How to Add a Back­ground Image to Safari’s Start Menu on iPhone and iPad

Parth Shah

With the iOS 15 update, the Safari browser gets a much-needed makeover on iPhone and Mac. Especially on the mobile and tablet front, the default Apple browser is all set to get a new bottom tab UI, extensions, tab switcher menu, group tabs, and the ability to add a background image. You can personalize the Safari start menu with a background wallpaper of your choice.

Safari wallpaper

Safari alternatives like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge already offer similar functions. Google relies on Chrome themes to change the browser avatar, while Microsoft Edge has Bing daily wallpapers to freshen up the Edge home look. Apple’s implementation is somewhere between the two rivals.

In the screenshots below, we will showcase Safari for iPhone, but you can apply the same steps on the iPad. The iOS and iPadOS carry the same Safari UI.

Add Background Image to Safari’s Start Menu on iPhone

You can customize the Safari start menu using the built-in wallpapers or import images from the Photos app. Follow the steps below.

Note: As we mentioned above, the functionality is limited to iPhone and iPad running iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 or higher. Apple has yet to release the software for the general public. Till then, you can download the beta version on the phone.

With that out on our way, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open the Safari browser on your iPhone.

Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom and select Edit.

Step 3: It will open Customise Start Page menu. Enable Background Image toggle at the bottom.

Select edit button in safari
Enable backgrond image

Step 4: Select a wallpaper from the list and tap on the x mark at the top.

Select wallpaper

You will immediately see the new wallpaper applied to the Safari browser.

Custom wallpaper applied

Add Custom Image in Safari Background

Unlike the past Apple fashion, the background image function isn’t limited to a handful of selected wallpapers from Apple. You can select any image from your gallery and change the Safari avatar on the go.

Step 1: Open Safari on iPhone and scroll down to the Edit menu.

Step 2: Go to the Background Image menu and select the + icon beside the first wallpaper.

Select edit button in safari
Add custom wallpaper

Step 3: Select an image from the Photos or Albums menu.

Select photo
New wallpaper applied

You can keep any image as a Safari background as long as it’s available in the Photos app on the iPhone.

How to Remove Safari Background Image on iPhone and iPad

Is the new Safari novelty factor wearing off for you? At any time, you can remove the background from the Safari start menu. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Safari browser on your iPhone.

Step 2: Scroll down to Edit and disable Background Image toggle from the Customize Start page menu.

Select edit button in safari
Remove background image

From now on, you will only see a blank white background in the Safari browser.

How to Add Background Image to Safari Start Menu on Mac

The Safari trick has been available on Mac for quite some time. Those using the macOS Big Sur can already apply wallpaper to the Safari browser.

Step 1: Open the Safari browser on Mac.

Step 2: Click on the bottom right corner menu.

Select bottom menu in safari browser

Step 3: Enable the Background Image option and you can choose from the ten pre-built wallpapers.

Add background image in safari

You can click on the + icon from the same menu and add any image as a wallpaper from the Mac storage menu.

The wallpaper trick has a good effect on the desktop browser than the mobile.

Customize Safari Start Page

The default Safari settings might leave a new user in a confusing state with many options. You will see Favorites, Frequently Visited websites, Shared with You section, Siri suggestions, Reading List, iCloud Tabs, and Privacy Report enabled by default for the Safari Start Page.

So many options can be overwhelming, especially the ones trying out iOS for the first time.

Thankfully, Apple has added an option to customize the Start Page experience on the iPhone. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Open Safari on iPhone and scroll down to Edit.

Step 2: From the Customize Start Page menu, you can disable the toggles that you no longer want to see on the Safari Start Page.

Select edit button in safari
Customize start page

Step 3: Hit the x mark at the top and close the menu.

Don’t worry though. At any point, you can go back to the same menu and enable the toggle to make them reappear.

Change Safari Look on iPhone and iPad

Like the default wallpapers on Mac, Apple could have hit it out of the park with time-based changing wallpapers in the Safari browser. Overall, the background image is a welcome edition for the Safari browser. It makes the browser more aesthetically pleasing to glance at and operate. So which wallpaper are you planning to implement as a Safari background? Show us your setup in the comments below.

Next up: Safari is a joy to use on the iPad. Read the post below to learn the top seven Safari tips and tricks for iPadOS.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Parth Shah

Written By

Parth Shah

Parth previously worked at EOTO.tech covering tech news. He is currently freelancing at Guiding Tech writing about apps comparison, tutorials, software tips and tricks and diving deep into iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms.