How to keep iPhone from ruining your square lock-screen photos


It's hip to be square.
It's hip to be square.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’ve ever tried to set a square photo as your lock screen or homes screen wallpaper, you know that iOS will zoom into the photo, resizing it to fit the entire iPhone screen.

This is fine with some images, but square ones, like the ones you save on Instagram or take with your iPhone’s square photo feature, just zoom in too far, obscuring much of the photo.

Here’s a quick and easy work around that will let you see the whole square photo when you use it as wallpaper.

First of all, you’ll need a square photo. Take one with your iPhone’s square photo feature in the Camera app, or download one from Instagram and get it into your Photo Roll on your iPhone.

Next, bring up the photo in the Photos app on your iPhone. Tap the image itself once to get rid of all the share and editing buttons. You’ll get a black border around the square photo.

Next, press the Home and Power buttons at the same time. Your iPhone screen will flash white and–if the sound is up–you’ll hear a camera shutter sound. Be sure to press them both at the same exact moment, or you’ll just end up with a locked screen or the Home screen of your iPhone.

Set your photo options here.
Set your photo options here.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre / Cult of Mac

Now, head back into your Photos app and find the screenshot you just took. It should be the very last photo you took, or you’ll find it in iOS 9’s Screenshots smart album. Tap the picture once to see it, and then hit the Share button to reveal the sharing options. Look along the bottom row of icons until you see the Use as Wallpaper button, and then choose Still, then hit Set. You’ll then get to decide if you want to set just the Lock Screen, just the Home Screen, or both.


Now you have a square photo as your wallpaper; maybe someday Apple will make this easier and offer a non-zoomed square photo option.

Via: OS X Daily

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  • lol there’s a reason Apple doesn’t allow this (anymore, I think they used to back on iOS 6 and below), it looks terrible.

  • Sky

    The zoomed version looks much better than the square one…. Maybe the square one looks good after drinking all those bottles of Asti? ;-)

  • Mickyuki

    Interesting! I think it’s a nice solution for the ones who want to use family shot as lock screen. :)