How to change Apple CarPlay background

For many years, Apple CarPlay owners have had a single default background that hasn’t been anything but white. Then came along Light and Dark mode in iOS, which allowed us to dim the CarPlay display for night time driving, whilst also opting to have Dark mode active at all hours of the day.

iOS 14 has given Apple CarPlay some additional background options, so this guide will let you know how you can change your Apple CarPlay background.

Change Apple CarPlay Background

  1. Make sure your iPhone has the latest iOS 14 installed
  2. Jump into your vehicle and boot up CarPlay
Setting app is the cog looking icon on the bottom row of the above screenshot
  1. Select the Settings app on your CarPlay homescreen
Select Wallpaper – the third row in the Settings app
  1. Select Wallpaper option
Note the two colour groups, Light and Dark and Solid Color options
  1. You will now be shown the available backgrounds you can select from. The first set of wallpapers are Light and Dark mode enabled wallpapers. These can either be dynamic based on your time/light conditions or you can select Dark mode to be always on and display the Dark wallpaper at all times and lightning conditions.
  1. Below the Light and Dark mode wallpapers are the Solid Color options. Here you can revert to the usual White and Black wallpaper backgrounds for Light and Dark modes, or opt to always have Black as the only wallpaper background that displays.
  1. Simply select the wallpaper you would like to use and you will be shown a confirmation screen to either Cancel and select an alternative wallpaper or select Set to confirm and apply the background to your CarPlay background.

Press the home button on the side of the dock to return to the home screen and see your new wallpaper background applied.

Can I add my own custom Apple CarPlay wallpaper background?

At the current time of writing this guide, Apple has not allowed CarPlay owners the ability to change the wallpaper background to a custom image of their own. Hopefully, over time, and with enough requests, Apple may allow us to enter our Camera Roll and select an image to be used with Apple CarPlay. It will require some positioning and cropping tools once the image has been selected, but it would be a very welcome addition to truly make your own background for your Apple CarPlay home screen.

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