Why aren’t my widgets working on the lock screen on iOS 16? Here’s how to fix it in 7 ways
iOS 16 adds a bunch of visual changes to your iPhone with the lock screen making the most of the new features. In addition to customizing your lock screen with depth effect, new clock styles and more wallpapers, you can now add widgets to your lock screen so you can check relevant information about the ephor without unlocking it. Lock screen widgets are not only visible when you unlock them, but on iPhone 14 Pro you can see them on the always-on screen even when the iPhone is locked and kept on a table.
If you’re having trouble adding or using lock screen widgets on iOS 16, the following post should help you understand why it’s happening and how to fix it.
Why don’t some lock screen widgets work on iOS 16?
Widgets on the iPhone lock screen are new to iOS 16, so it’s expected that you might run into a problem or two when adding them to your device. There are many reasons why you might be facing a problem with lock screen widgets and here are a few:
- You have not yet set up the widget’s app on your iPhone: For a lock screen widget to work, iOS requires you to use the app on your device at least once after updating to iOS 16. This pre-measure is to ensure that the app was not mistakenly installed on the iPhone.
- Widget support is not yet available for an app: Since iOS 16 has only been out for a few days, not all app developers have rolled out lock screen widget support for their apps. This may be why you can’t find the app’s widget from the Add Widgets menu on the lock screen.
- You have not updated the app to the latest version: Because lock screen widgets are new on iOS 16, apps can only offer you their own widgets when you update their app from the App Store.
- You have not given the widget access to your location: Some widgets that are apps on iOS require you to know where you are in order to provide you with relevant information. The weather widgets, for example, can only work as long as they have access to your location; otherwise, the widget will not show you any useful information.
- You have enabled low power mode: When Low Power Mode is turned on, your iPhone prevents apps and widgets from working in the background. This may be why some widgets take a little too long to fetch new data on the lock screen.
- You have added widgets from apps that have Background App Refresh disabled: Similar to when Low Power Mode is enabled, if the app you’ve added widgets from doesn’t have Background App Refresh enabled, it won’t be able to fetch new data periodically, so these widgets may show new information less often.
- There is an internal problem with iOS and your widgets: iOS 16 is still relatively new; which makes the lock screen widgets a new feature as well. If for some reason you can’t add or use a lock screen widget, it’s better to wait it out than look for a solution.
How to fix lock screen widgets on iOS 16
Depending on the problem you are facing, you can check out the following fixes to get the lock screen widgets working again on iPhone.
If you’re unable to find an app from the Add Widgets menu, chances are the widgets you’re trying to add are from an app you recently installed and haven’t even opened on your iPhone. To use an app’s lock screen widgets, iOS requires that you use the app at least once and have it set up so that its widgets appear in the Add Widgets menu. This rule applies even to apps you previously used on iOS 15 but haven’t opened since you updated your iPhone to iOS 16.
When you install an app on iOS 16 for the sole purpose of using the lock screen widgets, you need to open it first. If the app prompts you for an initial setup, perform the necessary actions to configure it to your liking. When you’re done, you can check if the app’s widgets now appear in the Add Widgets menu on the lock screen.
Fix #2: Update the app to the latest version or reinstall it
iOS 16 is still relatively new, and that makes lock screen widgets a new feature for apps. If an app developer recently added support for lock screen widgets to their app’s latest version, you’ll need to update that app on your iPhone to add their widgets.
You can update an existing app on your iPhone by opening App Store and go to your account by tapping your account picture Upper right. When your account screen loads, find the app you want to update and tap Update on the right to install the latest version. Once updated, make sure you open the app at least once before adding the widgets to your lock screen.
If updating an app doesn’t show the lock screen widgets on your iPhone, try reinstalling it. To do so, long press the app’s icon from the home screen or the app library, tap Remove app and confirm the action. Once removed, open App Store and search for the app you just removed and install it from there.
