iOS 7: How to Disable the iPhone’s Parallax Effect

| TMO Quick Tip

Now that iOS 7 is in the wild I'm getting some interesting questions, like one from a friend who discovered the parallax motion effect that moves the background behind the Home screen icons triggers their migraines. How do you fix that, they asked. Simple: enable Reduce Motion.

Tilting your iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, or iPhone 5s creates a cool effect where the background subtly moves to create a sense of depth. The problem is that, for some people, the effect is hard on their eyes and can even trigger migraine headaches. Here's how to disable it:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap General
  • Tap Accessibility
  • Enable Reduce Motion

Does the parallax effect in iOS 7 hurt your eyes? Enable Reduce MotionDoes the parallax effect in iOS 7 hurt your eyes? Enable Reduce Motion

With Reduce Motion enabled the parallax effect you see on the lock screen and Home screen go away. It may be a subtle change, but for some people it's a big deal.

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Why disable it? This is the only thing about iOS 7’s appearance that I actually like.

Well, if you get migraines then sure.

It’s going to take me a while to get used to iOS 7 though.  iOS 6, while a little gaudy at times with some skeumorphism, still was much prettier with it’s glass, shadows, and textures.  It felt like a real, comfortable object I could touch.  iOS 7 feels like a retro space game’s idea of a futuristic computer. Flat, simple, shiny lines over dark backgrounds (lock screen), and fancy animations (parallax, zoom in/out).

dehoopta 1

I call BS.  The parallax effect is so minimal that you really have to look hard to notice it.  Maybe that is what is triggering the migraines.


And even when you do turn off this “feature”, you still can’t see your whole picture as your wallpaper. If I take a photo, I want to see ALL of it, not what Apple feels good about. A rare fail on Apple’s part.


akcarver - I think it’s always been that way. I have had to edit the photos I wanted to use as wallpaper to the exact screen resolution to get the desired effect.

dehoopta 1 - I have to agree, I *think* I can see the parallax effect on my iPhone 5, but I’m not really sure. I checked the settings above to make sure reduced motion was off, but I just don’t see it. Stuff sure zooms in and out a lot though, that’s kind of annoying.

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