Guide How to Set a Live Wallpaper on Your Device

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, personalization is a major player in enhancing user experience. One such customization option that has significantly gained prominence over the years is the use of live wallpapers. These are not your standard backdrops; they are dynamic, animated, and offer an immersive visual appeal.

By understanding what live wallpapers are and how they affect your device, you can capitalize on their benefits while mitigating any drawbacks, particularly in relation to battery life.

This informational piece also explores a variety of apps offering live wallpapers, comparing their features, pricing, and user-friendliness. Additionally, it provides step-by-step procedures for setting live wallpapers on both Android and iOS devices, ensuring you can easily personalize your device regardless of the operating system.

What is live wallpaper?

Understanding Live Wallpaper

A live wallpaper is an animated and interactive background or wallpaper on your mobile device’s home or lock screen. Unlike standard wallpapers that are static, live wallpapers move or change based on various factors. It could be as simple as a moving graphic, or it could involve complex animations that react to your touch or tilting of the device. Some live wallpapers can even change based on time or weather conditions.

How Live Wallpaper Works

Most live wallpapers run using an application software that enables them to perform their specified functions. These applications are integrated into the device’s operating system. You can interact with live wallpapers without launching a separate program. Many live wallpapers have settings that allow you to customize their behavior and appearance to your liking.

The Effects of Live Wallpapers on Your Device

When it comes to effects on your device, live wallpapers have a few key considerations. The first relates to performance. Since live wallpapers involve motion and interaction, they can consume more processing power compared to static wallpapers. Depending on the complexity of the animation, they could potentially slow down older devices.

The second effect is on the battery life of your device. Live wallpapers constantly use CPU and memory to run their animations, which can drain your battery faster than a static wallpaper. The more complex the animation, the higher the potential impact on battery life.

However, on more modern devices with larger batteries and more processing power, the difference in battery life may not be noticeable. It’s always worth testing the impact on your device yourself since everyone’s usage habits and tolerances for battery usage are different.

Personalizing Your Device with Live Wallpapers

Despite potential downsides, live wallpapers add personality and character to your device in a way that standard wallpapers can’t. They can bring a level of personalization and visual interest to your device that makes it unique to you. Live wallpapers can make your device feel more dynamic and interesting, and can even provide functions beyond mere aesthetics, such as displaying live weather updates or the current time.

To set a live wallpaper, navigate to your device’s settings menu. Under “Display” or “Wallpaper,” choose live wallpapers and select the one you like best. Please note these steps may vary slightly depending on your device’s operating system and version.

Illustration of mobile device with a live wallpaper on the screen

Photo by orwhat on Unsplash

Discovering different apps for live wallpaper

Exploring Live Wallpaper Apps

There are a multitude of live wallpaper apps available on both Android and iOS platforms. Each offers a unique set of features and aesthetics. Some of the widely known apps include “WalLoop”, “3D Wallpaper Parallax”, “Magic Live Wallpapers”, and “ZEDGE” on Android, “Live Wallpapers Forever”, “Live Wallpapers & HD Themes”, and “intoLive” on iOS platforms.

Free vs. Paid

Most of these apps offer both free and paid versions. The free versions typically include a substantial selection of images and videos, with the downside being the inclusion of advertisements and fewer customization options. Paid versions often eliminate these ads and provide a more refined collection of wallpapers with advanced settings and features. Opting for the paid versions not only enriches your user experience but also supports the developers in creating and maintaining these apps.

Quality and Features

When it comes to the quality of live wallpapers, apps like “WalLoop” and “3D Wallpaper Parallax” for Android and “Live Wallpapers Forever” for iOS are among the finest. They feature the highest resolution imagery, ensuring a breathtaking and immersive experience. Besides, some live wallpaper apps offer further customizability, such as changing shape, size or pace of the elements in the scene. ZEDGE, for instance, provides users with the ability to add cool effects to their selected wallpaper.

Ease of Use

All of these apps generally prioritize user-friendliness. They typically come with an easy navigating system allowing users to browse through a variety of categories like nature, urban, space, or animals. Setting a live wallpaper is also a straightforward process in most cases. Usually, it involves simply selecting the wallpaper, previewing it, and then tapping a set or install button. However, it’s essential to check that the app is compatible with your device and its operating system to ensure smooth operation.


If you are unsure about which one to choose, it’s worth browsing through the user reviews and ratings in the app store. These can shed light on the pros and cons of each app from a user’s perspective, helping you to determine which features and/ or wallpapers attract you the most and therefore, which app would best suit your needs.

