How to Change Your iPhone’s Sleep Mode If Your Screen Dims Too Fast (UPDATED for iOS 11)


Need to stop your iPhone’s or iPad's screen from going to sleep? Does your iPad or iPhone 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 your iPhone screen will go black. Once the iPhone or iPad has gone into sleep mode, you have to press the Home button and unlock your device to use it again. A common misconeption is that sleep mode on older iPhones is different from sleep mode on the newer iPhones. It's the operating system that affects how you adjust iPhone sleep mode, not the model of iPhone. Here’s how to stop your iPhone from going to sleep before you're ready.

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This can be a frustrating feature if your iPhone keeps turning off by itself, but it’s intended to help you save on battery life by dimming and then turning off the display and locking the phone to prevent anyone from accessing an unsupervised iPhone. But if you’re tired of having to unlock your iPhone over and over, you can easily keep your iPhone from locking by changing the settings for auto-lock on iPhone. You can change auto lock on your iPhone so your iPhone turns itself off after 30 seconds, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes, or even Never to keep your iPhone on until you are ready to turn it off manually by pressing the Side button. How quickly you want your screen to dim is up to you, but remember the longer you wait before iPhone sleep mode kicks in, the more battery it will use.

How to Change Auto-Lock on iPhone with iOS 11:

  • Open Settings.
  • Tap Display & Brightness.
  • Select Auto-Lock.
  • Set the sleep timer to the time that works best for you or select Never to turn of Auto-Lock on iPhone.

If you decide to set your sleep mode settings to an extended time, remember you can always cut it short by tapping the Side 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 Side 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