The complete guide to customizing the iOS 16 lock screen

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So, the lock screen customization is the big highlight of iOS 16, and Apple dedicated nearly 10 minutes of precious showtime to the ins and outs of iOS’ newfangled lock screen customization during the iOS 16 announcement. However, the features are only limited to the iPhone, at least for now, and we suppose that iPadOS will be scoring the lock screen customization in a future update. iOS 16 is currently in public beta, and that’s the software our lock screen customization overview is based on. Note that things may change by the time iOS 16 is finalized and released this fall.

iOS 16 is undoubtedly going to be a fascinating software update, especially for fans of personalization. iOS has gained a significant number of features that close the gap with Android in just a few years (but Android has been doing the same, so it’s fine), and it appears that the gaps between the two sworn enemies are getting smaller every single year.


  • To open the lock screen customization options, unlock your iPhone and hold a finger down on your lock screen. You will see different lock screen templates and two buttons, as shown below. If you tap on the “+” button, your iPhone will open the “Add New Wallpaper” section, and if you tap on the “Customize” button, you will be able to customize your lock screen. Another way to open the customization options is via Settings > Wallpaper, and either tap on “Customize” or on “Add New Wallpaper.” Then, your iPhone will display a message with two options: to “Customize Current Wallpaper” or to “Add New Wallpaper.”

  • Wallpaper – There are seven types of wallpapers to choose from, including Weather, Astronomy, and color gradients. You can also make your own emoji wallpapers.  Clock – You can customize the font, color, and even change the numeral system of your lock screen clock. Widgets – You can add several (up to five) lock screen widgets, thus getting the information you need at a glance

However, if you want an out-of-the-ordinary lock screen, well, the next option is just for you. It’s called Emoji, and it enables you to create a wallpaper full of different emojis. You can choose a maximum of six emojis. For example, you can set a smiling face, a red heart, a soccer ball, an Apple Watch, an iPhone, and a MacBook. The result will be like the picture below. You can even change the layout of the emojis and the background color of the wallpaper. With this section, you can make countless combinations with various emojis.

With Apple’s new lock screen customization options, you can create different combinations of wallpapers, widgets, and clocks that match your style or better fit your current activity. And for fans of Apple’s Focus mode, you can even create and set a focus-oriented lock screen/wallpaper combos. The first option is Photos. It enables you to set one of your pictures as a lock screen wallpaper. Next in line is People. This category contains images of people that you have photographed. After that, we have the Photo Shuffle option, which can be set to change your lock screen wallpaper automatically every day, every hour, or every time you wake or tap your phone. You can create a selection of your best pics for the Photo Shuffle option to — well — shuffle.


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