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How to fix Depth Effect not working in iOS 17 on iPhone

Things you need to know:

  • The Lock Screen Depth Effect is available for iPhones running iOS 17.
  • Only iPhones powered by A12 and above can fully use Depth Effect.
  • Some Lock Screen widgets may prevent the Depth Effect from working. 
  • Currently, the iPhone Lock Screen Depth Effect works only on .JPG images.

iOS 17 is here, and the most exciting part is the plethora of Lock Screen customizations. Seeing everyone sharing their Lock Screens with the magic of Depth Effect around, you might have tried to check it out on your iPhone but ended up with no such effects. So what might be the reason? Let’s find out!

How to fix iOS Depth Effect not working on iPhone

1. Make sure your iPhone supports the Lock Screen Depth Effect

Firstly, you need to ensure that your iPhone runs on the latest iOS version. If not, you have to update your iPhone to the latest iOS version. But before asking why my iPhone doesn’t support wallpaper Depth Effect despite being on the latest iOS version, you need to also make sure if your iPhone is powered by A12 Bionic or above.

If that’s too technical for you, just check if your iPhone is on the following list:  

  • iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max  
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, and SE (gen 2)  
  • iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max  
  • iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, and SE (gen 3)  
  • iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max. 
  • iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max.  

Even after satisfying these conditions, if your iPhone can’t show wallpapers with Depth Effect, try the below-mentioned fixes.

2. Check if you have enabled Depth Effect on your iPhone

While Depth Effect is enabled by default, it is good to ensure that if it is turned on.

  1. Unlock your iPhone using Touch ID or Face ID, and stay on the Lock Screen  
  2. Tap Customize → select three dots on the bottom right corner.    
  3. Check if Depth Effect has a tick mark next to it. 

    Check if you have enabled Depth Effect on your iPhone

3. Remove Lock Screen widgets in iOS 17

Some iOS 17 Lock Screen widgets might be the villain preventing you from enjoying your iPhone Lock Screen with the Depth Effect. So the best thing to do is to remove them and see if Depth Effect comes back for Lock Screen wallpapers:

  1. Unlock your device and stay on the Lock Screen.  
  2. Tap Customize.  
  3. Now, tap a widget in your widget area.  
  4. Select the (–) sign beside each widget to remove it.  

    Remove Lock Screen widgets in iOS 16

It’s best to remove all the widgets and confirm if Depth Effect works. Once you confirm it’s working, you can add each widget and see which is causing the issue.  

Note: To make sure Depth Effect works, use smaller widgets and reposition your wallpaper according to it.

4. Ensure you’re using a supported wallpaper

The Depth Effect can only be applied to images with an identifiable subject. This could be a person, animal, building, or any subject that can stand out from the rest of the image.  

If your wallpaper has a lot of subjects, then the Depth Effect will struggle to identify and isolate one. The Depth Effect doesn’t work on abstract images, either.  

You can use the stock wallpapers or those taken in Portrait mode. Since finding the right wallpaper for iPhone Lock Screen is a task, we have come up with cool wallpapers supporting Depth Effect

5. Ensure you’re using a .JPG

Yes, this might be something new for you. But currently, Lock Screen Depth Effect only works on images in .JPG format. So, before using an image as your Lock Screen wallpaper, check its format. And If it’s not in .JPG format, you can convert it using your iPhone or with the help of other third-party apps

6. Reposition your wallpaper on iPhone

In most cases, the Depth Effect may not work because of improperly positioned wallpapers. Sometimes it could be because your subject covers most of the widget and clock area, thus preventing the Depth Effect from working.  

You can preview the Depth Effect in real-time before applying the wallpaper. If you have already applied it, here’s how you can reposition it:  

  1. Unlock your iPhone and stay on the Lock Screen.  
  2. Tap Customize
  3. Select the wallpaper and then adjust it by pinching it in and out next to the widget area or clock area to see if the Depth Effect works.  
  4. Now reposition the wallpaper as required while keeping an eye on the preview.  
  5. Tap Done.  

7. Create a new Lock Screen in iOS 17

Since all these things done are not helping, how about creating a new Lock Screen and checking if Depth Effect works? This time, make sure to use a supported image that meets all the criteria I’ve mentioned above. 

8. Hard reset iPhone

If none of these methods are helping, the last resort is resetting your iPhone. If that also doesn’t help, you need to hard reset your iPhone

Bonus – How to use the Depth Effect on unsupported iPhones

On iPhone X, if you use wallpapers from Collection and Weather & Astronomy, you can see the Depth Effect in action. While you cannot enjoy the complete potential of this feature on the iPhone X, it’s better than having nothing.  

Note: If you’re iPhone still won’t support Depth Effect on the Lock Screen, then I think it’s time to upgrade your iPhone.

Q. Can I turn on both Depth Effect and perspective zoom?  

Yes. For supported Lock Screens, you can turn on both Depth Effect and Perspective Zoom and enjoy the best of both worlds. 

Q. Do you need portrait mode camera pics to enable Depth Effect? 

No. It is unnecessary to have a Portrait mode image to make Depth Effect work fully. If you use an image with a differentiable subject, iOS will detect it, and you can see the Depth Effect in action.  

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  • Jibin

    Jibin Joseph is an editor at iGeeksBlog and has excellent attention to detail. He is a voracious reader, with interests ranging from philosophy and history to geopolitics and tech. When not reading or correcting grammar, you’d find him engaging in discussions about football. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @4ibin.

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