How To: Install Wallpaper Using Bluetooth

Using Irfanview to resize to crop an image.

Sending wallpapers to a Bluetooth equipped iDEN phone is easy. The process is very similar to the one I posted for sending ringtones.

You need:

  • A Boost or Nextel Motorola phone that has Bluetooth such as the i776, i465, i856, i9, i870, i880 or i885
  • A PC or laptop that supports Bluetooth. If yours doesn’t, Bluetooth USB adapters are cheap.  These instructions are based on using Windows XP.  This should be possible on other OSes but you will have to adapt the instructions yourself.
  • An image file that you would like to use as a wallpaper.


  • Download IrfanView, a free image viewer and editor for Windows.  You can use any  program that can resize images and convert them to GIF format. I really like IrfanView, it’s quite powerful and is easy to use and  I recommend it you have a  Windows PC. Apple and Linux users should be able to find an image editor without too much trouble.
  • Open the image you want to make a wallpaper from in Irfanview.  I’m using a great night shot of  the San Francisco skyline that I found on Flickr. It was taken by the well known blogger Loïc Le Meur and is published under a Creative Commons Attribution license.
  • To fit the portrait home screen of my i776 I had to crop the picture.  You can skip this step if the image you are using is already close to the proportions of you phone’s screen.  To crop with Irfaview:
  • Choose “Show Paint Dialog” from the “Edit” menu, click the selection tool (the arrow icon highlighted in the image above) and drag the mouse to create a rectangle around the area you want to use.
  • Click the “Edit” menu and choose “Copy“, then click “Edit” again and select “Delete (clear display)”  and finally click “Menu” yet again and choose “Paste“. The screenshot below shows the Edit menu and behind it the cropped image that I have pasted.

Irfanview Edit Menu

  • Click the “Image” Menu and choose “Resize/ReSample
  • On the Resize/Resample screen in the Width and Height fields enter your phone’s exact screen size in pixels. I’ve listed the screen sizes for recent Boost and Nextel phones below.  If your phone is not listed you can lookup its screen size on
    • 130×130 – i290, i325 1335, i415, i425, i450, i455, i830, i836
    • 128×160 – i410, i465, i776
    • 176×220 – i856, i760, i850, i855, i860, i870, i875, i880, i885
    • 240×320 – i9
  • Uncheck “Preserve aspect ratio” and click the “OK” button.

Irfanview Resize Dialog

  • Click the “File Menu” and choose “Save As“.  Enter a File name that’s no more than 12 characters long. Click the “Save as type” drop down and choose “GIF – Compuserve GIF“. Uncheck  “Save transparent color” on the JPEG/GIF save options dialog screen that appears along side the main “Save As” screen (image below)
  • Press the “Save” button. If you are using a different program than Irfanview be sure that the file name is saved with the extension “.gif” rather than “.GIF”. iDEN phones can only recognize wallpapers with filenames ending in lowercase “.gif”

Now send the converted file to the phone with Bluetooth.  If you are using  Windows XP:

  • On the phone, open the Menu, choose Bluetooth and then “Find Me
  • On the computer, open Windows Explorer and  browse to the folder where you saved the wallpaper.
  • Right-click the wallpaper file in Windows Explorer and choose “Send To” then “Bluetooth” then “Other“, then “Motorola Phone“,  then “OK“.
  • If the phone prompts for a code, enter four digits, then enter the same four digits on the PC when prompted.
  • On the phone choose “Accept” and then “Store”
  • To use the new image as a wallpaper, press “Menu”, choose “Settings”, then “Display/Info”, “Wallpaper”, “Wallpaper” again and pick the new image from the list.

Irfanview Save As.. Dialog

Occasionally the phone will store the image  but it won’t appear in the list of pictures that can be selected as a wallpaper.  Possible causes:

  • You can only have 16 wallpapers on the phone including the pre-installed ones.  Delete a wallpaper and your new one will show up.
  • Wallpapers must be GIFs and must have a lowercase “.gif” extension, not uppercase “.GIF”
  • Wallpaper can’t be too large. The limit varies with phone model. The phones with 130×130 screens gave a 16 KB limit, the ones with 176×220 screens have a 100 KB limit.  I’m not sure about the others, but I suspect that the i9 can handle at least 100KB .  I haven’t hit the limit yet of my 128×160 i776, the largest file I’ve uploaded is 19KB.

Good luck and share your experiences and tips in the comments.