If you want to add your photos to Gmail Themes, just make sure that those photos are in your Google Photos library. The integration with different Google services allows Gmail to access Google Photos and you, the user, to choose any wallpaper for Gmail Theme. Learn more about it below.
How to customize Gmail Theme with your wallpapers
The Gmail web client has seen some changes in recent years, the latest one substantially changing UI to better incorporate Chat, Spaces, and Meet.
Customization is something one doesn’t often think of when talking about an email client but Gmail does offer a fair portion of options to make it more yours. This is especially valuable if you spend a lot of time with Gmail on the web and the generic theme doesn’t cut it for you.
Of course, considering that there’s a large reading pane in the middle of the screen, you won’t be able to see a lot of your preferred wallpaper. This can diminish the purpose for some while others will find it good enough.
Now, Google provides dozen of photos in a few categories which include featured images, solid colors, and cool cartoons. Of course, you always have the option to use the default theme, both in dark and light mode. But what if you want to add your photos and use them as backgrounds in Gmail Themes? That can be done only with Google Photos integration.
Use pictures from Google Photos as Gmail backgrounds
If you open Gmail on the web and choose to View all themes in Settings, you can see that there’s the My Photos option at the bottom. That’s where you can find your Google Photos Albums in, truth to be told, quite a random order.
Luckily, just like in Photos, you can use various search keywords to pinpoint the photo you want. Including people’s names, pets, things, or places. Once you select an album and/or the photo you want to use, just click on it to apply it.
At the bottom, you’ll see 3 additional options. The first one is Text background where you can choose between Light or Dark text backgrounds. The second one is Vignette which allows you to make corners darker or lighter with the vignette effect. Finally, you can tweak the background blur with the Blur option.
To conclude, in order to get custom Gmail backgrounds, you need to upload them to Google Photos first. Once you’ve done that, navigate to Gmail > Settings > Theme View All > My Photos and use Search to find that photo or pick it from an album. As simple as that. Due to the large reading pane, you might not fully enjoy your custom background but that’s the current state of Gmail UI.
Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions with us in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in April 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.