How to Change Your iPhone’s Sleep Mode if Your Screen Dims Too Fast

Need to stop your iPhone’s screen from going to sleep? Does your screen dim too fast and go black, placing your iPhone in standby before you want it to? Let’s wake it up! iPhones and iPads are designed to go into sleep mode automatically, with the default sleep setting at 60 seconds. You’ll notice your screen dim after 15 and then go blank. Once the device has gone into sleep mode, you have to press the Home button and unlock your device to use it again. Forget about it; change the sleep timer (aka auto-lock) on your phone instead. Here’s how to keep your iPhone from going to sleep.

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This can be a frustrating feature, but it’s intended to help you save on battery life by dimming and then turning off the display. But if you’re tired of having to unlock your iPhone over and over, you can easily change the default sleep setting. You can have auto-lock wait to put your phone to sleep for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes, or even never. How quickly you want your screen to dim is up to you, but remember the longer you wait before sleep mode kicks in, the more battery it will use.

To change the screen sleep timer on your iPhone or iPad,

  • Open Settings.

  • Tap General.

  • Select Auto-Lock.

  • Set the sleep timer to your preferred time. 2 minutes is probably a good place to start, and if you find your screen still dims too fast you can also change that in the future.  

If you decide to set your sleep mode settings to an extended time, remember you can always cut it short by tapping the Sleep/Wake button. That way, if you’re using your iPhone a lot, the screen won’t suddenly go black on you. But you’ll also save battery when the phone isn’t in use. If you want to power down your device completely, hold down the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears on the screen. Then drag the slider.



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Rich Hall has written about Handheld and Pocket computers for the last 13 years. He is the Editor of Pocket PC magazine and former editor of The HP Palmtop Paper, the NEC Ultralite Connection and the HP Portable Paper. He began his career as a high school Math and English teacher. Rich lives in Fairfield, Iowa, with his wife, Lucinda, and their children, Robert and Ella. You can contact him at