A wallpaper or background (also known as a desktop wallpaper, desktop background, desktop picture or desktop image on computers) is a digital image (photo, drawing etc.) used as a decorative background of a graphical user interface on the screen of a computer, smartphone (iphone 11 wallpaper) or other electronic device. On a computer, wallpapers are generally used on the desktop, while on a mobile phone they serve as the background for the home screen. Though most devices come with a default background image, modern devices usually allow users to manually change the background image.
The term “wallpaper” was used in Microsoft Windows before Windows Vista (where it is called the “desktop background”), while macOS refers to it as “desktop picture”. On older systems which allowed small repeated patterns to be set as background images, the term desktop pattern was used.
Animated backgrounds (sometimes referred to as live backgrounds or dynamic backgrounds) refers to wallpapers which feature a moving image or a 2D / 3D wallpaper scene as an operating system background rather than a static image, it may also refer to wallpapers being cycled in a playlist, often with certain transition effects. Some operating systems, such as the Android operating system, provide native support for animated wallpapers.
Modern Windows systems can be configured to cycle through pictures from a folder at regular intervals. Windows does not natively support animated backgrounds, however, third-party software can be installed to have full support for placing animated images, video files, 2D or 3D scenes and web pages as wallpapers example star wars wallpaper and guild wars 2 wallpaper. Similar functionality could be found in the Active Desktop feature of Windows 98 and later versions.
Live wallpapers have been introduced in Android 2.0 (Eclair) to provide native support for animated wallpapers or islamic wallpaper. From a technical point of view, live wallpapers are software applications which provide a moving background image and may allow for user interaction or utilize other hardware and software features within the device (accelerometer, GPS, network access, etc.)
macOS has built-in support, via the Desktop & Screen Saver panel in its System Preferences, for cycling through a folder collection of images on a timed interval or when logging in or waking from sleep. Since macOS Mojave, the user can also select a “Dynamic Desktop” that automatically updates to visually match the time of the day.
Additionally, macOS has the native ability to run a screen saver on the desktop example kanye wallpaper; in this configuration, the screen saver appears beneath the desktop icons in place of the system wallpaper. However, macOS does not come with a built-in interface to do this; it must be done through Terminal commands or various third-party applications.