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How to change the wallpaper on the Google Pixel

Some people never even set one, and some change theirs all the time.
By
October 28, 2022
google pixel wallpapers august 2022 feature
Google

Smartphone wallpapers are funny things. Some people never even set one, and some change theirs all the time. Wallpapers can serve a purpose, from keeping important reminders where you can’t ignore them to tracking upcoming holidays. Or they can simply be an aesthetic improvement over a plain monochrome screen. And now with Android 12’s new Material You design overhaul available on more and more phones, including the new Pixel phones, your wallpaper can determine the look of your entire UI. Let’s review how to change the wallpaper on your Google Pixel, so you can begin to enjoy this new level of control over the look of your phone.

Read more: Google Pixel wallpapers: Download them all here

QUICK ANSWER

To change the wallpaper on your Pixel phone, tap and hold on an empty place on your home screen. From the menu that comes up, tap Wallpapers & style. Then tap Change wallpaper. Choose from among the images stored on the phone or search online for more options. Then tap Set wallpaper.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to change the wallpaper on the Google Pixel

Begin on the home screen of your Pixel phone and tap and hold on an empty spot.

Pixel Change Wallpaper Tap and Hold on Home Screen
Kevin Convery / Android Authority
From the menu that comes up, tap on Wallpaper & style.

Tap on Wallpaper and Style
Kevin Convery / Android Authority
Tap Change wallpaper.

Tap on Change Wallpaper
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Tap on one of the available categories and choose from among the images available.

Tap on Category
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

 

Tap on Photo
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When you are satisfied with your choice, tap on the Done button.

Tap on Done
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The phone will ask you whether you want to apply this image to your home screen, your lock screen, or both. Make your choice, and you are done setting your Pixel’s wallpaper.

Pixel Change Wallpaper Home Screen Lock Screen or Both
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Why does the color palette change when I change my wallpaper?

The putative reason for changing your screen’s color palette along with your wallpaper is to make sure the wallpaper’s colors don’t make some icons or essential displays of the phone’s functions difficult or even impossible to see. But it also looks nice.

If you have your colors set the way you want them, and you don’t want them to change automatically when the wallpaper does, follow the instructions from the previous section above until you are on the Wallpaper and style page. Tap on Basic colors. This will keep your volume sliders and other UI elements from following the colors of your wallpaper. Then scroll down and tap on Themed icons to keep your app icons from mimicking your wallpaper.

Pixel Change Wallpaper Downplay Material You
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Can I disable Material You?

The new Android design concept, called Material You, is an evolution of Material Theming, which was introduced in 2018. It uses a color engine called Monet to choose colors for your app icons, system controls, and other interface elements based on your choice of wallpaper. While this produces a very cohesive look for your phone, it might not be for everyone. So, can you disable Material You?

Not completely. Material You is part and parcel of Android 12. But you can limit its effect on your Pixel UI in the ways listed in the previous section. To make your color scheme even more utilitarian, cover your camera lenses and snap a pic. Then apply the completely black photo as your wallpaper.


Read more: Get the Pixel 7’s ‘Feathers’ wallpapers for your phone

FAQs

Samsung and other makers will receive it by Autumn 2022, but not all makers will incorporate it fully or in the same way. For example, my Z Flip 4 has Material You’s wallpaper-based color theming but not the enlarged notification icons seen on the Pixel 7 line.

No, your themes will look just as their developers designed them.

Its predecessor, Material Theming, was introduced in 2018 and the concept has morphed into Material You since then.