June 18, 2024

How to Turn a Picture into a Wallpaper on Android

Do you have a favorite image you’ve taken with your smartphone that you’d like to use as a wallpaper? This tutorial shows how to make any picture (even a wide one) fit on Android.

Good to know: check out the best live weather wallpaper apps for Android here.

How to Edit Pictures for Wallpaper

Before we proceed, remember that before you set an image as your wallpaper, you should make all the needed visual adjustments: make sure it’s the right tone, filter, saturation, and so on. Arranging it into position comes later.

Most users would probably use a photo-editing app to make these adjustments. If you would rather not install another app on your device, you can always use Google Photos, an app that is preinstalled on most Android phones.

Open the app, then select your image. Tap the Edit icon at the bottom of your phone’s screen to view the options for your phone wallpaper.

Pressing on Edit button in Google Photos app.

Make all the adjustments you want, such as brightness, saturation, lighting, and colors. Finally, tap Save copy to save your edited image to Google Photos for later use

Pressing on

Tip: need to quickly edit a screenshot on your phone? Read on to learn how.

How to Set a Picture as Wallpaper on Android

In the past, setting a wallpaper on Android was a bit fiddly: instead of cropping images that were too wide, the system would sprawl them across several home screens. A wallpaper now stays stationary by default, and Android has quick and easy ways of cropping the size of the image.

Method 1: Using the Wallpaper Setting

On your Android phone, long-press on your home screen, and select Wallpaper & style from the menu. On some phone models, the option might just say Wallpaper.

Tapping on

You will see the preinstalled wallpapers on your device. Tap on More wallpapers.

Tapping on

Press My photos.

Note: images you download from apps or through your browser will be visible in folders in your Gallery app. You can also find them in the Downloads folder via your Files app.

Tapping on

Pick the image you want to use as a background on your phone. Once your image (portrait or landscape) is selected, you will see a preview of your wallpaper on your screen. You can move the image to the left or right to better center the image on your display. You can even zoom in and out of the picture.

Moving image according to preference before turning it into an wallpaper on Android phone.

Keep in mind that if you’re using an image in landscape mode, it’s going to be cropped. You can try moving the image around, but if you want your wallpaper to include the most details possible from the original picture, refer to the methods below.

Once you’ve arranged it properly, tap the Set wallpaper button, or hit the checkmark to apply it as your wallpaper. Choose whether you want to apply the wallpaper to the home screen, lock screen, or both.

Tip: learn how to organize your photos by creating albums in Google Photos.

Launch any Gallery app on your phone, and open the photo you want to set as wallpaper. For this guide, we’re using Google’s Gallery app.

Tap on the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner.

Tapping three dots in Gallery image on Android phone.

Select Use as.

Selecting

Select Photos Wallpaper or Gallery Wallpaper. On some phones, the option is going to appear as just Wallpaper. Adjust the wallpaper using gestures, and select whether you want it for the home screen or lock screen.

If you’re using Google Photos as your gallery app, you can set your wallpaper from there, too. Open the image, and press the three dots in the upper-right corner.

Tapping on three dots for photo in Google Photos app.

Swipe your fingers over the options below the image and tap Use as.

Tapping on

Select either Gallery Wallpaper or Photos Wallpaper.

FYI: here’s how to add a different wallpaper to each of your Android home screens.

How to Make a Picture Fit as Wallpaper

If you’re planning to use a landscape image, and the methods described above don’t yield a satisfactory result, you may want to experiment with some workarounds.

Expand Wallpaper

If your landscape image appears too zoomed in, or you wish to retain more details, we suggest this trick. Using an app like Snapseed, you can vertically extend your image so that it can fit the screen.

Open the image in the app, and press on Tools at the bottom.

Tapping on Tools in Snapseed app.

Select Expand from the options.

Tapping on the Expand feature in Snapseed app.

Drag the bar at the top of the image to expand it vertically. You can use this option several times in a row (depending on your image). When it’s done, press the tick icon in the lower right.

Expanding image vertically using Snapseed app.

Now you can use the edited image as your wallpaper. Check the difference against the wallpaper created using the original landscape image.

Wallpaper using image edited with Snapseed vs normal image.

FYI: take Android customization to the next level by creating custom icons for your apps.

Add a Frame to Your Wallpaper

An alternative is to add frames/borders to your image to make the landscape image fit perfectly on your screen. Use an app like InShot, although most photo editing apps should work too.

Open the landscape image in InShot, and tap Canvas at the bottom.

Clicking on Canvas in InShot app.

Opt for a vertical format. Your image will be automatically added on top of the canvas.

Selecting a canvas size in InShot app.

The background behind your image is created by enlarging and blurring part of your image. This guarantees that you can retain all the details of your image.

Image in canvas view in InShot app.

You can also zoom in or out of your image. When you’re done, tap the tick-shaped button, and press Save, and set the image as wallpaper.

Adding wallpaper created with InShot on Android phone.

Related: if you’re an iOS user, check out these websites to find cool wallpapers for your iPhone or iPad.

What if you want to have a different Android wallpaper every day? You may want to try these wallpaper changer apps that can refresh your Android daily. For those who want to make their wallpapers appear even more unique, we recommend checking out this list of photo editors that use AI to enhance images.

Image credit: Freepik. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

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Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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