Image of smartphone with live wallpaper apps displayed on the screen

Setting live wallpaper on Android Devices

Choosing a Live Wallpaper

To set a live wallpaper on your Android device, you first need to choose your preferred image. There are multiple sources where you can get these live wallpapers. You can download them from the Google Play Store, the device’s default gallery, or from internet sources. For instance, the Google Play Store offers several apps that contain a collection of live wallpapers, such as “Live Wallpapers 4k” and “Forest Live Wallpaper”. You can easily find options featuring various themes such as nature, abstract art, cityscapes, and more.

Downloading the Wallpaper

Once you have selected the wallpaper you desire, the next step is to download it. If you have selected it from the Google Play Store, simply click on the app and hit the install button. Once it’s installed on your device, open the app and browse through its collection to find a live wallpaper of your liking. If you’ve selected it from an internet source, click the download button and it should be saved in your device’s default gallery.

Previewing the Wallpaper

Before setting the live wallpaper, it’s always recommended that you preview it. To do so, navigate to the ‘Live Wallpaper’ section in your device. This can usually be found by long-pressing on an empty spot on your home screen, and then selecting ‘Wallpapers’ from the pop-up menu. Find your downloaded live wallpaper in the list and tap on it. A ‘Preview’ option will appear. Tap on it and the wallpaper will be displayed on your screen, allowing you to see how it will look like once it has been set.

Setting the Wallpaper

The last step in the process is setting the live wallpaper. Again, head to the ‘Live Wallpaper’ section in your Android device. Find your preferred wallpaper in the list and tap on it. Two options will appear: ‘Set Wallpaper’ and ‘Settings’. The ‘Settings’ option can be used to adjust how the live wallpaper appears on-screen – for instance, whether it scrolls or stays static, its resolution, whether it reacts to touch, and so on. Once you’re satisfied with the preview and settings, click the ‘Set Wallpaper’ button. Your Android’s home screen or lock screen will now display your selected live wallpaper.

Switching Between Live Wallpapers

Remember, you can always switch between different live wallpapers or return to a regular still image wallpaper at any time. The process is the same: simply head back to the ‘Live Wallpaper’ or ‘Wallpapers’ section, select a different image or app, and then hit ‘Set Wallpaper’. Now, you have a new fresh look on your Android device.

Android device displaying a live wallpaper on its home screen

Setting live wallpaper on iOS Devices

Setting Up a Live Wallpaper on iOS

The first step towards setting up a live wallpaper on your iOS device is to open the Settings app. Find the Wallpaper option in the list of settings and select it.

Choosing a Live Photo

Once the Wallpaper settings are opened, a category named “Choose a New Wallpaper” will appear. Under that, there are various options for where your new wallpaper might originate from, including Dynamic, Stills, and Live. The ‘Live’ option should be selected, which will guide you to a collection of Live Photos. Additionally, you can also select Live Photos from your own pictures by choosing the ‘All Photos’ option, if you have any saved.

Setting a Live Photo as Wallpaper

After selecting a Live Photo that fits your liking, the next step is to ensure that the ‘Live Photo’ setting is switched on. This can be confirmed as an icon with three concentric circles will be lit up in yellow color. The ‘Move & Scale’ feature allows you to adjust the crop of the photo to your preference. After adjusting the photo to your satisfaction, tap the ‘Set’ button located at the bottom right corner of your screen.

Choosing Where to Set Your Wallpaper

After pressing the ‘Set’ button, it will provide you with three options: ‘Set Lock Screen,’ ‘Set Home Screen,’ and ‘Set Both.’ Choosing ‘Set Lock Screen’ will apply the Live Photo to your lock screen, meaning it will activate whenever you press unlocking your device. Choosing ‘Set Home Screen’ will apply the photo to the background of your app menu. The option of ‘Set Both’ will set the Live Photo to both your lock screen and home screen.

Viewing a Live Wallpaper

After setting the wallpaper, you can exit the Settings app and go to your lock screen or home screen, according to your choice. On the lock screen, press and hold the screen to view the Live Photo in action. A series of brief movements will show the liveliness of the image. To enjoy this on your home screen, you may need an iPhone with the 3D touch feature.

Illustration of a person setting up a live wallpaper on an iOS device

Personalizing your device with a live wallpaper is certainly an exciting way to express your individuality and enhance your user experience. This informational guide has shed light on what live wallpapers are, how they operate, and their implications on your device’s performance.

We have sifted through myriad apps and highlighted the most effective ones to provide live wallpapers, in terms of their quality, features, and accessibility.

Moreover, we have shown you the steps to follow when setting a live wallpaper on both Android and iOS devices. With this knowledge, you can not only add a visual flair to your device but also make an informed decision balancing aesthetics and device performance.

Chaminda Gunasekara as represent as Gamedotro Author. He is a Graduate Bachelor of I.C.T. and a graduate in software and tech. Also, video game playing and finding new things is his biggest hobby.