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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.

Published onMarch 16, 2023

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 and 13’s new Material You design overhaul available on more and more phones, including the new Pixel 7 and 7 Pros, 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.


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.


How to change the wallpaper on the Google Pixel

Begin on the home screen of your Pixel phone:

  • Tap and hold on an empty spot.
  • From the menu that comes up, tap on Wallpaper & style.
  • Tap Change wallpaper.
  • Tap on one of the available categories and choose from among the images available.
  • When you are satisfied with your choice, tap on the Done button.
  • 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.

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 and Android 13. 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.


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.

Pixel wallpapers are available for download on our site. If you are looking for the latest wallpapers, you can download the Pixel 7’s wallpapers too.

You can follow the steps above to set a wallpaper for both your home screen and lockscreen. If you want a different wallpaper for your lockscreen, simply set the wallpaper for both the lockscreen and homescreen first, and then set the homescreen wallpaper to a different one.

You can make use of apps like 500 Firepaper to automatically set a new wallpaper every hour or at other time intervals.

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