Complete Chromebook Management

How to GAC: Set a Custom Wallpaper for Each OU

Dan Russ November 17, 2016

Hi admins, and welcome back to How to GAC! Today, we’re going to show you how to use Google Admin console to set a custom wallpaper for each organizational unit (OU) at your school. Although there are a lot of great wallpapers that come built right into Chromebooks, they can’t really do much except look pretty. 
Here are some of the ways that you can make the most use out of custom wallpapers in Chrome OS:
  • Display your school’s logo, or if you’re willing to update the wallpaper more frequently, a rotating set of collages of pictures taken at school events, like basketball or a robotics tournament.
  • Make it easy for students to find important and emergency contact information for your school, or when they need help because of a bully.
  • You can display the monthly events calendar for your school, making it easy for students to know when the football team is playing, or when auditions for the musical tryout start.
  • As we talked about earlier this year, you can use custom wallpapers to notify students when its time to turn in their devices or textbooks.
  • Setting a custom wallpaper prevents students from changing their Chromebook wallpaper themselves, removing a potential source of distraction.
  • Depending on the granularity of your OU structure, you could use a custom wallpaper to remind students of important homework assignments and projects.
Before you get started, here’s what you’ll want to have ready:
  1. The resolution of your Chromebook fleet. You can find this by opening one of your Chromebooks, going to Settings, and choosing Display. The resolution range will be listed there. Note that if your school has many different Chromebook device types, they may have a range of resolutions (although most Chromebooks have a default of 1366x768).
  2. A .jpg format image to use as the custom wallpaper. 
  3. Administrator-level access to your school’s Google Admin console. 
Alright admins, let’s get started!
  1. Go to, and log in using your administrator-level credentials.
  2. Click on Device Management.


  3. Click on Chrome Management.


  4. Click on User Settings.


  5. From the Organizations list on the left side of the screen, select the OU that you’d like to set a wallpaper for. By default, the top-level OU in your school will be selected, and will apply the wallpaper to all of its child OUs.


  6. Scroll down to the General section, and under the Wallpaper heading, click on the Upload Wallpaper File button.


  7. Choose the wallpaper that you want to apply to this OU, and click Open.

  8. Double check that you’ve selected the correct OU.

  9. Click Save at the bottom of the screen.

And that’s it! After clicking the Save button, every student in the selected OU will now have the same custom wallpaper that you chose in step 7. Note though that if those students are logged into their Chromebooks, then they won’t see the custom wallpaper you applied until they’ve logged out of their devices, and logged back in again.
Two things before you go: 
  1. How are you going to use custom wallpapers for your school? Let us know in the comments!
  2. It's a secret so don't tell anybody yet, but we're having a giveaway contest for subscribers to our blog! We can't tell you the details yet, but what we can tell you is that we're giving away a bunch of cool prizes and GoGuardian swag, but the only way to win is to be a blog subscriber! You can subscribe using this button at the top of this page:


Thanks, and we'll see you next week for another edition of How to GAC!

Topics: Safety

Written by Dan Russ

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