Wallpaper Turns Black On iPhone In iOS 16? (Fixed?)
Last updated on January 27th, 2023 at 01:59 amPosted in Errors and Issues by Patricia on October 30, 2022
Wallpaper turns black on iPhone after iOS 16 update? Both Lock Screen and Home Screen backgrounds unexpectedly go black even after the iOS 16.1 release? Apps continue to show up normally but the predefined wallpaper is missing?
Wallpaper Turns Black In iOS 16?
This error has been reported by Mattie (iPhone XR) in the comments section of our iOS 16.1 review page:
“The background of the home and Lock Screen have turned black. Icons are still visible.”
and confirmed by Dawn (iPhone 12):
“Same thing is happening to me. Black screen. Sometimes I get it back but then turns black again.”
We couldn’t replicate the issue but have found similar complaints on Reddit ever since the early iOS 16 beta test stages:
“I can’t change my wallpaper anymore and its black all the time.”
How To Fix Black Wallpaper Error
A temporary fix requires you to reboot your iPhone. Wallpaper displays normally after the restart but the issue might reoccur sooner or later.
Tip: We recommend you to apply the force restart combo for quicker results.
(Update, January 20)
2. Update To iOS 16.3
According to the release notes, Apple has fixed the black Lock Screen bug in iOS 16.3:
Important: iOS 16.3 has been released! Please update and comment if the black Lock Screen wallpaper still shows up!
Workaround For Black Wallpaper Issue
According to numerous reports we received from our readers, it appears that this problem is only occurring when one or more photos are used as background.
1. First, try to change the picture and see if it makes any difference. If the image is too old and stored in iCloud, the bug could prevent iOS 16 from properly accessing it and render it as wallpaper.
Tip: What also works is to resend the old photo is possible from your old iPhone via AirDrop, or another computer using email attachments.
2. If that doesn’t work, change the wallpaper style completely and avoid using photos, until Apple releases a software update that fixes this bug. You can go for: Collections, Color, Weather or more listed here.
Update For iOS 16 Black Wallpaper Issue
Thanks to the impressive feedback we got in the comments section we could pinpoint the problem even further. Apparently, old photos used as wallpaper are triggering the black background.
You can fix this, if you resend the old photo to your iPhone and save it in the Photos app. You can do it either via AirDrop from and older device, or from any other computer as mail attachment!
Once the photo is saved in Recents assign it again as Lock Screen and Home Screen wallpaper! Does it work?
iOS 16 Black Wallpaper Video Fix
The above fixes are showcased in this YouTube video:
Are you still experiencing this black background problem in iOS 16? Confirm it in the comments please. Do mention your iPhone model and the type of wallpaper that your device is using when the issue occurs.
Fact: We’ve reported this problem to Apple. Feedback number is FB11736569. We’ll keep you updated if we receive any reply or if a fix is in progress for the upcoming software update.
Let’s hope that Apple will fix this error in the upcoming software update!
Related: For more iOS 16.1 issues and available workarounds please check our extended review.
Not using photo wallpaper and the issue just started happening the other day
Thanks for reporting. Try to add a new lock screen and let us know if it helps.
Both the Lock Screen and app background were not working after update. I got the Lock Screen to work but not the app background. I even tried to select a new picture but the background is still black 🤪
Any suggestions ?
iOS 16.1.2 is out with bug fixes. Try it and let us know if it helps:
I have done this update and the problem came up after the update.
Thanks for reporting. Yes, it means that you came from an 15.x version. Let’s hope that Apple will issue a fix in the next update.
I had the black Home Screen on my XR when I updated to 16. I solved it as advised by creating a new screen with new photos. However, I now have a new problem where I can’t access anything other than the first screen, swiping left takes me straight to the app chooser. I can get a temporary fix by switching off search. What a mess and very unlike the Apple “it just works”
Thanks for reporting. First, force restart the iPhone it might be a minor glitch.
If that doesn’t help, touch & hold the home Screen to unveil the pagination dots at the bottom of the scren. Tap them and select any of the additional Home Screens that you want showing.
