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Fix: Can’t set Live Wallpaper on iPhone

iphone live wallpaper

Live wallpaper is a super interesting way to make your iPhone Lock Screen come to life. Not only that they look great but there’s something pleasing about making a static wallpaper come to life. Sadly, some users are just unable to make them work. Reports state that they can’t set Live Wallpaper on iPhones no matter what they try.

The first thing to understand is that Live Wallpaper works only on the Lock Screen (Dynamic Wallpaper runs an animation on both). With that in mind, check the steps below to try and resolve the problem at hand.

Why is live wallpaper not working on my iPhone?

If you can’t set Live Wallpapers on your iPhone, make sure that it’s not older than iPhone 6S (or iPhone 6S Plus) and that it only works on devices that use 3D Touch (therefore excluding the original iPhone SE and iPhone XR). The next things to check are Low Power Mode, Disable Motion, and 3D & Haptic Touch.

If the issue persists, make sure to update your device and look for improvements.

1. Reboot your iPhone

The first thing to try is to just reboot your device. This might be a temporary system halt and a simple restart is, quite usually, the best fix there is.

So, restart your iPhone and give Live Wallpapers another go. If the issue persists, please continue with the further steps.

2. Disable Low Power Mode

An important thing to notice is that Live Wallpapers, although only appearing on the Lock Screen, take a high spot on the list of power-consuming iOS features. So, if you enable the Low Power Mode, Live Wallpapers will be disabled automatically. Low Power Mode will even kick automatically when the battery percentage drops under 20%.

This feature temporarily reduces app background activity, disables mail fetching and auto-downloads, and reduces graphic UI elements. It also includes disabling Live Wallpapers to save up some juice.

So, if you want your Live Wallpapers working, make sure to disable Low Power Mode. Here’s how to do it with ease:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Battery.
  3. Toggle Low Power Mode off.Disable Low Power Mode iOS

3. Disable Reduce Motion

Another option that will affect the functionality of Live Wallpapers is the Reduce Motion option. This is an Accessibility option that, when enabled, reduces the motion of the user interface. This includes parallax icon effects, Live Wallpapers, and animations of certain apps.

So, make sure to disable this option before we move to the next step. Here’s how to disable Reduce Motion feature on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Select Motion.
  4. Disable Reduce Motion.Disable Reduce Motion iOS

4. Make sure 3D & Haptic Touch is enabled

As you are probably aware, Live Wallpapers work only on the Lock Screen, and only when you tap & hold on to the wallpaper to kickstart the animation. They won’t work (the wallpaper will become still wallpaper) if the 3D & Touch is disabled.

So, make sure that 3D Touch is enabled as Live Wallpapers must work. Here’s how to enable 3D & Haptic Touch on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Touch.
  4. Select 3D & Haptic Touch.
  5. Make sure that 3D Touch is enabled, and select the preferred Sensitivity and Duration. There’s a testing space at the bottom, so you can check out what works for you without leaving 3D & Haptic Touch settings.Enable 3D Touch iOS

5. Try with a different Live Wallpaper

Finally, if the current wallpaper won’t work, try a different one or even switch to Dynamic Wallpapers. The differences between Live Wallpapers and Dynamic Wallpapers are:

  • Dynamic Wallpapers don’t require touch to animate.
  • Dynamic Wallpapers show animation on both Lock Screen and Home Screen.
  • Live Wallpapers are probably more dope but that’s just a matter of taste.

Also, you can try the intoLive app (which can be found on App Store). It allows you to create your own Live Photos that can be set as Live Wallpaper later on.

Set Dynamic Wallpapers iOS

In the end, this can be a small bug, and keeping your iPhone’s firmware up to date might bring the resolution. Navigate to Settings > General > Software Update and check for updates.

That’s it. Thank you for reading and make sure to tell us about alternative solutions or subsequent issues you have in the comments section below.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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