How to change a Chromebook's wallpaper

How to change a Chromebook's wallpaper
(Image credit: Future)

Welcome to our guide on how to change a Chromebook's wallpaper. People spend an awful lot of time in front of their Chromebooks – we hear some people are at school all day with them – so it makes sense that you want to add that personal touch, and the first step tends to be wanting to change the default boring Chromebook wallpaper.

To be fair to Google, it has made it pretty easy to change the default Chromebook wallpaper, though as usual it’s not as obvious as it could be. 

We’re going to run you through the default wallpaper selector – this only provides Google chosen options – and then we’ll cover setting your own backgrounds. 

We’ll also go on to look at Chromebook Themes, as these include tailored wallpapers that tie into an overall color scheme and can be very striking.

A neat trick is using the same wallpaper across multiple Chromebooks. To do this you need to configure the Sync settings. Tap Search, then type 'settings' and press return. Select People > Sync & Google services > Manage sync and if 'Everything' isn’t selected, ensure 'Themes and Wallpaper' is enabled.

Note: If you have an office or school Chromebook the administrator may have locked the wallpaper from being changed.

How to change a Chromebook's wallpaper

(Image credit: Future)

1. Using the Chromebook wallpaper chooser

By default, Google provides a ton of wallpaper options. Right-click a blank area of the desktop (that’s to say minimise the browser window) and choose 'Set Wallpaper'. 

This opens the Wallpaper Picker, and there’s a load of category types to select from on the left. Browse through and click one of the images to set your wallpaper. 

Use the 'Daily Refresh' switch to ensure you get a surprise new image each day! If you prefer not to be distracted by all these silly photos and human art the 'Solid color' choice enables you to select a plain color.

How to change a Chromebook's wallpaper

(Image credit: Future)

2. Selecting your own wallpaper images

If you want to set your own wallpaper on your Chromebook, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a suitable photo or image. You can download an image off a website by right-clicking on it and choosing 'Save image as…' or else transfer a photo from a camera or your phone.

Once you have an image on your Chromebook, tap 'Search', then type 'files' and press return to open the Files app. Locate the image file, let’s say we saved it into 'Downloads'. Right-click on it and choose 'Set as wallpaper'.

If it doesn’t fit quite right, in the Wallpaper Picker under 'My images' you can adjust the images with the 'Centre' and 'Centre Cropped' options.

The main thing to remember when using your own photos or images for a wallpaper is Chrome OS only support PNG or JPG formats. 

These should be fine as they both tend to be the default image types most programs export, but if you’re having trouble with an image this should be the first thing you check.

How to change a Chromebook's wallpaper

(Image credit: Future)

3. How to set a Chromebook Theme wallpaper

You can take personalising your Chromebook a little further than just the wallpaper by setting a Theme. Choosing a Theme extends the color choice to appear around the border of the Chrome browser and as a background image when a new tab is opened. 

Just as with a basic wallpaper, Themes are stored as part of your Google Account, so when you sign in on another system the Theme will follow you.

Choosing a Theme is worthwhile as it enables you to tie in the color palette of your wallpaper with the parts of your browser too. 

It’s actually part of the Chrome browser, so click the 'Menu' button > Settings > Appearance > Themes (or type chrome://settings in the address bar).

You can preview the Themes by clicking the thumbnails and once you’ve selected one click' Add to Chrome'.