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How to add widgets to your iPhone lock screen on iOS 16

With iOS 16, Apple has made the lock screen oh so customizable. It's the most personable part of your experience next to the home screen and something you interact with on a daily basis.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • iPhone 8 or newer

  • iOS 16

Apple now lets you add widgets directly to your lock screen, a feature that feeds directly into the always-on display on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

This means you can add an app like the Clock app or the Fitness app to your lock screen and view your upcoming alarms or daily step count. Beyond Apple's own apps, perhaps daily affirmations and the like from a motivational app, or your most recent Facebook comments would be welcome on your lock screen. You can even get a distance apart widget to see how close/far away you and a loved one are.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of sprucing up your iOS 16 lock screen with all the widgets you need.

How to add widgets to your lock screen on iOS 16

Adding widgets to your iPhone lock screen is done the same way as changing any part of the lock screen. It's a little different from what Apple's had in the years prior, but it should be easy enough once you get used to it.

Step 1: Go to your iPhone lock screen and press and hold on any blank space to enter the lock screen menu. From here, tap Customize and choose your lock screen as your customization target.

Step 2: Look under the clock, and you should see an Add widgets prompt there. Tap on it to begin the widget-adding process.

Step 3: A widget picker will appear that displays all widgets on your iPhone. This will include many of Apple's own apps, as well as third-party apps that have been updated to support them.

Step 4: Pick your widgets. You are allowed to choose up to four, though the configuration will be dictated by the style of widget you pick. You can pick up to four small widgets, two large ones, or a single large one and two smaller ones.

Step 5: Once you've chosen your desired widget selection, tap Done to finish. If you're making a new lock screen, you'll see Set as wallpaper pair — tap and save.

An iPhone 14 laying on top of a succulent. Its display is on and shows the lock screen.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

iOS 16 widgets could stand to be improved, certainly. Apple could let you customize them by adding even more widget space to the lock screen rather than the limited four, or the company could make some of them more interactable a la live activities. That said, with access to full widgets just a swipe away, iOS 16 lock screen widgets help the new lock screen to be more customizable than ever.

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