I have the curse of the black wallpaper. I do have an old photo. I’ll try to change it to a new photo.
I do not see any Apple update. It is almost impossible to use with the black wallpaper.
If you have the old photo available on some other device, resend it to your iPhone or re-download it from Mail. Add a new Lock Screen and use the recently transferred image.
My background of apps display papers and in apps are black sometimes
Display paper? Can you send a screenshot to contact[at]iphonetricks.org?
I use photo for homescreen and lockscreen. Updated when ios 16 came out and black screen problem started today
Leave the one that turned black in the background and add a new Lock Screen using the same pictures. Does it help?
I am so sorry others are have it this issue but so glad I am not the only one… 12/3/2022
Issue just started last night. Only using one photo for Lock Screen and Wall Paper. Hard reset did not fix the problem. Tried using a different photo and that did not fix the problem. Frustrating knowing they knew about the problem during beta testing and weren’t able to fix the issue. Seen several comments on swiping issues. Also experiencing those.
Same problem started last night. I use one photo for Lock Screen and a different one for Home Screen. Now the Lock Screen phot mo stayed intact but the Home Screen is black!!
Thanks for reporting. yeah, hopefully they’ll fix it in iOS 16.2, which is due next week.
Regarding swipes. Are you using an iPhone that suffered a third-party screen replacement?
I have the same problem and the fix suggested only works for a couple of days.
Thanks for the feedback. Apple should address this in an upcoming update.
Still experiencing this. It mostly occurs on the Lock Screen.
iOS 16.1.2 (20B110)
Thanks for reporting. It happens in iOS 16.2 (20C65) too.
This just started happening to me today for the first time. Days after I updated to 16.2. I use two different pictures for the background and Lock Screen. I can reboot and my screens go back to normal then after a while black again! And I am not able to air drop videos too.
Thanks for reporting Victoria. Yes, this is a known issue that’s bugging us for a while now. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been fixed in iOS 16.2. If you have the two photos on some other device, resend them to your iPhone, create a new wallpaper and re-assign them. It should work.
P.S.: For AirDrop not working please check this article:
Yes iPhone 12 mini… cannot restore my photo screen back .
Ok will try.
iPhone 12 mini here too- started happening to me tonight.
Sorry to hear this. Have you tried to resend your pictures and add a new lock screen?
Did you manage to fix it?
Same issui here on iphone 13 pro 16.2
Thanks for reporting. What type of wallpaper are you using?
Same problem on 13 pro max. Restarting fixes it for a bit and happens again and again. I can’t keep restarting every time, ugh!
Sorry to hear this. What happens when you add a new Lock Screen with the same photo?
I just did an update a few days ago and now this is happening to me. Same photo on lock and Home Screen. It’s clearly a known issue – hurry up Apple and fix it!
Yes, it’s been reported for a while. We’ve noticed that it’s fixable if you add a new wallpaper and use a recent photo, or the same old photo transferred again to your device via AirDrop or as Mail attachment.
This just happened to my iPhone as well. I can’t even select a different photo. I thought it was something I did because I was working on a new Mack book air. Apparently it is an apple issue. And I have the current update. This is frustrating. I am having to update all the time now.
Why aren’t you able to select a different photo? Have you added a new Lock Screen?
Same thing here. I have an iPhone XR
Thanks for reporting. Apple should fix it in an upcoming software update.
My screen went black after the 16.1.2 update. I can turn off & back on & home picture is there . When I get an email it goes black . Then half to reboot .
Thanks for reporting. So it only goes black when you receive an email? Are you using the stock Mail app?
Just happened to me after rebooting my iphone 11. I rebooted it because suddenly i couldnt watch any video on the youtube app, also something that never happened before. My background photo is (or was) an old photo that I don’t have in my phone anymore. My locked screen photo, also an old one, is still there.
Add a new Lock Screen from the Lock Screen edit menu and keep this one available in standby. You will be able to get back to it any time. iOS 16.2 will be released tomorrow and it might include a fix for it. Then you can revert.
