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iOS 17 Depth Effect Not Working? Here is How to Fix

Depth effect is the AI-based visual effect to add three-dimensional wallpaper to the lock screen on iPhone. Sounds cool, right?

But recently, the depth effect not working on iPhone issue has been reported frequently. What might be the reasons and how to fix it? Find the answer now!

Part 1. What Can Prevent Depth Effect from Working on iPhone?

The reasons behind the depth effect not working varies device to device. However, the most expected reasons are as follows:

  • Too many subjects/details in the photo.
  • Outdated operating system software.
  • Lock screen widgets.

Apart from these, sometimes irregular device configuration also causes the depth effect to be greyed out.

Part 2. What Can We Do If Depth Effect Not Working on iPhone?

It can be really annoying when you cannot take advantage of an impressive feature like the depth effect on your iPhone. The good news is you should be to solve the annoyance by trying some easy solutions. Let's check them out!

Make Sure Your iPhone Supports Depth Effect

The depth effect may look like a simple feature, but there is complex programming behind this. As a result, only the iPhone that arrive with an A12 Bionic processor or later can only experience this feature. Here is the list of iDevices that support the depth effect.

  • iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.
  • iPhone 11 series.
  • iPhone 12 series.
  • iPhone 13 series.
  • iPhone 14 series.
  • iPhone SE gen 2 and 3.
  • iPhone 15 series.

So, the takeaway here is even if your iPhone runs on iOS 17, but its processor is not A12 Bionic or better, you cannot enjoy the depth effect.

Make Sure Depth Effect is Enabled

The depth effect feature is switched on by default. However, sometimes you may turn it off mistakenly. It is wise to make sure that the feature is turned on. Here is how to do so:

  • First, unlock your iPhone through Face ID/Touch ID and wait on the lock screen.
  • Now click “Customize” and then the three dots (…) on the bottom right corner of the display.
  • Make sure there is a tick mark aside "Depth Effect".

enable depth effect

If there is no tick, that means the feature is turned off. In some cases, you will see that the depth effect text is greyed out. It usually happens when you are using an unsupported image. You will find the solution to this later in this article.

Get Rid of the Lock Screen Widgets

Some screen widgets can be incompatible with the depth effect and prevent it from functioning. In this case, the simplest solution is to eliminate the widget. Here is how to do so:

  • Unlock your iPhone through Face ID/Touch ID and wait on the lock screen.
  • Click “Customize” and then tap the widget you want to remove.
  • Press the (-) icon on the widget to remove it.

remove lock screen widgets

Try removing all the widgets following these steps and check if the depth effects work. Using smaller widgets and repositioning your wallpaper may also help get the depth effect back.

Make Sure the Wallpaper Is In . JPEG Format

To take advantage of the depth effect, your wallpaper must be in .JPEG format. That means the depth effect won't work if you use any other photo format than .JPEG. Here is how to check your photo format.

  • Open Photos App and then go to Photos.
  • Tap the "i" icon at the below part of the display.
  • Now check the image format in the Camera Information section.

If the photo is in a different format, consider converting the image to a supported format. Here is how to do this.

  • Select the preferred photo from the Photos app.
  • Tap the Share icon and click “Save to Files”.

photos save to files

  • Select the preferred location for the photo and tap “Save”.
  • Now exit the Photos app and open the File app. Select the image you saved earlier.
  • Click “Quick Action” and then “Convert Image”.
  • Click ".JPEG" and then tap "Original".

That’s it; Now your photo should be converted into JPG. Set the photo as lock screen wallpaper and see if the depth effect work.

Relocate the Wallpaper

Sometimes the depth effect may not work because of the wallpaper position. It is mainly because the subject on the image may cover the widget and clock area, making them hard to read. The good news is that Apple enables you to preview the depth effect in real time to position the subject correctly. Here are the actions you need to pursue to reposition your wallpaper:

  • Unlock your iPhone and stay on the lock screen. Long-press on display to open the lock screen editing mode and then press "Customize".
  • Now long-press the display with two fingers. After doing so, you can use two fingers to move the wallpaper around. You can also utilize pinch gestures to zoom out or zoom in on the wallpaper.
  • By dragging and using the pinch gesture, slowly bring the subject in the wallpaper to the widget area. During the process, you should see the depth effect in action. Keep moving slowly to find the depth effect's limit and reposition the photo accordingly.
  • When you are done, click "Done" from the top-right of the display.

Restart Your iPhone

Restarting the iPhone is an excellent way to quickly get rid of any issues caused by system software glitches. If you have tested all the options above and still can't fix the depth effect error, consider restarting your iPhone. Here is how to do so:

iPhone X or Later Models:

  • If your iPhone doesn't have a home button, hold one of the volume buttons and the side button together until you see the slider.
  • Simply drag the slider to turn off your iPhone. Once the iPhone is off, wait a few seconds. After that, long-press the side switch until you see the Apple logo.

restart iphone x

iPhone 8 or SE:

  • If your iPhone arrives with a Home button, long-press the home button and the side button simultaneously until you see the slider.
  • Unleash the button and turn the slider to switch off the device.
  • Wait a while and long-press the lock button until you see the Apple logo to switch on the device.

restart iphone 8

Check if the depth effect works now.

Update iOS

It is very common that new features may bring small glitches. If the depth effect not working issue arises due to old iOS version, update new iOS shall help.

  • Open iPhone Settings and click on General.
  • Tap the ‘Software Update’ button to download and install the newest iOS version.
  • After updating, the depth effect will work normally as before.

update ios

Part 2. Fix iOS System Issues If Necessary

Apple is one of the world's most efficient and successful smartphone developers, but that doesn't mean that their devices are free from flaws. If you are encountering the depth effect issue along with other system-related issues on iOS 17, then consider using a professional repair tool like FoneGeek iOS System Recovery to get rid of the issue.

FoneGeek iOS System Recovery is capable of solving a lot of system issues on iPhone devices. It is a powerful program that can safely, quickly, and efficiently eliminate all kinds of system problems. Here are some other top features of the tool:

  • Eliminate 200+ system problems of iPhone and iPad without affecting the device data.
  • Enter/exit the recovery mode on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod with one click.
  • Enable you to downgrade iOS system version without the Finder or iTunes.
  • Reset iPhone/iPad without using the paswiscode or iTunes.
  • Compatible with all versions of the iOS software including iPhone 15 and iOS 17.


choose repair mode

Part 3. FAQs about iOS 17 Depth Effect

Q1. Is it possible to disable the depth effect?

Yes, absolutely. You can easily disable the feature from the lock screen customization display (Press 3 horizontal dots > Customization).

Q2. Is it possible to enable both depth effect and perspective zoom together?

Yes, iOS 16 lets you enable both the perspective zoom and depth effect together on your iPhone.

Q3. Does the wallpaper need to be a portrait image to get the depth effect?

Yes, your image should be captured in portrait mode to get the depth effect while using it as lock screen wallpaper.


As you see, you will need to ensure several things to make the depth effect feature work. These include: your iPhone needs to be running on the Bionic 12 processor or later, and the photo needs to be captured in portrait mode and properly positioned. If the feature is still not working, consider utilizing FoneGeek iOS System Recovery to get rid of the issue quickly. The program can also help to fix other issues with the system software of your iPhone.

Joan J. Mims

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.

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