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How to Stop iPhone Widget Stacks From Automatically Changing

Widget Stack on iPhone Switching Automatically

Widget stacks are a great way to cycle through multiple widgets on your iPhone’s home screen. Annoyingly, iOS automatically changes widgets based on the time of day and your usage. Here’s how to stop iPhone widget stacks from automatically changing.

Starting in iOS 14, Apple introduced widgets on the iPhone home screen. There’s a built-in Smart Stack widget that automatically cycles through widgets in the stack. It’s supposed to show you the correct widget at the right time. For example, it will show you the Calendar widget when you have an upcoming appointment and your personal photos at night.

While the Smart Stack widget is quite useful, the problem is that every widget stack you create manually also becomes a smart stack because it has the Smart Rotate feature enabled. If you are customizing your home screen with multiple widget stacks, you might want consistency. It might be jarring to come back to your iPhone with all your widgets showing something different.

Turning off the Smart Rotate feature stops widget stacks from automatically changing. First, let’s take a look at the process of creating a widget stack.

RELATED: How to Create a Widget Stack on Your iPhone Home Screen

Go to a home screen on your iPhone and tap and hold on an empty part of the display. Now, tap the “+” button in the top-left corner. You’ll see a widget selection screen. Tap on an app to see every widget available for the app.

Now, select a widget (small, medium, or large size) and tap the “Add Widget” button to add the widget to your home screen.

Add Widget To Home Screen

To create a widget stack, you need more than one widget. You can add up to 10 widgets to a stack.

Again, press the “+” button from the home screen editing view (Jiggle mode) and select an app. Navigate to the widget you want to add to the stack. It has to be the same size as the previous widget. Now, tap and hold the widget preview.

The widget will now start floating. You’ll see your home screen again. Keep your finger on the screen and bring the new widget on top of the old widget.

Once they’re on top of each other (and you see a gray outline around the widgets), lift your finger. You have just created a widget stack. You can repeat this process to add more widgets.

Add another widget as stack

Now, to disable the Smart Rotate feature, tap on the widget when you’re in the home screen editing mode.

Tap on a widget to customize it

If you’re not in the home screen editing mode, you can press and hold the widget stack and choose the “Edit Stack” option.

Tap Edit Stack from widget options

Here, from the top of the screen, tap the toggle next to the “Smart Rotate” option to disable the feature.

Tap on Smart Rotate toggle

The widget stack will now stop changing and rotating randomly.


Customizing your iPhone home screen? Kick things up a notch by creating your own custom widgets!

RELATED: How to Create Custom Widgets on iPhone

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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