Same issue for me. I want to keep the old photo as it is of my wedding. My hubby died 50 days later from cancer!! I’m not impressed with this update glitch!!!!
Sorry to hear this. Just keep this Lock Screen untouched, and go ahead and create a new Lock Screen. When this bug is fixed in the next software update you can return to the old Lock Screen from the edit menu. Or, if you have your wedding picture on some other device you can re-send it to your iPhone and use it when creating the new Lock Screen.
16.2 done and it’s still happening screen saver for a while then goes bulk need to re boot to get screen saver back
I want the same photo I have had for more than two years!!! It is important to me! Why is this happening??
It’s a bug, unfortunately. We recommend you to create a new Lock Screen and leave the glitched one configured. It should be fixed in the next update and you will be able to edit it back as main Lock And Home Screen.
Hi this is annoying ..!! I to have had a precious photo missing . Hopefully with the advice you have given will correct it
I know how frustrating this bug is, as there are many of us using old (sentimental) photos as backgrounds. Let’s hope that it will be addressed in the upcoming release.
It’s obvious nobody likes what you have done so the simple thing is to do on do it put the wallpaper back who wants to see a black screen?
You’re aware that this website is non related to Apple.com and we don’t have access to iOS coding or other Apple related decisions?
The same thing is happening with my XR. I have two different photos I am using for lock screen and Home Screen. Hope this is fixed soon. Have to keep adding back my Home Screen wallpaper.
Thanks for sharing. Yes, Apple is aware of it.
Ever since I upgraded to 16.1 I have had nothing but problems. Battery drainage, background goes black etc etc. should never have upgraded. Tried all suggested methods to fix, but to no avail. My background color comes and goes.
Thanks for reporting. You can still downgrade to iOS 15.x and return to 16 later on in December when 16.2 becomes available. Here is how to:
I need my old picture as my wallpaper, it’s such an important photo to me, extremely sentimental and it’s disturbing that it just disappeared and my background went black. This is unacceptable, when is a fix coming? Someone responds to comments but isn’t giving enough detail on the workaround. I’ve tried to email the pic to myself and set as the wallpaper again but the picture looks too zoomed in and I can’t seem to fix it. This is so upsetting.
Have you watched the YouTube video embedded in the article which shows step-by-step what to do?
You do realise you are getting help from a website that is not connected with Apple? These people did not cause the issue, they are just trying to help you. Save your complaints for Apple.
I have the same problem everyone else is having with my Lock Screen photo turning black. My pictures are no long available to redownload so I can’t save them to the new pictures. You caused this problem and I expect you to fix it!
This problem will be fixed in an upcoming software update. In the meantime add a new Lock Screen and use it temporary, while keeping your current one in the background.
PS.: iPhoneTricks.org is a independent website that provides bug fixes and workarounds for its readers. We are not related to Apple Inc.
Same issue on my iPhone 12. Started Thanksgiving evening. VERY annoying and upsetting. We pay for these expensive phones and Apple services at it’s ridiculous I should have to find a way to “work around” Apple’s mistakes to put pictures I’ve taken with this phone as my wallpaper. Please fix the problem and share that update as soon as possible. Stuff like this really is making reconsider getting an Android phone.
When I get email it turns Home Screen picture black . This started after the 16.1.2 update . I have to reboot to get picture back . Also after update email will not make it sound of new email
Have you tried to delete and reinstall Mail app?
Happened to me as well. Shut the phone off and back on and pics came back. They might go away again I guess. I’m using older photos as well. Hope it’s fixed soon. I also had issue trying to download an app in the app store. After double click it would not recognize my face. Tried many times, even shutting the phone off. Finally worked.
Thanks for sharing. Yeah rebooting can do ‘magic’.
My background is now black. I’ve tried rebooting, changing the wallpaper to new photos, old photos, nature, and the other presets. My background stays black. I hope they fix this soon!
Thanks for reporting. Have you tried to add a new Lock Screen with a new background?
iPhone 12 black home screen, an old photo. I tried a different photo from my gallery same issue. Also it is both home and Lock Screen and will not allow two different photos. Since someone else said this happens with preset available options I haven’t tried that. Have wasted a ton of time trying to figure it out. Will wait for fix while tapping fingers. :|
Have you tried to add a new Lock Screen and re-configure the wallpaper in it?
I downloaded 16.1.1 on my IPhone 14 Pro a few days ago and am experiencing the black screen issue as well. Turning the phone off (restart) and back on brings back my photo wallpaper back temporarily. The black screen keeps coming back.
Add a new Lock Screen and use the same wallpaper.
Same issue with iPhone 14 pro max, using picture that was just taken. Reboot and Lock screen is right but unlock screen the new picture is just a blurred image.
The blurred image isn’t a bug but a setting that you can tweak and make it clear from the Lock Screen edit menu:
Touch & hold Lock Screen.
Tap Home Screen
Tap Blur to disable.
Thanks for all of the useful information above :) Same issue. One photo used as background for the last couple of years. Background reverts to all black after reboot too. Simply adding my voice to the chorus here.
You’re welcome. Thanks for dialing in. Let’s hope it will be addressed soon.
Happened today on 12 pro with older picture. Lock Screen went black but other was fine-pictures were from same trip, one went black and other did not, even though it shows it as my current used wallpaper. I rebooted phone and picture was back, then it went away again.
Create a new Lock Screen using the same pictures. It should help.
The same problem I face every morning, and restarting phone every morning is an issue. I have saved the photo in gallery still the issue persists.
Now days restarting phone solve the issue but after some time the same problem occurs
Have you created a new Lock Screen with the same picture?
Happens to me quite often. I have a iPhone 14 pro max
Thanks for reporting.
Not using an old photo but I tried this fix anyway. It’s allowed me to save the pic again for my wallpaper but has now overridden the photo I had on my lock screen.
You have to create a new Lock Screen using the “+” icon in the edit menu. Don’t edit your current Lock Screen.
Updating my photo seems to have fixed this. It was driving me crazy I can’t thank you enough for this helpful tip!! 🙏🏻
I hate the new update!! 😡
Thanks for confirming. You’re welcome. Let us know if it sticks, or if the issue reoccurs. Fingers crossed.
iPhone 13 Pro Max user here. This has started happening in the last few days. I’m running iOS 16.1.1. Come back when o reboot but disappears again within a few minutes. Only the Lock Screen is affected.
iOS 16.1.2 is out. Does it help?
Same happening with my XS. I have different pictures on lock screen and home screen. Lock screen is fine, but the home screen goes black or just the top half of the screen goes black. I tried saving the photo in my recent album. Did not help. I can’t find an option to assign a photo to my home screen anywhere. Only assign background which changes the lock screen.
iOS 16.1.2 has been released in the meantime with bug fixes. Let us know if it helps:
Same thing happening with my 12Pro. The photo I’m using is only a year old and was taken on this phone. I also have it saved in my favorites. Sometimes, I will force restart it, the background comes back, and then within less than 30 minutes it goes black again. That happened again this morning, and I finally came here to see if anyone else has had this issue. It started with my phone after the 16.1 update. No problems before that.
iOS 16.1.2 has been released with bug fixes. Let us know if it helps:
This is total bs!! I wish I’d never done the update now the picture of my dead grandma is just gone!!
Sorry to hear this Lisa. iOS 16.1.2 has been release. Please update and let us know if it helps:
My iPhone 13 has recently changed to all black screen saver and background the last two times I charged my phone.
Thanks for reporting. iOS 16.1.2 has been released with bug fixes. Does it help?
Both Lock screen and wall paper disappear since a couple of days ago. I have old photos set for both. It will take me awhile to re download the images as they are from 2016! so will report back once I have found them!
When I restart the phone sometimes both images return some times one or the other, but neither remain for long and goes back to black!
Thanks for reporting. Waiting for your follow up.
P.S.: You’ve updated to iOS 16.1.2?
My wallpaper turned black yesterday. It’s back on the lock screen but still black behind the app icons.
