How to set a different home screen background in iOS 16

One of the coolest new features in iOS 16 is the ability to customize your lock screen with new wallpapers and animated effects. You can even set up multiple custom lock screens and switch between them on the fly or based on the focus mode you’re using.

This added flexibility is great, but the downside is that with so many options, it can be more complicated to figure out how to change the wallpaper on your current home screen, especially if you want it to be different from what you’re using on your lock screen. . .

The good news is that doing this is not as complicated as it may seem at first glance. Although iOS 16 tries to push you to use matching wallpapers, you can easily override this and use any image in your photo library. Additionally, iOS 16 now lets you blur your home screen wallpaper, which is a nice touch if you’re having a hard time distinguishing your icons from your background image.

Three iPhones showing the steps to customize the home screen wallpaper from the lock screen.

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

How to set a custom home screen background when setting the lock screen

When you create a new lock screen wallpaper or edit an existing one, your iPhone will offer a blurred version of the same wallpaper for your home screen background. It directs you to select this with a prominent Set as Wallpaper Pair button, but you don’t have to accept this by default.

Step 1: From your iPhone’s lock screen, long press on any blank space to open the lock screen picker.

Step 2: Create a new lock screen by selecting the Plus sign in the lower right corner.

You can also edit an existing lock screen to change the home screen wallpaper associated with it. However, there is an easier way to change the wallpaper of the current home screen which we will cover in the next section.

Step 3: Customize your new lock screen to your liking. Check out our article on how to customize your iPhone lock screen in iOS 16 for more details on what you can do here.

Step 4: When you’re done, select Add (either Done if you are editing an existing lock screen). A preview of the lock screen and home screen wallpapers appears.

iPhone showing option to customize home screen when setting wallpaper pair from lock screen.

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Step 5: Select Customize the home screen to choose a different wallpaper for your home screen. A new home screen wallpaper editing view opens.

Step 6: From the options at the bottom, let Original selected to keep the same wallpaper as your lock screen; Select Color either Degraded choose a static background; or choose Photos to select an image from your photo library.

Step 7: The color and gradient options default to using a background that matches your lock screen wallpaper. To choose a different color or gradient, select the Color either Degraded button a second time to bring up the color picker.

Three iPhones showing the steps to customize your home screen wallpaper.

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Step 8: Select Blur to choose whether to blur the wallpaper on the home screen. This option is only available when using a matching lock screen wallpaper or custom photo; it will not be active when using a color or gradient as there is nothing to blur in that case.

Step 9: When you have customized your home screen wallpaper to your liking, select Done in the upper right corner.

Three iPhones showing the steps to customize the Home screen wallpaper from the Settings app.

Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

How to change the wallpaper of your current home screen

You can also quickly choose a new home screen wallpaper for your current lock screen the same way you set wallpapers in previous versions of iOS. This skips the step of opening the lock screen wallpaper editor and takes you straight to selecting a home screen wallpaper.

Note that this method only works for changing the wallpaper of the currently active home screen. If you want to change the wallpaper of another home screen without activating it, you will need to go through the lock screen editing process described in the first section.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Select Wallpaper. A preview of the current lock screen and home screen wallpapers is displayed.

Step 3: Select the personalize on the right, below the home screen wallpaper preview. The home screen wallpaper editing view opens.

Step 4: From the options at the bottom, select Original to use the same wallpaper as your lock screen, Color either Degraded to choose a static background, or Photos to select an image from your photo library.

Step 5: Select Blur to toggle the blur of a photo wallpaper.

Step 6: When you are satisfied with the wallpaper on your home screen, select Done in the upper right corner to save your selections and return to wallpaper settings.

If you’ve customized your wallpaper to use a separate color, gradient, or photo, and then decide you want to go back to using the paired wallpaper from your lock screen, repeat the steps above and select the paired wallpaper. Original option.

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