Changing the wallpaper and theme of your Chromebook is very simple. You can choose from a preset selection of wallpaper and browser themes that are provided, or you can upload your own custom wallpaper. By wallpaper, we mean the background of your desktop. Although you can’t actually place items on the desktop, it’s still nice to look at.
On a Chromebook, the desktop is basically just a static image. The good news is that you can’t cover it with icons so that every time you start up your Chromebook you have a fresh and crisp picture to look at, unless you have a password required every time you launch your Chromebook.
Regardless, here is how you can change the wallpapers and themes on your Chromebook to your liking.
Last updated: 3/13/17. This guide is constantly updated as newer features roll out so you can get the most accurate information. You’re welcome.
First, let’s start with changing the Chromebook’s browser theme
To change your browser theme, make sure you’re logged into your Chromebook and launch the Chrome web browser. You also need to be connected to the internet so make sure you have Wi-Fi available.
- First, click on the status area where your account picture is.
- Then, go to Settings, click on Appearance, and then click on Get themes.
- A new window will open that will bring you to the Chrome web store, where you can see tons of themes designed for your Chrome web browser.
- Choose something that you like and then simply click “Add to Chrome.”
Your web browser will be instantly transformed into whatever new theme you chose, and you can change it as many times as you want and switch it up. If you want to make it match your wallpaper, you can easily do that by selecting a theme that flows readily with your wallpaper on your laptop’s desktop. However, maybe you’re a developer and you’re looking for something with a darker theme so you can use it at night. Or maybe you want something bright and cheery to brighten your mood. The choice is yours.
Note that this new theme you choose will simply be a “mask” for your browser. It doesn’t replace any of the background images on your desktop. You can make it match your background image though to make it a more “universal” experience. The trick is finding a theme from the Chrome Web Store and a wallpaper background image that matches.
However, maybe you’re a developer and you’re looking for something with a darker theme so you can use it at night. Or maybe you want something bright and cheery to brighten your mood. The choice is yours.
Next, we’ll change the Chromebook’s wallpaper theme
To do this, simply sign into a Chromebook and make sure you’re connected to the internet.
Then click on the status area to the bottom right, click Settings, Appearance, and Set wallpaper.
You’ll get a little window that’ll pop-up with a whole bunch of different wallpapers that are pre-loaded into Chrome OS. You can click on any of these for instant preview, but don’t freak out if it doesn’t change instantly. When you click on the wallpaper it actually has to download into the computer and you can see a little blue status bar below the picture you just clicked.
A lot of these are high-resolution and quality images and you can use the tab selector at the top of the window to sort through different themes and categories of these wallpapers for your Chromebook. If you don’t like any of them, or you’re trying to do something special, just click on custom and then you can upload your own theme for your Chromebook.
If you want to see something random, just click the checkbox next to the surprise me at the bottom right. This will randomly choose a Chromebook theme whenever you launch your Chromebook, so you can mix it up and keep it fresh. If you’re going to upload your own custom Chromebook theme, we suggest using a high-quality image that’s at least 1366 x 768 pixels. If you don’t know how to view the pixels of an image, you can right-click it and view the details.
If you want to search an image by pixel dimensions, go to Google Images and search for something. The use the filters and select only “large” images. These images should fit perfectly with your background.
This is because the majority of Chromebooks run in a 1366 x 768 native pixel resolution, so if you use a theme that’s at least this size it’ll look like picture-perfect. Otherwise, you may get an image that’s pixelated, blurry, or has borders. However, if you have a newer model that supports higher resolutions, you may be able to use a high-resolution image and have it actually be displayed in all its glory. Why not, right?
It’s your Chromebook’s theme, so it’s really up to you.
Syncing your Chromebook’s theme on your all your devices
Now, if you have multiple Chromebooks, for some reason, you can set the same wallpaper and the same browser theme on all of your Chromebook devices. So then, whenever you sign into any of your Chromebooks, you have the same sleek theme across all of them.
Here’s how to do it, step-by-step:
- Sign in to your Chromebook and click on the status area where your picture is.
- Click on Settings, People, that Advanced sync settings. A new box will open. Click on the drop-down menu and choose either sync everything, or choose what to sync.
- Whichever option you pick, just make sure themes and wallpapers it selected. Then click okay.
Now, whatever device you use, your wallpaper and browser themes you chose, it’ll be the same across all your Chromebook devices. How cool is that? It’s the same feature that Chrome OS uses to sync your user log-ins, fields, browsing history, and etc. across all your devices. This will stick with you wherever you go so you can keep the same theme.
Chrome OS is really mobile-ready. Isn’t it?
Well, there you have it. That’s all you need to set your Chromebook themes and browser themes to whatever you like. If you have any suggestions on resources some Chromebook themes, please leave them in the comments below. If they’re awesome, we’ll add them see this post so that other Chromebook users can check them out.
Have fun gazing at your new Chromebook theme.