Fix #3: Enable location services for widgets like Weather
Like apps, some lock screen widgets need location access to retrieve relevant data to display. For example, the native Weather app on iOS has lock screen widgets that you can add to tell you the current temperature, weather conditions, sunrise and sunset, and more only if you give the Weather app location access. If you don’t, the app’s lock screen widget won’t work as intended.
If the app whose widgets you want to use requires access to location services, you must turn on location services on iPhone by going to Settings > Privacy and security > Location services. Once enabled, select the widget’s app (in this case Weather) and allow it to access your location when using widgets. You can do that by choosing While using the App or Widgets inside the app’s screen.
Fix #4: Make sure the app has lock screen widgets
Since it’s a fairly new feature on iPhones, not all app developers have added lock screen widget support to their apps. If you want to add widgets to the lock screen, make sure your app’s current version supports this feature on iOS 16.
You can do this by checking the app’s listing in the App Store and by contacting the app’s developers on Twitter. This means you won’t be able to add widgets to the lock screen from any app installed on your iPhone.
Fix #5: Disable Low Power Mode
Low Power Mode is an important tool on iPhones to extend battery life to its full potential. Keeping low power mode enabled on your iPhone at all times essentially turns off background app updating, which in turn prevents apps on your device from fetching data from the internet while running in the background.
If you have widgets from such apps, they may not be able to show you relevant information immediately as the app does not access the internet as often as it requires. Because of this, you may see widgets that do not display the latest information or take too long to reload.
If the lock screen widgets on your iPhone aren’t showing the latest information, try disabling low power mode from time to time to allow the widget’s app access to fetch data in the background. You can disable Low PowerMode by going to Settings > Battery > Low power mode.
If you have the Low Power Mode control added to the Control Center, you can disable it directly from here by pressing Low power mode chip from Control center.
Fix #6: Restart your iPhone
Lock screen widgets are the newest feature of iOS 16. Since it is a relatively new offering, there is a chance that an app widget may go wrong in the first few days of use, either due to the app’s software code or iOS 16. If you’ve already added the widgets to your lock screen and they’re not working, or if you can’t find the app’s widgets in the Add Widget menu, the easiest way to fix minor issues is to restart your iPhone.
You can restart your iPhone by following these instructions:
- On iPhones with Face ID (iPhone X, 11, 12, 13 and 14 series): Press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until you see the power off slider. When the slider appears, drag it to the right to turn off your iPhone. After the iPhone is completely turned off, wait for 30 seconds and press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.
- On iPhones with Touch ID (iPhone SE 2nd/3rd generation and iPhone 8): Press and hold the side button until you see the power off slider. When the slider appears, drag it to the right to turn off your iPhone. After the iPhone is completely turned off, wait for 30 seconds and press and hold the side button until the Apple logo appears.
You can now check if the widgets are available on the lock screen or if you can add them from the Add Widgets menu.
Fix #6: Try changing your system language on iOS
Some widgets, such as apps on iOS, only work in popular languages, as support for other languages may not be available at the moment. If the system language of your iPhone is set to something other than English, you can choose English (US) or English (UK) as the system language if the app’s widgets are so important to you. You can change the default language of your iPhone by going to Settings > General > Language and region.
Fix #7: Turn on background app refresh for the widget’s app
As we explained above, low power mode on iPhone can prevent apps from fetching data in the background. However, even with low power mode disabled, some widgets will not be able to show you updated information periodically if the app cannot use background app refresh. Only when you enable the app’s Background App Refresh toggle will you be able to use the lock screen widgets, as the app will now be able to fetch data from the internet periodically.
To fix an app’s widgets to display updated information correctly, go to Settings > General > Refresh background app and then turn on the switch for the app whose widgets you want to use. You can only configure this setting when Low Power Mode is disabled on your iPhone, so follow the steps in repair #5 to get it done.
That’s all you need to know about fixing lock screen widgets on iOS 16.