How To Change Your Background In Gmail

Do you want to personalize how Gmail looks on your web browser? Or do you want to apply unique themes to each of your accounts to distinguish them easier? Either way, we’re here to offer our help. We’ll teach you how to add custom backgrounds to your Gmail account.


If you find your Gmail account too simple for your taste, there are ways to customize how your inbox appears on your browser. One thing you can do is customize your background by using themes.

While the feature is easily accessible through your Quick Settings, some of you might have trouble locating it. With that in mind, we have here a guide to help you.

In our guide below, we’ll show you how to apply a default theme or custom background to your Gmail account. Without further ado, let’s get started.

How to customize your background in Gmail

If you want to personalize your Gmail inbox, you can choose to apply a theme to your account. You can select from the default wallpapers offered on the platform or use one from your Google Photos.

Whether you want to use the pre-uploaded wallpapers or one of your photos, we got you covered. All you have to do is follow our tutorials below.

How to use the default backgrounds from Gmail:
  1. Using your favorite web browser, visit Gmail and sign-in to your account.
  2. On the upper-right side of your screen, tap the gear icon to access your Quick Settings.

  3. Under the Theme section, select View All to check all the wallpaper options.

    On the other hand, you can select one from the featured themes to apply it immediately to your account. When you do, you can skip the steps below.
  4. Pick a wallpaper from the available options on your screen and check how it appears on your background.

    Note: Some themes allow you to change the text background, make the corners of your screen darker, and apply blur to the image.
  5. At the bottom of the theme selection window, click Save to apply the changes.

That’s how you change your background on the Gmail web app. Your new theme lasts until you choose to change it to another one or back to default.

How to use custom images as your background:

If none of the pre-uploaded themes suit your tastes, you can choose to use an image from your Google Photos. Check our step-by-step tutorial below to find out how.

  1. Open your Quick Settings, and select View All under the themes section.
  2. At the bottom-left part of the themes window, click “My photos.”

  3. Open one of your albums and double-click on the image you want to use as background. Alternatively, you can select one of your photos and click Select at the bottom-left side of the window.

If you don’t have any images on your Google Photos, the theme selection window will appear blank. Fortunately, uploading images to the platform isn’t difficult.

How to upload images to your Google Photos

If you have an image you want to use as a background for your Gmail or other Google services, you might need to upload it to your Google Photos first. Follow our step-by-step tutorial below to learn how.

  1. On your web browser, go to Google Photos.
  2. Select the images or videos you want to upload and drag them into the screen. Alternatively, you can click Upload on the upper-right and select the files from your storage.

If the images you uploaded aren’t visible when you’re changing the theme on Gmail, you can try adding them to an album. All you have to do is click the checkmark on the photos, select the plus icon on the upper-right, choose Album, and select its destination.

After adding the image to an album, try changing the theme on your Gmail once again. You’ll find the photo you want to use as background in one of your albums.

To wrap it all up

Now that you know how to apply themes to your Gmail account, you can go ahead and customize your background. You can choose among the pre-uploaded wallpapers or use one from your Google Photos.

Please note that themes aren’t available on the mobile version of Gmail. If Google adds the feature in the future, we’ll post an update as soon as possible.

That’s everything we have on our guide! If you want more tips and tutorials, hit the bookmark button, and visit us regularly to check your daily posts or updates.

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