How to Stop the iPhone from Magnifying Your Wallpaper Photos

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology

“Why must my iPhone magnify any picture I want to make my wallpaper?” our dear friend Colin Hanks wondered aloud on Twitter Thursday morning.

Hey, Colin. Hope you’re well. Very good question. Here’s a quick explanation of why your iPhone’s iOS 7 automatically zooms in on a photo when you’re trying to set it as your wallpaper, and instructions for how to fix it.

With iOS 7 came the introduction of paralax, a sometimes-nauseating feature that creates foreground and background motion as your line of sight changes. This effect requires some cushion on the sides of whatever wallpaper photo you choose in order to move around freely as you tilt your device. 

Turn off paralax by going to Settings → General → Accessibility → Reduce Motion.

(Turning off paralax, by the way, is a great way to improve battery life.)

Now go back to Settings  Wallpaper & Brightness. Under Choose Wallpaper, tap whichever screen you’d like to modify. Pick your photo.

You’ll notice that whatever image you choose will be less magnified. Not perfectly zoomed out, but definitely an improvement. 

That’s about it! Hope I helped, Colin. Say hi to your dad for me.

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