How to fix your iOS 7 wallpaper bug

With iOS 7 came a complete makeover of the look and feel of Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS). It also came with at least one bug however, and one that annoys me to no end. After trying several solutions offered on the interwebs, I finally found one that works. Today I’m sharing my troubleshooting steps with you, so you won’t have to spend as many hours searching as I have.

The problem

On your iOS 7 device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), you set a wallpaper of your own choosing (so not one of Apple’s pre-installed ones). You find that your device zooms in without you being able to control any of it: you’re unable to pinch it smaller to fit your screen. Neither can you resize the image itself to fit the screen, for whatever you do, iOS 7 renders your image too large for your screen anyway.

Working towards a solution

You may try different steps, any one of which might work for you. I’m sure there’s more ways out there, but here’s the steps I’ve found so far.

Step 1: Disable the parallax effect

The parallax effect in iOS7 creates the illusion of a multilayered 3D background, with the wallpaper on a separate plane from text, app icons, clock, etc. When you tilt the device around, it creates an illusion of depth. Because of this effect, your wallpapers need more cushion on the sides to allow them to move freely around as you tilt your device. For some people the bug is fixed by simply turning the parallax effect off. You can go to your Settings for that: Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Reduce Motion and turn it ON.


Step 2: There’s an app for that

Disabling the parallax effect does not fix the problem for everybody, including myself. Another option could be resizing your wallpaper with an app. So far I’ve read about two that seem to work.

a. Wallax – Scale, Resize & Make your own wallpapers for iOS 7 ($0,99 / €0,79). This app claims to enable you to scale your wallpapers to fit screen with the Padded wallpaper option. If this app really works, you will have no more zoomed or misaligned wallpapers. I haven’t tried this app myself though, since I wasn’t willing to pay for what’s basically an Apple bug fix, unless I absolutely had to. So I can’t confirm this result.

b. InstaSize ($4,99 / €4,49). I haven’t tried this one myself either mind you, but I read that it did work for several people, so I thought I’d mention it anyway. It seems that you can open your picture in InstaSize and reduce the image overall. You then share it with the gallery, which saves it to the camera roll.  From here you’re able to set the picture as the lock screen image. It might take a few tries to get the correct size in InstaSize, but it seems to have worked for several people. As I said, I don’t know by experience that it will, but who knows, maybe it does for you.

Step 3: Workaround

If steps 1 and 2 do nothing for you, here’s a workaround that worked for me. Go into Photo gallery > turn your iOS device to landscape mode > screenshot the now smaller picture > set as a wallpaper in portrait mode.
Not perfect for iPad, for it only really works for wallpapers in portrait mode, but still it works pretty well until the bug is fixed. For iPhone/iPod Touch however this is the workaround – since the iPhone/iPod Touch wallpapers are always in portrait orientation!

So, I hope I’ve been able to be of some help to you guys out there, at least until Apple decides to fix this bug! (if ever…)


Thanks to this workaround I can finally fit the wallpaper of my choice to perfectly fit my iPad’s skin!