Here at How-To Geek, we think iOS’s Live Wallpaper feature is pretty neat, although it’s underused. If you don’t want to spend the time to make your own great Live Wallpaper, one of the next best options is to use a GIF.

Like with most things on the iPhone, there’s an app for that. In this case, it’s GIPHY, one of the best GIF apps on iOS. Download it and let’s get started.

Open GIPHY and search for a GIF you like. There are a few things to bear in mind when you’re looking:

  • Your iPhone wallpaper is vertical. Unless you want a very small or very cropped GIF, you should look for something that’s also vertical.
  • Live Wallpapers are stationary most of the time. You should pick something where the still frame looks good.
  • GIFs generally have low image quality. It’s worth spending a bit of time to find something that’s high quality. It will look much better.

After a bit of searching, I found this awesome Flanders GIF.

Once you’ve found your GIF, open it and tap the three little dots in the bottom right corner. Next, select “Convert to Live Photo.”

You’ll have two options: Save as Live Photo (Full Screen) and Save as Live Photo (Fit to Screen).

Full Screen crops the GIF, so it takes up the whole of your iPhone’s display while Fit to Screen adds black bars. Select the one you want, and the Live Photo will get saved to your Camera Roll. I’d suggest trying both and seeing which one works better for you.

Now, it’s time to set your wallpaper. Go to Settings > Wallpaper > Choose New Wallpaper.

Select “Live Photos” and then the live photo you just saved. Position the GIF how you want it and then tap “Set.” You can choose whether you want it to be on the Lock Screen, the Home Screen, or Both.

And with that done, you’ll have a stupid, sexy new GIF as your background.


Setting your favorite GIF as your wallpaper is a great way to add some personality to what’s otherwise the same phone as millions of other people use. You can even make and set your own GIFs.