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How to: Set an Android Live Wallpaper [Beginners’ Guide]

One of the many desirable aspects of the Android operating system is the ability to customize the look of your device to however you see fit. One of the easier ways to do this is by applying what is called a “live wallpaper.” A live wallpaper is an animated image that takes the place of a stagnant image on your homescreen. Some live wallpapers are interactive and react to certain gestures or motions on the device.

They are easily set, just like a normal wallpaper, but depending on the live wallpaper, you can spend hours customizing them. Here is how you set one up. 

Standard Method:

1. On any homescreen, place a finger on the display and long press.
2. From the menu that pops up, select “Wallpapers.”
3. From here, select “Live Wallpapers.”
4. Here you will see a list of the live wallpapers that are installed on your device.
5. After selecting one, you can preview what your device will look like while the live wallpaper is applied.
6. If you like what you see, hit “Set Wallpaper.”

Alternative Method:

1. First, head into the Settings menu of your device.

*Press the Menu button and then Settings. On some devices without a Menu button, you can pull down your Notification menu and select the Settings icon.

2. From there, select “Display.”
3. Under Display, you will see an option for “Wallpaper.” Select it.
4. From here, select “Live Wallpapers” which will pop up the list of your installed live wallpapers.
5. From there, follow Steps 5 and 6 on the Standard Method.

Installing live wallpapers from Google Play:

Getting more live wallpapers onto your Android device is easy. If the ones pre-installed don’t interest you, there are thousands that can be downloaded directly from the Google Play store.

1. Open Google Play.
2. Open the search bar that appears on top.
3. Type in the words “live wallpaper” then hit “Enter.”
4. Your screen will be populated by a never ending list of free and paid for live wallpapers that you can install.
5. Once you find one you like, install it to your device.
6. Once installed, follow the directions starting from Step 1 in the Standard Method above.

Having troubles finding one you like? We have plenty of great examples in our live wallpaper section.

*Android Beginners Guide is a way for people new to Android to get to learn how Android works. We will be posting many tips and tricks on how to optimize your usage of the Android operating system.

  • bochup1

    I am using HTC Desire X .. I manage to get to “personalize” , “wallpaper” but after that, i only have “HTC wallpapers” and “Gallery”.. no “Live Wallpapers” .. is there another way to set it?


    I think the ‘how-to’ articles are a good idea, but impractical. Chances are, if users found this site, they kow how to do the simplest things on their phone.

  • PyroHoltz

    Can we move these posts to another section of the DL site,
    maybe a Beginners Guide to… area?

    • That is the goal soon. Just hang in there, buddy lol

  • I really respect DL for giving some love to even the noobs. Everyone has to start somewhere and im glad everyone can find some kind of use from this site

  • Trevor

    What is this? Penn State

  • BobB

    How to make a phone call? 😀

  • What launcher and theme are you using in the pictures?

  • kellygh5

    I would like to see a Android reference/dictionary of sorts. Root, rom, clocking, screen types, kernal, chip sets, bootloader etc. Definitions with examples. I have learned a lot just by reading, but I would still have a hard time explaining all to someone else. For example, I know I can install a ROM (i think anyway) w/out root but not a different kernel. Why? I couldn’t really explain the different functions of the two other than they are important. I’m a mom of 3 kids, & I don’t have time to go from thread to thread, forum to forum looking up all this stuff. That’s why I still like physical books….handy glossary, index etc….all in one tidy place. Thank you for doing these beginner guides! I come to Droid Life everyday to learn, but I am not as tech savy as 99% of the people who post.

  • TheZilch

    With Google launching the Android blog news feed, DL is most likely looking to attract new users whose understanding of Android is VERY limited.Whatever the reason, if this is what they got to do to stick around, I support it.

  • Is this real life?

  • ChrisTraeger1

    Wow! This guide really helps! I finally have a live wallpaper on my Galaxy Nexus running Liquid Smooth rom. Big thanks to Droid-LIIIFEEE!!!

  • Alex

    maybe explain what the symbols for copy and paste are in ics+. those symbols still slow me down.

  • Kevin McDole

    April Fools!

  • This may seem second nature to most people but I know many of my friends who just got the Nexus 7 have no idea how to use even the most basic features of Android. Pretty sure none of them even know Live wall papers exist. If it bother’s you so much just don’t open this article lol

  • arod

    Will this work on my iPhone!?

  • EvanTheGamer

    Wow…it’s Amateur Hour at Droid-Life! Nice!

    • nightscout13

      Amateur Hour would mean we the readers would get a chance to post something. Wouldn’t that be nice? I’d probably go on a long winded RANT about lack of customer support from Google……

      • EvanTheGamer


        Yes, it would be very, very nice. But I was referring to those that don’t know how to set a bloody live wallpaper. Come on folks, it’s easy! Also, Google is your friend.

        “How to: Use Google”

        • Jwhap

          And now you just explained “WHY” droid-life is doing these posts!!! When someone Google’s this question the result comes from recent and popular ie. Droid-Life. DL gets more hits and makes more advertising revenue. In two years when a bunch of these blog sites go away, you will still be reading your articles on Droid-Life!

