.
    • If you aren’t happy with the choices of colors offered, tap on the disc surrounded by a rainbow circle in the upper-left corner of the “Choose Color” pop-up. You can choose to view colors in three different ways: Grid, Spectrum and Sliders. Choose a color, then tap the X to return to the “Choose Color” window.
  3. Tap on the X to see what your Home Screen will look like. If you are happy with it, tap on Done.

Gradient

The Gradient button lets you choose a Home Screen color gradient. Again, this option doesn’t have anything to do with your chosen Lock Screen.

the gradient option for Home Screen wallpaper
  1. Tap on Gradient, then tap on it again.
  2. Choose a color disc, then refine with the slider.
    • If you aren’t happy with the choices of colors offered, tap on the disc surrounded by a rainbow circle in the upper-left corner of the “Choose Gradient” pop-up. You can choose to view colors in three different ways: Grid, Spectrum and Sliders. Choose a color, then tap the X to return to the “Choose Gradient” window.
  3. Tap on the X to see what your Home Screen will look like. If you are happy with it, tap on Done.

Photos

You can choose one of your photos for your Home Screen. This won’t change your Lock Screen.

the photo option for Home Screen wallpaper
  1. Tap on the Photos button.
  2. You can:
    • Choose one of the Featured images.
    • Tap on All, People or Nature to view selected images from those categories.
    • You can tap on the Albums tab at the top of the screen to search for a photo by album.
    • You can also use the Search field to find Photos, People or Places.
  3. After you choose your photo, you’ll have the option to customize the look of the photo. You can
    • “Pinch to Crop” to zoom in or choose a particular part of the photo.
    • Swipe left and right to see the photo in different color styles. The name of the style is given above the row of dots near the bottom of the screen.
    • Tap on the three-dots button to check or uncheck Depth Effect. If you chose Duotone or Color Wash color styles, you will also see the Style Color option. If you tap on Style Color, you can change the color for your photo.
  4. When you are happy with the photo, tap on Done.
  5. If you find the photo is too busy for your Home Screen, tap on Blur to blur the photo. Finally, tap on Done.

Related articles

Dr. Stacey Butler is a tech writer at macReports covering news, how-tos, and user guides. She is a longtime Mac and iPhone user and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Here is her LinkedIn profile.

Thank you for choosing to leave a comment.

Please note the following:

  • All comments are moderated.
  • Your email will NOT be published nor shared.
  • All SPAM comments will be deleted.
  • Please see our comment policy page for more info.

Leave a Comment