If you’ve recently updated your iPhone to iOS 16 and noticed that your wallpaper has turned black on both the Lock Screen and Home Screen, you’re not alone. Many users have reported this issue, even after the iOS 16.1 release. The icons and apps still show up normally, but the predefined wallpaper is missing.
This problem was first reported by Mattie, who owns an iPhone XR, in the comments section of a review page for iOS 16.1. Dawn, who owns an iPhone 12, also confirmed experiencing the same issue. Similar complaints have been found on Reddit since the early stages of the iOS 16 beta testing. One user mentioned that they can’t change their wallpaper anymore and it is constantly black.
While we couldn’t replicate the issue ourselves, we have found a temporary fix that might help. Rebooting your iPhone should make the wallpaper display normally again, but please note that the issue may reoccur at a later time. If you’re looking for quicker results, we recommend applying the force restart combo.
Update: Apple has released iOS 16.3, and according to the release notes, they have fixed the black Lock Screen bug. It is recommended that you update to iOS 16.3 and let us know in the comments if the black Lock Screen wallpaper still shows up.
According to reports from our readers, it seems that this problem only occurs when one or more photos are used as backgrounds. If you’re experiencing the black wallpaper issue, try changing the picture and see if it makes any difference. If the image is too old and stored in iCloud, the bug might prevent iOS 16 from accessing it properly and rendering it as wallpaper. You can also try resending the old photo from your old iPhone via AirDrop or another computer using email attachments. If that doesn’t work, changing the wallpaper style completely and avoiding the use of photos might be a workaround until Apple releases a software update to fix this bug. You can choose from collections, colors, weather, or more options available.
Based on the feedback we received in the comments section, it appears that old photos used as wallpaper are triggering the black background. To fix this, you can resend the old photo to your iPhone and save it in the Photos app. You can do this via AirDrop from an older device or from any other computer as a mail attachment. Once the photo is saved in the “Recents” album, assign it again as the Lock Screen and Home Screen wallpaper. See if this resolves the issue.
If you prefer visual instructions, you can watch a YouTube video that showcases the above fixes for the black wallpaper issue in iOS 16.
If you’re still experiencing the black background problem in iOS 16, please let us know in the comments. Be sure to mention your iPhone model and the type of wallpaper you’re using when the issue occurs.
We’ve reported this problem to Apple with feedback number 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 resolves this error soon.
For more information and workarounds for other iOS 16.1 issues, you can check out our extended review on our website Abstract Education.