How To Fix iOS 16 Live Wallpaper Not Working

iOS 16 Live Wallpaper are a fun way to customize your iPhone and make it feel more personal. The ability to set a Live Photo as your wallpaper so it moves as you interact with your phone is an iOS feature iPhone users have enjoyed for years. However, some users have reported issues getting live wallpapers to work properly after updating to iOS 16. If your live wallpapers are no longer animating or simply showing a static image, there are several things you can try to get them working again.

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What Causes Live Wallpapers to Stop Working in iOS 16?

There are a few potential causes for live wallpapers not functioning in iOS 16:

  • Removal of Live Photo wallpaper feature: One of the biggest changes in iOS 16 is that Apple has removed the dedicated Live Photo wallpaper feature. Live Photos can still be set as wallpaper, but they now simply appear as still images rather than animating when 3D Touch is used. This means live wallpapers no longer work the way they used to.
  • Low Power Mode is enabled: Having Low Power Mode turned on disables certain visual effects and animations to conserve battery life. This includes live wallpaper animations.
  • Reduce Motion setting is on: The Reduce Motion accessibility setting also stops certain iOS animations, which can affect live wallpapers.
  • Software bugs or glitches: As with any major operating system update, bugs or glitches in iOS 16 could also be the culprit behind live wallpapers not working properly.

So in summary, the most likely culprits are Apple removing support for the classic Live Photo wallpaper feature, having Low Power Mode enabled, or the Reduce Motion setting being on. But software bugs are also a possibility with a major iOS update like iOS 16.

How to Fix Live Wallpaper Issues in iOS 16

If your live wallpapers are not animating or showing up properly in iOS 16, here are some steps you can take to try and fix the issue:

Check if Low Power Mode is On

Low Power Mode is an easy thing to forget you have enabled. To check if you have it turned on:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Battery.
  3. On the Battery screen, check if Low Power Mode is turned on (toggle will be green).
  4. If it’s enabled, tap the toggle to turn Low Power Mode off.

With Low Power Mode disabled, try setting a Live Photo as your wallpaper again to see if it now animates properly. Low Power Mode is known to cause live wallpapers not to work in iOS, so turning it off should resolve the issue if it was the cause.

Turn Off Reduce Motion

Along with Low Power Mode, the Reduce Motion setting is another accessibility option that can stop live wallpapers from animating:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Accessibility.
  3. In the Accessibility menu, select Motion.
  4. Make sure the toggle for Reduce Motion is turned off (toggle should be gray).

Disabling Reduce Motion allows the iOS animations to occur normally again. Try your live wallpaper again after turning Reduce Motion off to see if it is now working.

Change Wallpaper Type from Live Photo to Still

Since iOS 16 removed true Live Photo wallpaper support, you can try changing the wallpaper type from Live Photo to Still:

  1. Go to Settings > Wallpaper.
  2. Select the current live wallpaper to bring up wallpaper editing.
  3. At the bottom, tap Choose a New Wallpaper.
  4. Select the same Live Photo you currently have set.
  5. Before tapping Set, change Wallpaper Type from Live Photo to Still.

This will set the Live Photo as a normal static wallpaper image. While you’ll lose the live animation, at least the image will display properly.

Turn On 3D Touch

If you have a 3D Touch capable iPhone model (iPhone 6s or higher), you can re-enable 3D Touch, which is required for the classic iOS live wallpaper feature:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch.
  2. Turn on the toggle for 3D Touch.

With 3D Touch turned back on, your Live Photo wallpaper may animate again when you deep press on the screen. This brings back some of the classic live wallpaper functionality.

Restart Your iPhone

An easy troubleshooting step is to simply restart your iPhone:

  1. Hold down the Side/Power button.
  2. Drag the slider to turn your phone completely off.
  3. After 30 seconds, hold the Side/Power button again to turn your iPhone back on.

Restarting your iPhone essentially clears out memory, resets background systems, and can help resolve minor software glitches that may be preventing the live wallpaper from functioning.

Reset All Settings

If other troubleshooting steps don’t work, resetting all iPhone settings may help get live wallpapers working again:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset.
  2. Tap Reset All Settings (this doesn’t erase data or media).
  3. Enter your passcode if prompted.
  4. Confirm the reset when prompted.

Resetting all settings clears out any problematic settings that could be causing system-wide issues like live wallpapers not working properly. Make sure to reconfigure your settings after doing a reset.

Use ReiBoot to Recovery Mode Restore

The nuclear option is to recovery mode restore your iPhone using a tool like ReiBoot. This wipes your device and reinstalls the latest iOS firmware:

  1. Download and install ReiBoot on a computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the computer via a USB cable.
  3. Open ReiBoot and click Enter Recovery Mode.
  4. Once the device enters recovery mode, click Exit Recovery Mode.
  5. On the iPhone home screen, go to Settings > General > Software Update to install the latest iOS version.

This completely wipes and reloads iOS to eliminate any deeply embedded software issues. Make sure to backup your device first!

Preventing Live Wallpaper Issues

To avoid live wallpaper problems in the future after getting your issues resolved, here are some tips:

  • Don’t enable Low Power Mode as it disables live wallpapers.
  • Keep Reduce Motion turned off if you want animated wallpapers.
  • Avoid beta iOS versions which may have bugs affecting live wallpapers.
  • Update to the latest iOS version to get wallpaper fixes and optimizations.
  • Restart your iPhone periodically to clear memory and refresh system processes.
  • Maintain adequate free storage space on your device. Low storage can cause performance issues.
  • Handle your device with care and avoid damage that could cause software glitches.

Following best practices for iOS can prevent many issues with live wallpapers or other system features from popping up.

When to Seek Technical Support

If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps but your iPhone live wallpaper is still not working properly in iOS 16, it’s a good idea to seek technical support:

  • Make an appointment at your local Apple store’s Genius Bar for in-person support.
  • Contact Apple support by phone, chat, or email to work through the issue with a support advisor.
  • Post on Apple Support Communities forums for help from other Apple users who may have experienced similar issues.
  • Consult a third party iOS repair shop if you think hardware damage could be causing the live wallpaper problem.

Apple technical support can run diagnostics and possibly identify any underlying problems that standard user troubleshooting can’t fix. Give them as much detail about your issue as possible.


Live wallpapers not working in iOS 16 can be frustrating, but in most cases, the problem can be resolved with some standard user troubleshooting. Turning off Low Power Mode and Reduce Motion, changing the wallpaper type, restarting your iPhone, and resetting all settings are good things to try first. For any persisting issues, engaging with Apple support or an iOS repair professional will help get your wallpaper animating again so you can enjoy this fun customization feature. With a few focused steps, you should be able to get iOS 16 live wallpapers working properly once more.

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