How to Remove Wallpaper Blur on iPhone iOS 17

The launch of iOS 17 brought many great new features to iPhones, but it also introduced an annoying wallpaper blur for some users. This blur is likely an intentional design choice to allow UI elements to stand out more, but not everyone appreciates it.

Fortunately, there are a few workarounds you can try to remove or reduce the wallpaper blur on your iPhone running iOS 17.

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Understanding iOS 17’s Wallpaper Blur

Before jumping into solutions, it helps to understand what exactly is causing the wallpaper blur in iOS 17.

When you set a wallpaper in iOS 17, the operating system applies a Gaussian blur filter to it. This gives your wallpaper a slightly out-of-focus, softer appearance. The degree of blur varies depending on the content of your photo.

The blur gets applied after you set the wallpaper and persists even if you disable the “Perspective Zoom” feature that zooms in/out of the wallpaper as you move the Lock Screen or Home Screen.

This blur seems to be an intentional, albeit controversial design decision by Apple. It aims to make UI elements, app icons, and text stand out more against a blurred background.

However, many users find the filter too aggressive and visually unappealing. The lack of a toggle to disable it only compounds frustrations.

Luckily, while there is no definitive fix yet, some workarounds can help minimize or mask the wallpaper blurring imposed by iOS.

1. Choose a Properly Sized Wallpaper

The first thing to try is using a wallpaper sized exactly for your iPhone model.

iOS 17 applies more aggressive blurring when your wallpaper image needs resizing to fit the screen. It has to digitally zoom and scale the image, which exacerbates quality loss from the blur filter.

To avoid this, find or create a wallpaper sized precisely for your iPhone’s resolution. For iPhone 14 models and older, use images sized 1242 x 2688 pixels. For iPhone 14 Pro models, use images sized 1292 × 2796.

Setting an accurately sized wallpaper prevents iOS from digitally zooming and upscaling it to fit. This results in less noticeable blurring in most cases.

2. Use Solid Color or Simple Wallpapers

Wallpapers with intricate patterns, textures, and details show the blurring effect most clearly. Solid colors and simple gradients fare better.

If you want a colorful background without obtrusive blurring, try these options:

  • Solid colors — set a single vibrant color like red, green or blue.
  • Simple gradients — use smooth, subtle color gradients. *Abstract wallpapers — try graphics with solid color blocks rather than complex textures.

These simple wallpaper styles mask the background blur much better than detailed photographs or landscape images.

3. Turn Off “Perspective Zoom”

iOS 17 has a “Perspective Zoom” feature that automatically zooms in and out of your wallpaper slightly as you swipe between Home Screen pages or move between the Lock Screen and Home Screen.

This perspective movement also applies extra processing and scaling to your wallpaper, worsening the blur effect.

To turn it off:

  1. Go to Settings > Wallpaper
  2. Tap “Choose New Wallpaper”
  3. Select an existing wallpaper from your photos
  4. Disable the “Perspective Zoom” toggle

This prevents the animated zoom effect and associated image processing whenever you shift between screens. Your wallpaper stays statically scaled, looking sharper as a result.

4. Adjust Wallpaper Dimness in Settings

If your wallpaper looks excessively bright and overexposed, try dimming it for a less blurry appearance.

Overblown highlights and shadows contribute to the aggressive smoothing and loss of detail from the iOS blur filter.

To adjust wallpaper dimness:

  1. Go to Settings > Wallpaper
  2. Choose an existing wallpaper
  3. Use the Dimness slider to reduce brightness anywhere from 0% to 100% dimming.

Start with 30-50% dimness and adjust as needed. This darkens light areas prone to blowing out while keeping dark regions shadowed. The more balanced lighting helps minimize excessive blurring.

5. Use the “Reduce White Point” Accessibility Feature

Similar to dimming, enabling “Reduce White Point” darkens your iPhone’s display and wallpaper. This Accessibility feature inverts colors, so whites become darker grays.

As mentioned already, high-contrast, overexposed images tend to get blurred more aggressively. Reduce White Point tones down those hot spots, balancing the contrast to mask blur.

To enable this:

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size
  2. Turn on the “Reduce White Point” toggle

Feel free to disable Reduce White Point when not needing to view your wallpaper. The grayscale inversion affects all screen content, which may not suit general iPhone use.

6. Downsize Wallpaper Resolution as a Last Resort

This final workaround involves downscaling your wallpaper image resolution before setting it. The idea is that a lower resolution makes blur artifacts less visible.

However, this assumes you have an original high-res source image. Downsampling also degrades sharpness and image quality in other ways.

Only use this workaround if:

  • Your wallpaper is very large, e.g. 4K or 5K resolution
  • Other approaches haven’t solved the blurring issue
  • You don’t mind some quality loss

To downsize wallpaper resolution:

  1. Open the wallpaper file in an app like Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Photo or GIMP
  2. Go to Image > Image Size
  3. Reduce the pixel dimensions by 50-75% while retaining aspect ratio
  4. Export and set the smaller image as wallpaper

Even mildly downsizing a high-res photo can help tone down wallpaper blur while retaining enough sharpness.

Why Apple Should Add a Toggle to Disable Wallpaper Blur

While the workarounds above may help, many iPhone users understandably want Apple itself to address complaints.

An official toggle in iOS 17’s Wallpaper settings to disable background blurring seems like an obvious, user-friendly solution.

Giving control back to users this way would:

  • Respect personal visual preferences
  • Reduce frustration over an obtrusive, forced effect
  • Make iOS 17 wallpaper handling more customizable

Hopefully Apple considers adding a “Disable Blur” toggle in a future iOS 17 update.

Until then, the above tips should help you minimize if not eliminate the wallpaper blurring imposed by iOS. Focus on properly sized images, simplified wallpapers and reducing excessive brightness/contrast.

Key Takeaways on Fixing iOS 17 Wallpaper Blur

  • iOS 17 adds aggressive Gaussian blur to wallpapers to make UI elements stand out
  • Blur is an intentional but controversial design choice by Apple
  • No definitive fix yet, but various workarounds can reduce the effect
  • Use perfectly sized wallpapers to prevent scaling/zooming blur
  • Solid colors and simple gradients mask blur better than photos
  • Disable “Perspective Zoom” wallpaper motion effect
  • Lower wallpaper dimness and contrast to minimize blown out areas
  • Downsize overly large/high-res wallpapers as a last resort
  • Apple should (hopefully) add option to disable blur in a future update

With some experimentation, you can likely find a configuration that makes your iPhone’s wallpaper—and iOS 17 experience overall—more visually appealing.

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