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Finding Wallpapers for Your Smartphone

Updated on June 6, 2010

Finding wallpapers (or backgrounds / desktops) for your computer is fairly easy. But when it comes to finding backgrounds for your mobile phone (minus the iPhone), it is slightly more difficult. It is hard to browse and download wallpapers to use on mobile handsets because the screen is smaller and it is more difficult to find a wallpaper in the right resolution. It is a shame that many people can't find good wallpapers, so instead they stick to the plain and boring stock wallpaper that comes with the phone.

If you own an iPhone, you will need to complete a lot of steps to get a customizable background. It involves rooting the phone and bypassing security measures Apple has put into place. It can sometimes result in a bricked (useless) phone, so proceed with caution. If you want to do this, search Google for "jailbreaking the iPhone" and follow the directions.

If you own an Android-powered phone, the process is much simpler. To change the background, you simply open up a picture that is stored on the phone and select "Set as background." Or you can long-touch the background and select "Wallpaper" to select a new one from the pre-installed list. But this article isn't about how to change the wallpaper; instead, it will help you find places to download new images that will work well on your phone.

First, you must know what the resolution of your phone's wallpaper is. Not all Android phones are the same size, but it is important to know that the resolution of the wallpaper is different than the resolution of the screen. This is because Android spreads the wallpaper over three screens, slightly changing the position as the user changes back and forth. To determine the right resolution for the wallpaper, you will need to search Google for [name of your phone] + "wallpaper resolution." For example, the Motorola Droid's screen is 960x854 pixels. This may seem trivial, but it is important to know the size so that the wallpaper is displayed as clear as it can be.

Once you determine the size of your wallpaper, it's time to find some images! The easiest way to search for the right backgrounds is to use Google Image Search. They recently released a new feature that lets you search for images of a certain dimension. Go to, click on Images, and then select "Advanced Image Search." You will then notice that you can input the exact size of an image you want to find. Here, I am searching for pictures of "nature" that will fit my Droid.

I didn't mention that the best way to do this is from your computer. It's easier to browse images that way. You can then save them to your phone by mounting it as a USB device and saving the images to a new folder called "Wallpapers" or anything else. You will notice that Google returns a ton of results, all the right size. You can change "nature" to anything else, such as "cars" or "mountains."

This method works the best because it searches all the sites on the internet for the right size photos. If you want to browse a site that has some images made for Android devices, you can go to which has a great selection of wallpapers. You can save the images from there as well.

Remember that any image can work as a wallpaper for your phone. But, if you use a huge image, when only a small one is needed, the resolution is off and may result in blurry or stretched images. Sometimes, you will even have to crop it, removing an important part of the image. For that reason, it's best to search for images specifically in the resolution needed.


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      youdaya 7 years ago

      thank you this really helped me