          • EvanTheGamer

            Yeah, I know, I know, just givin’ ’em a hard time. lol

    • picaso86

      I just read your post with a Will Ferrell’s voice!

  • DickDouche

    What’s a wallpaper

  • Liderc

    Pro-tip: If you guys want this stuff on the site, simply schedule the articles to dates that have already passed when you post the article. It will still be indexed into search engines (so you’ll get hits) and then you won’t get trolled by everyone.

    • We don’t mind the trolls. In fact, we love our community! 😛

      • Liderc

        I personally couldn’t care less, but it’s obviously bringing down heat. The point is for new android users to find the articles through search engine hits, so it’s really not necessary to post them on the front page since the same thing can be achieved through the method I mentioned. Just a thought.

        • Tweekex

          Not as many page views then.

      • Yeah, I think it’s fine, good for the site, good for user base growth. Just don’t stop with the normal level complicated root, rom, tweaking good news for us long time loyal readers!!

        • Yes, we’ll still have our more advanced stuff. Don’t worry! 🙂

  • How do I send a text message? This android thing is difficult. I still love my S3. Thank tall for helping me get started.

  • Jeremy Case

    Really another one whats on the table for tomorrow how to send a text message.

    • EvanTheGamer

      Or…How To: Download An App

  • nightscout13

    Tim-o-tato, do you guys have a road-map on what’s next for the beginners guide? will you be taking suggestions? Also, will this guide be on a separate part of the site where they can all be seen at the same time?

    • Would love to hear suggestions for what you would want to see in the next Guide posts. You can reply to me here or email them to me at timotatoATdroid-lifeDOTcom.

      The goal is to create a separate section for the Guide in time, but until we have enough posts to fill a section with, they will remain here in the main feed. 🙂


      • nightscout13

        Here’s something that i get tired of explaining to folks:

        1. Setting up third party email (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc)
        2. Launching Navigation from within Maps; for us that seems easy, but since they are 2 separate apps, it can be hard to locate the NAV app within the MAPS app.
        There’s a few more things, but i’ll just keep it short at 2 items.

        • Cool, I’ll see what I can do 🙂

          Thanks for the feedback and ideas!

          • Philip A. Kaiser

            How to hard reset phones without a removable battery. How to set up wifi and Bluetooth tethering to other devices. Another random two for you.

          • I like it. Thanks!

          • Philip A. Kaiser

            I would make three levels of articles. Beginner, advanced, and super user. Beginner is pretty obvious. Advanced would be rooting techniques, flashing a rom , themes etc. Super user should be anything that requires the use of a PC. Adk, flashing sbf, and other areas that cannot be accomplished without an external device. Then compile all articles into user directories like the Nexus has on DL.

          • Philip A. Kaiser

            Last thought and I will leave you alone. YouTube videos. Categorized and easy to find.

  • Can we please stop this, at the least place it in a separate section of the site…

  • nightscout13

    This is good actually, this way instead of explaining everything to friends, i can send them a link to a guide. Thanks guys…..

    • TheOiulkj

      But first you’ll have to send them a guide on how to use a link.

      • nightscout13

        One step at a time……

      • EvanTheGamer

        LMAO! Comment of the Day right there folks.

  • TheOiulkj

    How can I set a regular wallpaper? Also, do I need root for this?

    • lightlong

      “Do I need root for this?” That made me laugh real good. Thank you, good sir.

  • picaso86

    If you don’t know how to set up a live wallpaper by now – you must be an iSheep. Welcome to the best Android Community!!!

  • nurpdurp

    whut iz a android?

    • nightscout13

      A Religion that does not take kindly to people who try to leave it.

  • alpine2g

    Really again?

  • Pandalero

    Was there an avalanche of requests for these Beginner’s Guides or something? Slow news day?

    • nightscout13

      If you think about it, it’s a good way to attract new readers to a site that has hundreds of knowledgeable and willing to assist fans.

      • EvanTheGamer

        Not “fans”, but “enthusiasts”. I prefer to be known as an Android Enthusiast, rather than simply a “Fan”. Doesn’t seem that enthusiastic. lol

        • nightscout13

          I paused before typing that, should have paused a little longer LOL, i have trouble sometimes with synonyms…smoked too much green when i was a teen.

  • instant_lunch

    Next up,
    How to: Turn Your Screen On

    • Was actually thinking about making one teaching people how to properly hold their phone.

      • That would be a good one for an IOS blog!

      • paladaxar

        It’s sad (ok, by sad I mean funny) that that article was actually necessary the fruity phone a year or so back 🙂

      • John

        You had to initially expect this type of feedback

      • michael arazan

        Well at least we know Android beginners will find this information easy and accurate. But why post all these individually? Why not just make an android guide for beginners like your guide to the galaxy nexus, that helped me out.

    • EvanTheGamer

      How to: Turn Your Phone On

  • Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!