If you recently updated your iPhone to iOS 16 and are experiencing a black wallpaper issue, you’re not alone. Several users have reported that both the Lock Screen and Home Screen backgrounds unexpectedly turn black, even after the iOS 16.1 release.
One user named Mattie (iPhone XR) mentioned in the comments section of our iOS 16.1 review page, “The background of the home and Lock Screen have turned black. Icons are still visible.” Another user, Dawn (iPhone 12), confirmed the same issue, saying, “Same thing is happening to me. Black screen. Sometimes I get it back, but then it turns black again.”
Although we couldn’t replicate the issue, similar complaints have been found on Reddit since the early stages of the iOS 16 beta test. One user on Reddit stated, “I can’t change my wallpaper anymore, and it’s black all the time.”
How to Fix Black Wallpaper Error
A temporary fix for this issue is to reboot your iPhone. After restarting, the wallpaper should display normally. However, please note that the issue may reoccur at a later time.
Tip: To achieve quicker results, you can try applying the force restart combo.
Update to iOS 16.3
According to Apple’s release notes, the black Lock Screen bug has been fixed in iOS 16.3. Apple has addressed this issue, as shown in the image below:
It’s important to note that iOS 16.3 has already been released. If you have updated your device to iOS 16.3 and are still experiencing the black Lock Screen wallpaper issue, please let us know in the comments.
Workaround for Black Wallpaper Issue
Based on numerous reports from our readers, it appears that this problem only occurs when one or more photos are used as the wallpaper. Here are some workarounds you can try:
1. Change the Picture: First, attempt to change the picture and see if it makes any difference. If the image is too old and stored in iCloud, the bug may prevent iOS 16 from properly accessing it and rendering it as wallpaper.
Tip: Alternatively, you can resend the old photo from your old iPhone via AirDrop or from another computer as an email attachment.
2. Change the Wallpaper Style: If changing the picture doesn’t work, consider changing the wallpaper style completely and avoiding the use of photos until Apple releases a software update to fix this bug. You can choose from options such as Collections, Color, Weather, and more.
Update for iOS 16 Black Wallpaper Issue
Thanks to the valuable feedback we received in the comments section, we were able to identify the problem further. It seems that old photos used as wallpaper trigger the black background issue.
To fix this, try resending the old photo to your iPhone and saving 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” folder, assign it again as the Lock Screen and Home Screen wallpaper. Does it work?
iOS 16 Black Wallpaper Video Fix
If you prefer visual instructions, check out the YouTube video below. It showcases the fixes mentioned above:
[YouTube video placeholder]
If you are still experiencing the black background problem in iOS 16, please confirm it in the comments, and don’t forget to mention your iPhone model and the type of wallpaper you are using when the issue occurs.
We have reported this problem to Apple and provided them with feedback (number FB11736569). We will 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 will address and fix this error in the next software update!
Related: For more iOS 16.1 issues and available workarounds, please check our extended review.