Want custom backgrounds for your many WhatsApp conversations? That might sound like clutter, but adding wallpapers to your chats gives you a great visual reminder of which group you’re talking to. And, of course, it livens up WhatsApp from the drab (but delightful) grays you might otherwise enjoy.
To get started, update WhatsApp via Google Play or the App Store. Launch the app, tap your way into a conversation or group, and tap on the name of the person you’re chatting with (or the group’s name) at the top of the chat. This will pull up the conversation’s settings, and you’ll see a brand new option to tap: Wallpaper & Sound.
Tap on the Choose a New Wallpaper option, and you’ll see a variety of options built into WhatsApp that you can pick from. You can also grant the app access to your photos and select anything in there, if you’d like to personalise your chats even more. Best of all, you can preview any wallpaper you’re considering; simply tap on it, and you’ll see what it would look like underneath a sample conversation.
Once you’ve made up your mind, tap Set, and your new wallpaper will be good to go.
Remember, you only set up a wallpaper for a single conversation this way. If you want to set up a default wallpaper for all of your conversations — one that’s only overridden when you do the aforementioned steps to select a specific wallpaper for a chat — you’ll have to visit WhatsApp’s settings via the icon in the lower-right corner of the screen. From there, tap on Chats, and then Chat Wallpaper, and you’ll go through the same process to pick a wallpaper for all of your new and existing conversations.
There’s one more fun little quirk of this process to point out: If you’re astute, you probably noticed that WhatsApp asks you to pick a “[mode]” wallpaper within these windows, either “Light” or “Dark.” Whatever wallpapers you select for your conversations only apply when you’re using that particular theme. If you hop on over to Light from Dark, or vice versa, you’ll be able to select wallpapers for that theme, too.
This reasoning makes sense to me, as you’ll probably only want brighter wallpapers when you’re using a lighter theme or murkier wallpapers for a darker one. It would be great to be able to set both at once without having to first change themes, but such is the WhatsApp way of things.