[Updated] iPhone Wallpaper Issue: How to Fix Black or Disappearing Wallpapers

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Since the release of iOS 16 in mid-September, iPhone users have been enjoying the enhancements it brings to the operating system. However, some users have reported a frustrating issue where their wallpaper turns black or disappears (1,2,3,4).

iPhone wallpaper turns black

Affected users have noticed that when they switch to the lock or home screen, the wallpaper automatically changes to a black background. While restarting the iPhone temporarily shows the correct wallpaper, it reverts to black after the phone goes to sleep. This issue started with iOS 16.1 and continues even after the newer iOS 16.1.1 update (1,2).

Luckily, there are some workarounds that have been suggested by users who faced the same issue. Here are a couple of potential solutions:

1. Reapply the previous wallpaper: Some users have found that applying the wallpaper they used in the past can mitigate the issue (see image below).

iPhone workaround

2. Recover the original wallpaper image: Another user reported a potential workaround by recovering the original wallpaper image. Here are the steps they followed:
– Make a full backup of your iPhone using iTunes.
– Download, install, and run iExplorer on a Sandbox instance.
– Copy the main plist and manifest files to a folder inside Sandbox.
– Open iExplorer and locate Home > Springboard. Make a note of the path for “LockBackground.cpbitmap” and “OriginalLockBackground.cpbitmap”.
– Go back to your iTunes backup and copy the two alphanumeric folders mentioned above into the same folder inside Sandbox.
– Export the .cpbitmap files from iExplorer and convert them to PNG, JPG, or TIFF using an online converter.
– Send the converted image back to your phone and set it as the wallpaper (1,2).

According to Apple Support, wallpapers in iOS 16 are considered in pairs: Lock Screen and Home Screen. To customize the Home Screen image, you first need to pair it with a Lock Screen image (see image below).

Apple iPhone workaround
Source (Click/tap to view)

If these workarounds helped you fix the wallpaper turning black issue, let us know in the comments below.


  • Update 1 (November 18, 2022): There is a possible explanation for why the wallpaper turns black or disappears on iPhone.
  • Update 2 (November 21, 2022): A workaround for the issue has been discovered.
  • Update 3 (November 22, 2022): Potential workarounds include re-downloading the photo and force restarting the iPhone.
  • Update 4 (November 24, 2022): Simply reapplying the same image as the wallpaper can act as a temporary workaround.
  • Update 5 (November 25, 2022): Reports suggest the issue may be related to the interaction between AOD, focus, and wallpapers.
  • Update 6 (November 29, 2022): Disabling the ‘Focus Status’ option might fix the issue.
  • Update 7 (December 2, 2022): iOS 16.1.2 stable update has been released.
  • Update 8 (December 5, 2022): Updating to iOS 16.1.2 has resolved the issue for some users.
  • Update 9 (December 7, 2022): iOS 16.2 update is expected to fix the issue.
  • Update 10 (December 8, 2022): Customizing each segment in the ‘Focus’ settings can prevent the wallpaper issue without disabling the function.
  • Update 11 (December 9, 2022): iOS 16.2 may not fix the problem due to possible issues with the focus settings.
  • Update 12 (December 12, 2022): A user shares a fix involving changing the wallpaper settings.
  • Update 13 (December 14, 2022): iOS 16.2 update has been released, and users can now install it to see if the issue is resolved.
  • Update 14 (December 15, 2022): Some users report that re-adding the photo as a wallpaper may not be a permanent solution.
  • Update 15 (December 19, 2022): The latest iOS 16.2 update reportedly fixes the black wallpaper issue.
  • Update 16 (December 20, 2022): Some users still face the black wallpaper issue despite the iOS 16.2 update.
  • Update 17 (December 22, 2022): Another possible workaround has been suggested.
  • Update 18 (December 26, 2022): The wallpaper issue persists for some users, and Apple support recommends seeking further assistance.
  • Update 19 (December 28, 2022): Changing the region to the US may fix the black wallpaper problem for some users.
  • Update 20 (January 09, 2023): iOS 16.3 beta is released, and users can install it to see if the issue persists.
  • Update 21 (January 11, 2023): iOS 16.3 beta 2 is available, and users can try it if necessary.
  • Update 22 (January 13, 2023): Turning off dark mode and restarting the iPhone seems to solve the wallpaper issue.
  • Update 23 (January 16, 2023): Users report pixelation issues with wallpapers on iOS 16.2, and turning off blur may help.
  • Update 24 (January 18, 2023): A potential workaround involves creating new wallpapers and deleting any black wallpapers.
  • Update 25 (January 20, 2023): Users report slow loading times for wallpapers and confusing settings.
  • Update 26 (January 23, 2023): Setting a single background image can prevent the black wallpaper bug.
  • Update 27 (January 24, 2023): iOS 16.3 is now available, and users affected by the black wallpaper issue can update their devices.
  • Update 28 (January 30, 2023): The black wallpaper issue persists for some users even after updating to iOS 16.3.
  • Update 29 (February 02, 2023): Cropping the photo in the Photos app might help fix the wallpaper issue.
  • Update 30 (February 06, 2023): Apple support recommends updating to the latest iOS version and following specific steps to resolve the problem.

If you’re still experiencing the wallpaper issue, consider reaching out to Apple Support for further assistance.

Note: For more information on Apple-related bugs and issues, visit the Abstract Education website.

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