RIM BlackBerry How To: Change Home Screen Images, Backgrounds

Customize your RIM BlackBerry smartphone in no time using unique home screen images. Follow these three simple steps to locate, download and change BlackBerry wallpapers.

Mon, February 23, 2009

CIO — The cloudy sky background that's set as your BlackBerry's default home screen image is okay...if you're into having a device that looks just like everyone else's. But wouldn't it be grand if you could swap it out for that classic shot of the fam at the beach last summer instead? Or that pic of your dog in the checkered Christmas sweater?

Well, you're in luck. Switching BlackBerry backgrounds and inserting you own, custom home screen images really couldn't be easier.

image of Default BlackBerry Bold Wallpaper
Default BlackBerry Bold Wallpaper

I tend to stick to advanced tutorials in my weekly BlackBerry tips and tricks, such as how to master your BlackBerry's keyboard shortcuts, free up valuable smartphone memory and maximize your battery life, as well as my favorite free software downloads. But I've been asked how to switch BlackBerry home screen images so many times by newbie RIM smartphone owners that I decided a quick walk-through on the subject is in order.

The following three steps will have you changing BlackBerry home screen images faster than can you snap 'em with a digital camera.

(Note: BlackBerry home screen images, or backgrounds, can display differently depending on which "theme" you're using. For the purposes of this how-to, I suggest switching to a default theme, such as BlackBerry Dimension Zen of Zen L, if you're running RIM OS v4.2 to v4.5, or Precision Zen, if you're running BlackBerry OS 4.6. For more on themes, including how to change them, read, "How to Download and Install New Themes for Your BlackBerry."

1) Locate Images/Graphics for BlackBerry Home Screen Image

BlackBerry devices let you use just about any image or graphic as a home screen image. The simplest way to find adequately sized images for your BlackBerry's background is to take the picture yourself using your built-in digital camera, if you've got one, and then save it to your device's memory or media card. This helps ensure that the image is the correct proportions, since you can see what it looks like on-screen just after you take it.

You can also locate correctly-sized images via online aggregators of BlackBerry backgrounds, or "wallpapers." I get most of my wallpapers, at least the ones I don't create on my own, via CrackBerry.com and sites like it. CrackBerry.com has a large, free wallpaper gallery, with all images categorized based on device display size.

image of Custom BlackBerry Bold Wallpaper
Custom BlackBerry Bold Wallpaper

BlackBerry Pearl 81xx users want to employ 240x260-pixel wallpapers; Pearl Flip 8220 users want 240x320; Curve 83xx, BlackBerry 87xx and 88xx should use 320x240 backgrounds; Curve 8900 owners want 480x360; Bold 9000 users want 480x320; and Storm 95xx devices have 360x480 displays. You should pick your wallpaper accordingly.

(Note: You can employ pictures and graphics that aren't sized perfectly for your device as background images by navigating to the image of choice, via your Media icon, selecting Pictures, then All Pictures and clicking on the image you want to use. Next, hit your BlackBerry Menu key--which is located directly to the left of your trackball--and choose Fit to Screen. Your image may appear disproportionate, but it will at least span your screen.)

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