An Android TV home screen with an annoying green question mark wallpaper.

One of the easiest ways to customize a device is by changing its background. Because the home screen on your Android TV is likely pretty large, you probably want to change its wallpaper—but can you?

The short answer is no. Unfortunately, that’s also the long answer. Android TV has gone through several revisions, but the home screen wallpaper has never been customizable. The background subtly changes colors to match whatever you highlight.

Three Android TV home screens: one with a dark blue background, one with a red background, and one with a gray background.
The Android TV background changes colors based on what you select.

The reasoning for this is that you probably don’t spend much time on the home screen—it’s simply a launching pad for movies, shows, games, and apps. And when you’re not actively doing or watching anything, the screen saver starts. This is where you can customize things.

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The default screen saver is called Backdrop. It simply rotates through stock photos and displays the time and weather in the corner of the screen. However, you can download third-party screen saver apps, as well. To do so, just open the Play Store on your Android TV and search for “Screen Saver.”

Type "Screen Saver" in the Search box in the Google Play Store.

After you install a screen saver, select the Gear icon at the top right of the home screen to open the Settings menu.

Select the Gear icon.

Go to Device Preferences > Screen Saver. Select “Screen Saver,” and then select the app you just installed (it might require some setup).

Select the app you installed on the "Screen Saver" menu.

In the “Screen Saver” settings, you can also adjust the inactive time, when the device should go to sleep, and other preferences.

The "Screen Saver" settings menu.

While you might not be able to change the home screen’s wallpaper, a screen saver is the next-best thing. It’ll be a lot nicer to look at than rows of apps.

Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has close to a decade of experience covering consumer technology and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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