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How to Change Wallpaper Automatically on iPhone

by Kaushal

macOS introduced wallpapers that automatically changed according to the time of the day which resulted in a cool effect. Even though the iPhone has wallpapers that automatically change according to the light and dark appearance, it’s still limited to first-party wallpapers. However, iOS 14 has introduced an option to set custom wallpaper on your iPhone whenever you want. Let’s see how we can change the wallpaper automatically on the iPhone.

Before we begin

The ability to set a custom wallpaper in iPhone was added in iOS 14.3 and it works from the Shortcuts app. Make sure your iPhone is running iOS 14.3 at least. There are plenty of ways to trigger the shortcut to change the wallpaper on your iPhone based on time of day, sunrise, sunset, when you arrive home, when you leave work, etc. I want to change the wallpaper multiple times during the day so I’d list the steps for that. However, if you wish to create a different trigger, I’d list the detailed steps below.

Gather your Wallpapers

The first thing that we need to do is download all the wallpapers that we need to set on the iPhone. If you have your own resources then get the wallpapers from there, otherwise, you can check out this list of places that have amazing wallpapers for iPhone/iPad. Once you have the wallpapers saved in the Photos app, we need to put those wallpapers in a separate album so that it would be easier for the shortcut to find the wallpapers later on.

To put the wallpapers in an album, open the Photos app and select all the wallpapers. Tap the Share button on the bottom right and tap Add to Album.

add wallpapers to album in photos in iphone

Create a new album by tapping the New Album button, give it a name, and tap Save. Remember the name of the album because we’re going to need it later while setting up the screenshot.

create a new album on iphone

Create the Shortcut to Change Wallpapers Automatically

Now, we’re going to create a Siri Shortcut that would fetch a random wallpaper from the album we just created and set it as a wallpaper on the iPhone’s lock screen. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone and create a new shortcut by tapping the + button on the top right.

You’d see a work space, tap the Add Action button to start building the shortcut.

create a new shortcut on iphone

Look for the Find Photos action in the menu and add it to the workspace. Now, tap the Add Filter button. This would allow us to add the wallpaper album so that the shortcut only uses those images.

find photos from the camera roll in iphone

Tap the Recents variable next to the Album filter and it would reveal a list of albums that you can select. Tap the name of the wallpaper album we created before.

select the wallpaper album on iphone

I like to randomize the wallpapers which would keep the order organic and won’t feel predictable. Tap the variable next to Sort by and select Random from the list.

sort wallpaper images by random on iphone

As the shortcut can only set one wallpaper, enable the limit and set it to 1.

adjust limit to one item

Now, add another action by tapping the big blue + button and tapping Set Wallpaper.

set wallpaper action added to the shortcut

You can either set the wallpaper on Lock Screen, Home Screen, or both on iPhone. However, you can not set different wallpapers on the Lock Screen and the Home Screen. I only want to change the Lock Screen wallpaper so I chose that.

set location for shortcut to set wallpaper on iphone

Disable the toggle next to Show Preview as it would allow the Shortcut to run without user input.

disable the toggle show preview

Give your Shortcut a name and tap Done. Our Shortcut is almost ready for action.

We just need to set up an Automation that would trigger this shortcut automatically. In the Shortcuts app, tap the Automation tab at the bottom and then tap the + button on the top right to create a new Automation.

save the shortcut

Tap Personal Automation and select a trigger. I went with Time of Day as I can set it to run every morning just before I wake up and I’d be greeted with a fresh wallpaper everyday.

create a personal automation with time of day trigger

Adjust the time when you wish the automation to trigger and tap next. Now, tap the Add Action button.

set the time when the automation should trigger

Search for Run Shortcut and add it to the workspace. We can simply add the shortcut that we created before, tap the variable on the Shortcut Action to open a list of Shortcuts on your iPhone.

run shortcut action added to the workspace

Find and select the shortcut we created earlier and tap Next on the top right corner.

add the shortcut custom wallpaper from the list

Turn the toggle off that says “Ask Before Running”. This would allow your shortcut to run without any user input.

disable the toggle ask before running

That’s it, your iPhone would now automatically change the wallpaper whenever the automation triggers the shortcut.

iphone wallpaper changing automatically

Closing Words:

This was a quick way to automatically change the wallpaper on the iPhone. Even though the process may seem complicated and time-consuming, it really just takes a few minutes to set everything up. Despite Apple being restrictive, this feature is amazing and works like a charm and you can run as many shortcuts as you like. What do you think of this method?

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