Thanks for reporting. Have you updated to iOS 16.1.2?
My iPhone 13 Pro is still experiencing the black wallpaper. My photo is downloaded to my phone. I can restart and fix it for a little while then it happens again. My husband is experiencing the same thing. Both phones worked great before this latest updates.
Thanks for reporting. So, you’ve went through the add new Lock Screen process and added a new one using the recently downloaded photo?
My iPhone 11pro started with the black background this morning, and yes it was an old photo I was using, switch the phone off and on again and it returns but only for a short while then back to black. I’ll try the resend pic fix and see if it works…
Thanks for the feedback. Keep us updated please.
I have trouble with my wallpaper going black even using new photos I have an iPhone 12 mini.
Wallpaper will come back after a bit, but then just happens again randomly.
Apple, please fix
Thanks for your feedback. Let’s hope that a fix will be available in iOS 16.2.
Problem started today, a few weeks (?) after update. iphone se (newer se). photos are from 2016 and 2019. edited both photos and problem “solved”. then a few re-openings and problem recurs. ugh
Hmm. Sorry to hear this. Hope it will get fixed in the upcoming update, although Apple hasn’t flagged our feedback support (FB11736569), with the ‘potential fix indentified – For a future iOS update’ label.
Glad i found this article. Just updated to 16.1.2 (iPhone 12 Pro Max) and it happened again. Both screens black. The first time was with 16.1 (I skipped 16) and it was two different iCloud photos that I eventually found but had replaced already with a brand new photo (did not know about work around). I now have the same photo on both the home and lock but the lock screen has a different effect. Updated to 16.1.2 and it happened again! Tho this time it fixed itself. After updating, I went to safari, found this info, went back to the home screen and it was back to normal. About 3-5 minutes.
Thanks for the feedback. Let’s see if a permanent fix comes in iOS 16.2.
This is the LAST iPhone I’ll ever spend money on an Apple product. Absolutely ridiculous that a $1200 device can’t manage wallpaper correctly. Complete $hyte.
I can understand the frustration. iOS 16.2 will be released next week. Let’s hope it will fix this bug.
I hate the new update IOS 16, same issue as above and finding it hard to get photo to wall paper or Lock Screen on the iPhone 13. Think the need to sort this out before selling the 14!,😤
iOS 16.2 will be released next week. Let’s hope it helps.
I was very frustrated by this issue after the latest update on my iPhone 14 pro max. Stumbled on your article after many searches without an answer that worked. Your solution was spot on. Even my 12 year master iPhone beta testing friend wasn’t aware of the problem. Thanks!
You’re welcome. Happy to help.
This has been happening ever since I updated. So annoying! Using photo on my phone from a couple years ago, not off iCloud. Yeah, I could use another photo — but this is my beloved signature photo, why should I have to?
If you can’t resend the photo from another device or email account, wait for iOS 16.2. It should be released next week and it could fix this problem.
Yes. iPhone 12Pro. Latest iOS 16
Boom just happened shortly after an entire text thread with a friend went away. I recovered the texts thankfully. The photo wallpaper was taken about 10 years ago. 😢 a special one. Hope I can find it on my photo library
You mean that a conversation in Messages disappeared? How did you recover it?
Confirmed. iPhone 13 PRO MAX. Continues even after soft reset. It temporarily fixes it and few minutes later it does it again. Problem started 11Dec2022. Update to iOS 16 performed on 8DEC2022. No other software or updates downloaded.
Thanks for confirming. iOS 16.2 will be released in a couple of days. Fingers crossed for good news.
I’m running 16.1.2 I did the following and it, at least for now, fixed the black wallpaper issue. I selected a new photo for my wallpaper, paired it for both Lock and Home screens, and selected it as Current. Went back to the Home screen and noticed the photo was being displayed but it was terribly blurred. Back into Setting and selected Customize for the Lock Screen wallpaper. At the bottom right I deselected blur and now everything looks good.
Yes, the blur is selected by default for the Home Screen when you use a photo from the Photos library. Thanks for the feedback.
