How to Fix if Photo Shuffle is Processing or Not Working on iPhone Lock Screen in iOS 16

photo shuffle not working

iOS 16 has bought a ton of drastic new changes. The lock screen widgets, notifications at the bottom, depth effect wallpapers, etc. Among these new additions of customizations, the Photo Shuffle is also a thing that is being considered by a lot of iPhone users. iOS 16 now lets iPhone users apply a set of photos shuffling constantly.

But there have been scenarios where users are complaining that this feature is not working on their iPhones. Mostly because it says “Photo Shuffle is Processing” when selecting the Photo Shuffle option for the lock screen wallpaper. If you are among those and are seeking a solution for this, here’s a list of tips and workarounds to follow.

photo shuffle not working

How to Fix if Photo Shuffle is not Working

The photo shuffle feature relies heavily on the AI and machine learning of the device to select the photos to be shuffled. Hence there can be a number of possible reasons behind the feature not working. Let’s explore and fix them accordingly.

Fix 1: Give it some time

As I already told you, the iPhone uses AI and ML to select photos that are on your device to shuffle. Hence it can take a long time to do the same if you have a ton of photos saved in your storage. The device thoroughly analyzes the photos and segregates them accordingly one by one into different categories.

As per what some users have reported, it can take up to 2 days for the phone to process 10,000 photos on the device for Photo Shuffle. Some users have even reported that it took a week for them to get the processing completed. Hence, if you have too many photos on your device, it is a good idea to have a little patience to get the feature working.

Fix 2: Switch b/w Shuffle Frequencies

There are different frequencies and events that you can set for when the photo will shuffle. It is possible that some glitch in the Shuffle Frequency is causing the issue. Hence try to change the shuffle frequency on the device. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Unlock your iPhone while staying on the lock screen tap and hold on to the screen to access the lock screen edit mode.
  2. Once you are in the lock screen edit mode, tap on the Customize option.

    customize lock screen ios 16
  3. Tap on the three-dot icon on the bottom right of the screen.

    more options photo shuffle
  4. Now, under the Shuffle Frequency section, tickmark the On Tap or On Lock option.

    photo shuffle frequency
  5. Finally, tap on the Done option on the top right of the screen to save the changes and exit the edit mode.

    done customizing lock screen

Once done, lock your iPhone and unlock it to see if the photos are now shuffling. If you have selected the On Tap option, the lock screen and see if the shuffling is in action or not.

Fix 3: Choose Photos Manually

If you are eager to try the feature, then you can try selecting the photos manually from your iPhone. To do so:

  1. On the “Photo Shuffle is processing” screen tap on the Choose Photos Manually option.

    choose photos manually
  2. On the next screen, select the Use Featured Photos option.

    use featured photos
  3. Now select the desired photos and tap on the Add button on the top right of the screen.

    select and add photos to shuffle
  4. Once done, your selected photos will get added to the shuffle and can be seen on the lock screen.

    selected photos added to shuffle

Fix 3: Use Focus Modes manually

The Photo Shuffle feature relies on the timer that runs in the background to shuffle b/w photos. But this timer gets reset every time a focus mode is activated. Hence it is a good idea to keep the photo shuffle frequency to On Tap or On Lock. Setting that frequency to Daily or Hourly will pose issues with the shuffle if a scheduled focus mode is active. This is irrespective of whether your lock screen is linked with that focus mode or not.

Hence the best solution in my opinion is to use the On Tap or On Lock shuffle frequency as shown in Fix 2. Alternately, if possible stop using the scheduled focus and activate the focus mode manually.

Fix 4: Enable Featured Content

Turning off the Featured Content option in the Photos app prevents the same from analyzing the photos and creating categories. And doing so can lead to fewer photos in the categories, posing issues for the Photo Shuffle feature to work properly. Here are the steps to enable Featured Content for the Photos app.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

    iphone settings
  2. Scroll down and go to the Photos option.

    settings app select photos
  3. Once you are on the Photos settings screen, scroll down a bit and enable the Featured Content option located under the MEMORIES & FEATURED PHOTOS section.

    enable featured content photos

Once the Featured Content option gets enabled, the phone will start analyzing the photos on it in the background. Now sit back and wait for your iPhone to complete this process and curate the featured content tab. Once done, you can proceed with the creation of a new Photos Shuffle lock screen.

Fix 5: Hard Reset your iPhone

It is possible that the iOS 16 is experiencing some system glitch. in such a case, performing a hard reset to your iPhone may help. A hard reset can serve as a solution to a lot of problems that often come into the experience. Here’s how you can hard reset your iPhone.

  • Press ad releases the volume up button of your iPhone quickly.
  • Then, similarly, press and quickly release the volume down button.
  • Lastly, hold down the iPhone’s side button until you see the Apple logo on your screen.

Fix 6: Reset All Settings on your iPhone

Next, you can also try resetting all settings of your iPhone. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Fire up the Settings app on your iPhone and go to General.

    ios settings general fix photo shuffle
  2. On the general settings page, scroll down and tap on the Transfer or Reset iPhone option.

    transfer or reset iphone settings
  3. On the next screen, tap on the Reset option.

    reset iphone settings
  4. On the popup list of options, tap on the Reset All Settings option.

    reset all settings iOS 16

Doing so will make your iPhone reboot with all the settings getting reset. Once the reset is done, try the Photo Shuffle and see if the issue is resolved.

Fix 7: Check for Updates

The iOS 16 is fairly a just launched version and hence it is quite possible that the recent update that you installed was prone to issues with the Photo Shuffle hence it is a good idea to check for a new update and install it.

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

    iphone settings
  • Next, go to General > Software Update.
  • If there is an update available, go ahead and download, and install it by following the on-screen instructions.

    Update software on your iPhone

Fix 8: Set Up your iPhone as New

Lastly, if nothing works, you can try erasing everything on your iPhone and setting it up as a new one. This will make sure to bring your device back to how it was when bought new. But before proceeding, we would advise you to back up your device as all the data on your iPhone will get erased. with that said, here’s how to set up your iPhone as new.

  1. Open the Settings app and go to General.

    ios settings general fix photo shuffle
  2. Next tap on the Transfer or Reset iPhone option at the bottom.

    transfer or reset iphone settings
  3. On the next screen, tap on the Erase All Content and Settings option.

    delete all data ios 16
  4. On the next screen, tap on the Continue button to confirm that you are aware of what you are heading towards.

    continue erasing content
  5. You’ll now be asked for the passcode in order to proceed further.

    enter your passcode
  6. Now, enter the login credentials of your Apple ID in order to turn off Find My on the iPhone.

    enter your apple id password
  7. After entering your Apple ID credentials correctly, tap on the Turn Off option on the top right of the screen.

    turn off after enter apple id password
  8. Finally, tap on the Erase option.

Doing so will restart your iPhone and will get reset will all the data and settings erased completely. Once the phone boots up, set it up by following the on-screen instructions.

Bottom Line

And that’s it. These were the possible tips and fixes that you can try to get rid of the non-functioning Photo Shuffle on your iPhone. The issue mainly occurs when the iPhone is loaded with a ton of photos that are still processing in the background or the lock screen interruption with the feature is constantly resetting the Photo Shuffle timer.

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Posted by
Bhanu Pratap

Hi! I am Bhanu Pratap, co-founder of Yorker Media Group. A die-heart fan of tech and keeps track of every little happening of the same. When not writing, I usually keep myself busy on YouTube making and exploring new and awesome tech content.

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