Android has been able to set a Live Wallpaper for a long time. These are specially-packaged wallpapers that you can download from the Play Store and when you set them as your background, they have animations (or are full-blown video loops) that play in the background.
But what if you don’t like any of the live wallpapers out there and feel like your videography skills have made a way better potential video wallpaper already just sitting in your camera roll?
Well, thanks to some third-party apps, you can actually convince your Android device that any video in your photo gallery is one of these Live Wallpapers and add it to your background pretty easily. Here’s how.
First, before we set the video as a wallpaper, you’ll probably need to resize or crop the video so it fits on the background but also plays back smoothly (too large of a video will playback jittery, by the way).
Now, there isn’t a big selection of apps to edit vertical video on but one I found that seems to work well enough (even if there are some ads to deal with) is InShot.
To get started, head to the Play Store and install InShot.
Open it and tap on Video.
Select the video (or videos) you want to set as your background.
Then you can select Crop and choose 9:16 (so it’s vertical and fits on your phone’s background if it doesn’t already).
Select Canvas next and select No Frame to make sure it plays on the home screen without any borders or gaps.
Then you can trim it or cut it to however you want it (it’ll start over when it reaches the end of the video, so keep that in mind when editing). You can even add more videos behind it to create a series of clips as one video wallpaper.
Fun fact: I find that my boomerangs in my Instagram folder work great as backgrounds 🙂
After you’re happy with the video, tap Save. Then Save again.
Then, choose what resolution you want the video to be. I’ve used 1080P and it works fine on my OnePlus 7 Pro I’m currently using, but if it plays back a little choppy, maybe select 720P or 640P and see if that helps.
Once you select that, it’ll save to a folder called InShot on your phone.
Now, we need the app that lets you save that video as a wallpaper, so, head to the Play Store, search for, and install Video Live Wallpaper.
There are a bunch of others out there that you could also use, but I find this one has no ads, does the job, and is more lightweight storage-wise so it’s the one I’ll use for this.
Once installed, there is no app to open. Instead, tap and hold on the background of one of your home screens to get to your launcher’s settings (it may look different than below, but it’ll be similar).
Once there, tap Wallpapers.
You’ll then see options for your wallpaper.
If you scroll through that, Android should show you other apps that can control your wallpaper.
In there, you should now see Video Live Wallpaper in there. Tap that.
Then tap the gear icon to get to the video wallpaper settings.
Tap on video source.
Tap on file or directory.
Navigate through your file system to select a video you have or select a directory to have it automatically play all of the videos inside that folder one after the other.
Otherwise, if you want to select the video we just edited from InShot, tap “Go Up to…” until you get to a folder that has DCIM in it (that’s your camera roll, by the way).
In there, you should see the InShot folder.
Tap that and select the video you saved earlier.
Once selected, you’ll be sent back to the Video Live Wallpaper Preferences page where you can adjust various settings to adjust how the video is displayed.
One setting in here I recommend changing right away though is the Swiping Smoothness and setting it to Smoother swiping animations. This way it prioritizes you swiping through your home screens over prioritizing the video in the background which we care less about than a fluid UI.
Tap back and it’ll load the video.
Once loaded, tap Set Wallpaper and choose whether you want it to be selected for the home screen background only or the home screen and lock screen.
Hit home and you should now see your new video wallpaper on your background.
And there you go! Let me know how that worked for you or if you had any issues in the comments below. If you want more tips, tricks, tech videos, etc. then subscribe to the weekly email newsletter.