iOS 16 limitations: 200 lock screens per iPhone, 50 wallpapers per lock screen

iOS 16 won’t let you create more than 200 custom lock screens on your iPhone, but who in their right mind would want to cycle through that many lock screens anyway?

iPhone 14 Pro Max with the clownfish lock screen wallpaper, laid flat on a marble table
Believe it or not, there are also limits on how many Focus modes and home screens you can create on your iPhone | Image: Jeremy Bezanger / Unsplash
  • What’s happening? Someone took it upon themselves to create as many custom lock screens on their iPhone as the system allows. They hit a limit of 200 lock screens per device though this isn’t the only ceiling in terms of the lock screen.
  • Why care? Now you know that iOS 16 imposes a ceiling on how many custom lock screens your iPhone can have.
  • What to do? Fretting about this? Don’t. Remember, there are more important things in life than juggling between 200 custom lock screens.

How many custom iOS 16 lock screens can you create?

iOS 16 brought the ability to personalize your lock screen with custom fonts, colors, widgets and so on. By touching and holding your lock screen, you enter a built-in editor where you can create multiple lock screens, each with its own design, and switch between them by swiping. Read: How to use lock screen widgets

Someone on Reddit has determined that iOS 16 won’t let you create more than 200 custom lock screens per iPhone. Attempting to create yet another lock screen after hitting this limit will greet you with a “Wallpaper Limit Reached” message, saying you must delete at least one custom lock screen before creating a new one.

No more than 50 walls per lock screen

And as it turns out, there’s also a limit of 50 wallpapers for each lock screen (when using the option to cycle through a set of images).

None of this should be problematic if your lock screen strategy comes down to setting a lock screen you like and forgetting about all the others. But those limits do exist and Apple doesn’t seem to have thought them through very well.

Say you created about 200 custom lock screens.

Does Apple honestly expect you to swipe through 137 lock screens to get to the one you like? A search feature would solve that problem. Or, how about a top-down view of all the lock screens, like in Safari to view open tabs? There needs to be a better way to shuffle through our lock screens! And where’s my reordering functionality?

I can delete individual lock screens (swipe up, then hit the trashcan icon), but where’s a Delete All option to quickly delete all lock screens in one fell swoop and start over? How about selecting multiple lock screens to delete at once? Read: How to customize the Batteries widget on your iPhone’s lock screen

Other lock screen limitations

Other limitations apply to iOS 16’s revamped lock screen, like not being able to position the widgets anywhere you like. And one that especially ticks me off: Adding a widget below the clock disables the depth effect for the wallpaper).

iOS 16.1, which is around the corner, will attempt to address some of those annoyances by adding improved wallpaper management to Settings → Wallpaper.

From there, you’ll be able to see your both lock and home screen wallpapers, as well as swipe through your existing custom lock screens.