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How to set Dynamic Wallpapers for Day + Night

1st June 2022

Jacob Woolcock

4:42

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Dark Mode is great, but wouldn’t it be cool if there was a way to have an entirely different wallpaper when Dark Mode was enabled as to the one you have when Light Mode is enabled? With this easy-to-follow iPhone tutorial you’ll be able to get that set up and working in no time – a different wallpaper for daytime and a different one for nighttime! You can even decide if you want this to apply to your Lock Screen, Home Screen or both.

Here’s a quick guide to creating your own dynamic wallpaper that will change in the daytime and at nighttime, normally when you put on Dark Mode on your iPhone, the screen dims slightly, including the wallpaper, but the background itself doesn’t change. I want to have a dark version, a nighttime version of my wallpaper. So, what I’m going to do is jump into my Photos app and show you the pictures I’ve got in mind. These two wallpapers have come from a website called Wallpaper Eyes; I’ll link it down below, and I really like them because they’re the same image but a nighttime and a daytime variant.

What I’m going to do is add each of these images to a separate album. So, on the nighttime one, I’m going to press share at the bottom of my screen and then go add to album. From here, I’m going to make a new album and I’m going to call it Night Wallpaper, so I know what it is. Then, I’ll go back to my daytime photo, press that share button, add to a new album, and this album will be called Day Photo. What we’re doing here is we’re putting those pictures into a location that we can find later on when we use them as our wallpaper.

So, let’s leave the Photos app and jump into Shortcuts instead. If you haven’t got Shortcuts, it’s on the App Store and it’s completely free, made by Apple, and it’s a really handy app. Now, on the bottom of the screen, we’re going to tap onto Automation, and we’re going to add a new personal automation. On the next screen, we can choose when your automation will run, or when your action will happen, and I’m going to choose Time of Day. Now, the clever thing here is you can actually link it to your sunrise or sunset time wherever you are in the world, but I want this to change at 8 AM and 8 PM.

So, for my daytime wallpaper, which I’m going to do first, I’m going to choose the time of the day as 8 AM. I want this to run every day of the week, so I’ll leave that bottom option as it is, and then we’ll press Next in the top corner. From here, we’re going to add an action into our shortcut, and the first one is going to be to find that photo album that I just made. So, I’m going to type in and search for Find Photos. Then, on the options, I can choose the album called Day Wallpaper.

Now we’ve got that image in Shortcuts, we want to make it our wallpaper. So, we’ll add another action, and this time we’ll search for Wallpaper, and you’re going to choose the one that says Set Wallpaper. From here, it will automatically take that picture from the first action, but you can change a couple of settings. Press on that little chevron button, and then you can turn off Show Preview. That means it will happen in the background, and you won’t get a preview first. You can have Perspective Zoom on or off to your taste. At this point, you can actually change if your wallpaper is going to apply to your lock screen and the home screen. So, by tapping on this button here, we can toggle between the two, or we can have both enabled. I want my wallpaper to change everywhere, so I’ll leave this setting as it is. I’m also going to add one more action here to make sure that Night Mode, or Dark Mode as I normally call it, is turned off. So, we’re going to press Add Action, we’re going to search for Appearance, and then we’re going to make sure we’re turning Appearance to Light Mode.

And that’s it. We’ll press Next in the top corner, and we’re going to turn off Ask Before Running. That means I won’t get any pop-ups or any banners at the top of my screen. Okay, so now, if I do nothing else, at 8 AM in the morning, my wallpaper will change to my Day Photo, and Light Mode will be turned on. But that’s no good unless it goes to Night Mode and the dark wallpaper at nighttime. So, we’re going to create another personal automation, and again, I’m going to choose Time of Day, and this time I’ll go for 8 PM. I’m then going to add those same actions again to find the photos and set it as a wallpaper.

And while I’m busy doing this, why don’t you press the like button down below, or maybe even subscribe if this video is helpful because there are loads more tips for your iPhone and iPad on my channel. Okay, shameless plug over, I’m going to add my last action, which is going to be to set the appearance to Dark Mode. So again, we’re going to search for Appearance, then we’re going to tap onto Toggle Dark Mode. We’ll press Next, turn off Ask Before Running, and we’re done.

Alright, and that’s all of our Shortcuts work done. So, we’ll leave that app completely, and now, through the magic of editing, let’s switch to my iPhone right as it’s about to change into Dark Mode, so you can see that the light wallpaper is there, my daytime picture, and Light Mode is turned on. As you can see in the widgets, and then boom, eight o’clock comes around, and now it’s the nighttime background picture of my wallpaper, and I’ve got the dark widgets because Dark Mode’s been enabled. This really makes my iPhone feel so much more alive, and you could add this for multiple times during the day, so it hasn’t just got to be daytime and nighttime. Maybe you might have a sunset picture or a mid-morning picture as well. Let me know in the comments down below what you decide to do.

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