How to Fix iPhone Wallpaper Turns Black Problem in iOS 16?

Share this post on:

iOS 16 was an exciting update that brought new features and enhancements to iPhones. However, some users have been facing a frustrating issue where their wallpaper turns black on the home or lock screen. If you’re one of the unlucky users experiencing this problem, don’t worry, as there are potential workarounds to fix it.

iPhone Wallpaper Turns Black

Many iOS 16 users have reported that their wallpaper disappears or turns completely black on their home or lock screen, or sometimes on both. Restarting the iPhone only provides a temporary fix, as the issue reappears after some time. Some users have even lost their saved wallpapers, which no longer appear in their saved wallpapers section.

ios 16 Wallpaper Black
We have also faced the same issue on iPhone 13

The icons on the home screen are not affected by this issue, but the wallpaper turns black again after the phone goes to sleep. Additionally, custom images added by users have been wiped out by the update.

This problem also affects users who have tied specific wallpapers to focus modes. Although the focus mode triggers, the wallpaper remains blank. It’s frustrating for users who have invested in high-end iPhones like the iPhone 14 Pro Max and can’t properly set up their home screen and lock screen. This issue is not limited to specific focus mode pairs, and it has been observed across various iPhone models, not just the latest ones.

While users hope for a resolution in the upcoming iOS 16.2 update, scheduled for Mid-December, we have some potential workarounds that may help you solve this problem.

Update December 1: According to several users, the wallpaper turns black issue has been resolved after upgrading to the latest version, iOS 16.1.2. Apple recently released iOS 16.1.2, which includes essential security updates and enhancements. Update to iOS 16.1.2 to see if the wallpaper issue has been resolved.

6 Ways to Fix iOS 16 Wallpaper Turns Black Issue on iPhone

1: Re-apply your previous wallpaper

  • Go to the wallpaper customisation by long pressing the lock screen or finding the Wallpaper section in the Settings app.
  • Tap on “Add new wallpaper” and select the wallpaper you previously used.
  • Set the wallpaper pair as you like, choosing one for your home screen and one for your lock screen, or pick two different wallpapers according to your preference.
  • Confirm your selection and exit the menu.

2: Recover the original wallpaper image & resolve the faulty migration of background settings between iOS versions

Warning: This method will completely erase all data on your phone, so make sure to backup your important data before proceeding.

Here’s a workaround shared by Lenscastre on Reddit:

  • Create a complete iPhone backup using iTunes or iCloud.
  • Run iExplorer on a Sandbox instance.
  • Copy the main P-List files and move them to a folder inside Sandbox.
  • Set this folder as the default iTunes backup location.
  • Locate “Springboard” in Home, inside iExplorer, and note the path for LockBackground.cpbitmap and OriginalLockBackground.cpbitmap. Look for 7C or 86, as some users may have both files, while others may have only one.
  • Go back to your iTunes backup and copy only the two alphanumeric folders into the same folder in Sandbox.
  • Export the .cpbitmap files from the Sandbox using iExplorer and copy them back to your desktop.
  • Upload the images to either or
  • After the upload, convert the image to PNG, JPG, or TIFF format.
  • Send the photo back to your phone using iTunes, Dropbox, or email, and set it as wallpaper. This should resolve the issue.

If these instructions seem too complicated or if the basic restore method doesn’t work, you can always take your phone to an Apple-authorized service center for a fresh software reinstall.

3: Perform a fresh install of iOS

Warning: This method will completely erase all data on your phone, so make sure to backup your important data before proceeding.

  • Go to Settings – General – Transfer or reset iPhone – Erase all content and settings. This is the simplest method.
  • If that option is not available, connect your iPhone to a Mac or another computer and trust the device when prompted.
  • Open the iTunes app or Finder app (on a Mac) and locate your iPhone on the sidebar. You will see an option to restore your iPhone.
  • Select “Restore and Update” and agree to the software terms and conditions.
  • The latest IPSW file, which includes all bug fixes, will be downloaded. The installation process may take some time, depending on your internet speed.
  • Once the installation is finished, your phone should boot up with freshly installed software. You can set it up as a new iPhone or restore your previous settings.
  • If these instructions seem too complicated or if the basic restore method doesn’t work, you can always take your phone to an Apple-authorized service center for a fresh software reinstall.

4: Contact Apple Support and report the problem on Apple Product Feedback

Many users have reported visiting Apple stores, where senior technicians performed a fresh reset of their devices, solving the issue. However, note that performing this reset will result in the loss of user data without a reliable backup.

You can contact Apple Support directly for potential solutions, such as resetting focus modes or re-applying wallpapers. They’ll guide you step by step on how to resolve the issue. Additionally, reporting the problem on Apple’s product feedback platform will help make Apple aware of the problem, increasing the chance of a future patch.

5: Completely re-create your wallpaper customizations

  • Long press the lock screen and swipe up to reveal a red icon that represents the delete option. Delete all your wallpaper pairs.
  • Repeat this process for all the wallpaper pairs you have created.
  • Once all the wallpaper pairs have been deleted, create a new pair using Apple’s stock options or your preferred photos and downloaded images.
  • Add lock screen widgets of your choice and pair a home screen wallpaper with them.

This should solve the problem since the earlier buggy wallpaper pairs have been deleted.

6: Reset and re-assign your Focus Mode pairs

If you use focus mode pairs, follow the steps in Solution 5 to delete all your wallpaper pairs and remove your previous wallpaper/screensaver customizations. Then, individually pair your new focus modes with newly created wallpaper pairs.

  • Go to the Settings app and tap on Focus.
  • Open the Focus Mode you want to pair with a home and lock screen combination and choose your preferred wallpapers.
  • You can select a combination from your existing creations or make a new one.
  • You can also set focus filters or schedule specific times for focus modes to activate or when certain apps are opened. Note that the home and lock screen combinations will change with each focus mode if you’ve set it up that way.
  • This ensures that a blank wallpaper won’t appear, as specific wallpapers are now paired.

Why does the issue happen?

The issue is believed to be caused by a faulty migration of wallpaper/background settings between iOS versions. Another possible cause is iOS 16 treating wallpapers as pairs, requiring a lock screen wallpaper to be set before customizing the home screen wallpaper. However, migrating old wallpapers to the new paired coding format can result in issues, as the pairing code no longer configures the wallpaper properly. This failure in background settings migration leads to the wallpaper turning black.

Restarting the iPhone temporarily solves the problem by clearing the wallpaper from cached memory, but since this issue only affects iOS 16 users who migrated wallpapers, it might not be officially addressed by Apple. Additionally, when focus modes are used, the focus mode may display a blank screen if no wallpaper is found.

The iOS 16.2 beta update for iPhone 14 Pro models introduces an option to turn off the wallpaper when using AOD (Always-On Display), which may solve the problem related to background settings transfer between iOS versions. However, the fact that customizing the home screen wallpaper requires pairing it with a lock screen wallpaper presents challenges.

While the root cause of the problem may be multi-faceted, it’s important for Apple to address it, as high-end flagship phones like the iPhone should have optimized software without such issues. We hope Apple acknowledges this issue and delivers a solution soon, even if it affects a minority of users. In the meantime, we hope that these solutions have helped you fix the problem.

Share this post on: