How to Reduce Motion on Your iPhone

Turn off the parallax effect and stop the queasiness

A lock screen on an iPhone

JESHOOTS-com / Pixabay

The iPhone's parallax wallpapers and motion effects can make your experience more dynamic and fun, but they can also be distracting, annoying, or, even worse, make you queasy. Luckily, it's possible to turn this feature off and keep all of your app icons and screens from moving around.

Here's everything you need to know about the iPhone's motion effects, and how to find the setting to turn them off.

These instructions apply to any iPhone running iOS 7.1 or later.

What Are the iPhone's Screen Motion Effects?

Starting with iOS 7, Apple introduced both dynamic and parallax wallpapers along with some other effects that give using the iPhone a slightly different feel. The most prevalent ones are a "zoom" effect when transitioning between screens (for example, when opening an app or returning to the Home screen) and some animations in particular apps like Weather. The new operating system also ushered in some new features for users' wallpaper, and the one that might cause some grief is the parallax effect.

Parallax is a shifting of perspective when viewing an object from different angles, particularly while you're moving. So if you're riding in a car on the interstate and look out the window, distant mountains will appear to pass by more slowly than closer trees.

What this means for the iPhone is that parallax wallpapers sit on a different "layer" than the app icons on the Home screen and move when you tilt your phone. And if all of this zooming and shifting turns your stomach, here are a few ways to stop these effects from ruining your day.

How to Turn On Reduce Motion on iPhone

The iPhone has a single setting that will deactivate the transition effects, special animations, and parallax wallpaper. This is the path you should take if you like things static and simple.

  1. Open Settings and tap General.

  2. Tap Accessibility.

  3. Under the Vision heading, select Reduce Motion.

  4. Tap the Reduce Motion toggle to on (green).

    Accessibility, Reduce Motion, Reduce Motion toggle to ON in iOS settings
    Screenshot

Enabling Reduced Motion also opens up another option named Auto-Play Message Effects. This lets you decide whether or not the text or screen effects in Messages, like the balloons that float across the screen when you tell someone "Happy Birthday," will happen on their own. It's up to you whether you want to enable this, as it doesn't affect the wallpaper or motion effects at all.

How to Turn On Low-Power Mode

If your iPhone is running iOS 9 or later, you can also use the battery-saving Low-Power Mode to disable motion effects. Here's how to turn it on.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap Battery.

  3. Tap the Low Power Mode toggle to on (green).

    Battery, Low Power Mode in iOS settings
    Screenshot 

How to Make Still Wallpapers

If you like the transitional motion effects but just want to turn off the parallax wallpapers, you can have it both ways by selecting a particular option when you set your background.

  1. Open Settings and tap Wallpaper.

  2. Tap Choose a New Wallpaper.

    Wallpaper, Choose a New Wallpaper in iOS settings
    Screenshot
  3. Browse through the included options, or select a picture from your Camera Roll to find the wallpaper you want.

  4. Once you've chosen the image you want, tap Still at the bottom of the screen. Then, tap Set and choose whether you want this picture as your Lock Screen, Home Screen, or both.

    Still wallpaper on iOS
    Screenshot