Had Lock Screen and Home Screen pictures this morning. Hours later, pictures gone and screens black. Had to waste a good 10-15 mins on wallpaper. That was infuriating. It was so not user friendly.
Thanks for reporting and for sharing your feedback.
I have an iPhone 13, with a wallpaper created from a photo that is in the gallery. This issue started to happen after update to ios 16.2.
Thanks for reporting. Was hopping that this will be fixed in 16.2. :(
Same problem as everyone else regarding the Home Screen blackout. And some swipe issues. Turned my iPhone 13 off and waited a bit. After turning it on my Home Screen photo was back. The photo is saved in my photo files. This happens at least twice a day.
Thanks for the feedback. I assume you’ve updated to iOS 16.2, correct?
I got this screen saver years ago transferred from iPhone 5,6,7 and now 11 not sure why I have a problem now I use the same picture for both Home and me lock screen saver
It’s not at your end Robert. It’s caused by an iOS 16 glitch, that comes with a revamped Lock Screen interface that still requires some fine tuning…
iPhone 13 Pro – Wallpaper turns black.
This started yesterday, days after updating OS
Using new photos for both options. Tried shutting down and starting several times and no luck
thanks for reporting. Creating a new wallpaper from the Lock Screen edit menu and assigning the new pictures again for Home and Lock Screen should help.
I had the same problem and funny enough I found the solution permanently. The problem was not the photographs, it was the FOCUS I had setted up. The solution is pretty easy, go to SETTINGS – FOCUS, and choose whichever focus you are using, then go to OPTIONS and you will see the ‘Dim Lock Screen’, just turn it off.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the feedback and for the interesting workaround Julian. The ‘Dim Lock Screen’ options does what it says for me, it dims the Lock Screen, but it doesn’t turn it pitch black like no wallpaper is loading. I will continue to test it out.
Can you confirm that you get a fully black background when ‘Dim Lock Screen’ is enabled, or your original background with significantly lower screen intensity?
The Black Screen started on my iPhone 12 this morning and my phone updated a week or so ago. Very frustrating as now I can o oh have photo in locked screen and not on Home Screen.
Thanks for sharing. The fix at the moment is to add a new Lock Screen using the same photo. If it’s an old photo you have to send it to your new iPhone via AirDrop or mail attachment and save it to the Photos app.
Black screen on Iphone 14 max pro….1/4/23
Photos are negatives!
Nothing I have tried remedies this!
Thanks for reporting. Have you tried to add a new Lock Screen using a predefined wallpaper?
Just saw this. I have a new iPhone 14pro got it on 12/30/22. No matter what photo I use the screen is black. It worked correctly for 2 days and is now just black. System is fully updated. My husband has the identical phone and photo without issues. This is just one of several problems occurring with this phone
Thanks for the feedback. Are you using Focus filters or Dark theme, or any other setting that’s different from your husband? You could help us find the trigger.
I spent2 hours at an Apple genius bar last week, and the person there was not familiar with this problem. He was not able to fix it permanently. It only worked for a few minutes after turning my phone completely off, which I had already done several times. He then suggested that I do a reset if it didn’t eventually correct itself. I’d rather not, but looks like I might have to. My calendar history search is also not working. I’m hoping Apple sends out a new update to clear all of this!
Thanks for reporting. Yes, that’s strange because it’s a widespread bug. Here is a fix for the calendar search not working:
My wife and I have identical iPhone 12pro phones running 16.1.2. She has had the black lock screen and app screen issue for a month or so, mine has been not had any problems. Resets and restarts have only been a temporary fix. She has switched to new photo backgrounds on lock and app screens, but the black screen always returns. Hoping the 16.2 update will address the issue.
Thanks for the feedback. iOS 16.2 is already available and unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to fix it. Can you please share any differences found between your phone and your wife’s one. Perhaps we’re able to find the trigger.
Is one using Focus modes and the other not?
Is one of your using Light and Dark theme differently than the other?
There surly must be a difference that can expose this glitch.