(2018) How to Change Auto Lock Time on iPhone & iPad (& Fix "iPhone Keeps Locking" Bug)

How to Change Your iPhone's Autolock Time

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If your iPhone keeps going to lock screen after showing a black screen and then a spinning wheel—we've got a fix below. At the beginning of this article, we're going to show you how to fix the "iPhone keeps locking" problem many iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 users running iOS 11 are having. If you simply want to turn off Auto-Lock or change how quickly your screen dims, we'll cover that as well. What is Auto-Lock? Auto-Lock on iPhone and iPad dims the screen after a set amount of time in order to conserve battery life and prevent others from accessing your unlocked iPhone. You can choose to disable Auto-Lock, but it will cut into your battery life when you don't have an iPhone screen lock time. 

If your iPhone is in Low Power Mode, the option to change Auto-Lock will be grayed out. This is because part of Low Power Mode is to lock the Auto-Lock function at 30 seconds. Otherwise, you can learn how to change Auto-Lock once and easily do so whenever you need to change Auto-Lock in the future. If you need to stop your screen from going to sleep, setting Auto-Lock to a longer amount of time is the solution. I’ve changed my iPad Auto-Lock time most often when cooking with a recipe as I need to easily be able to see the next step without covering my iPad in food. Changing your Auto-Lock time is one of the many ways to customize the Lock screen as well. If you want to stop your iPhone from locking, here’s how to keep your iPhone screen on. But first, we'll cover how to fix the iOS 11 bug wherein an iPhone keeps going to lock screen in the middle of using an app. 

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Related Video: Customize What You Can Access from Lock Screen

The above video is a preview of an iPhone Life Insider Daily Video Tip

Table of Contents:

1. What Is Auto-Lock on iPhone and iPad?

Auto-Lock is another way to say sleep mode. Auto-Lock activates a screen timeout after a set number of seconds or minutes, unless you disable Auto-Lock. In the same way that your computer goes to sleep after a set amount of time, the iPhone too will dim the screen so that the battery life is conserved. If you find your iPhone runs out of power too quickly, it’s a good idea to set the screen to sleep sooner. You can easily change Auto-Lock in Settings whenever you need to. However, you also have the option to turn off Auto Lock all together. If your iPhone keeps shutting off, use the tip below to change your iPhone or iPad's Auto-Lock time. 

Related: How to Find Your iPhone Even If It’s Dead 

2. How to Change iPhone and iPad Auto-Lock

Auto-Lock is an easy feature to change in Settings. You select 30 seconds all the way to 5 minutes before your screen locks; you can also choose to set Auto-Lock to Never, essentially turning Auto-Lock off. Your iPhone's screen lock time is, by default, set to 30 seconds.  

How to Change iPhone and iPad Auto Lock in iOS 11:

  • Open Settings.
  • Tap Display & Brightness.
  • Select Auto-Lock.
  • Set the sleep timer to the time that works best for you.

If you attempted to change your Auto Lock time and suddenly panicked because it’s grayed out—take a deep breath and proceed to the tip after next. Don’t worry, it’s an easy fix.

How to Fix "iPhone Keeps Going to Lock Screen" Bug

This is an issue many iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 users have reported in the last week or so. While using an app, users' screens go black, show a spinnig wheel at the center, and then revert to Lock screen. So why does iPhone keep locking? Many users on the reddit forum, where this solution origanted, have noted that deleting the app Headspace and restarting the phone has solved their issue immediately. However if you don't have the Headspace app and are still having the issue or you'd rather not delete that app, we have a solution for you as well. Here's how to fix the "iPhone Keeps Going to Lock Screen" bug. 

  • First, we need to turn off all Notifications. In order to do this, open Settings, select Notifications, then (unfortunately) you'll need to go app-by-app and toggle off Allow Notifications for every single app. 

  • Next, we need to update to iOS 11.2. To do this, open Settings, select General, then Software Update, and select Install & Download. 
  • Once your device has fully installed and downloaded iOS 11.2, you can go through and turn on notifications for the apps you would like to receive notifications from; although, if Headspace is one of those apps, I reccomend leaving it off for now. 

  • Youtuber tipswithpunch has noted that after going through this process, your iPhone may go to Lock screen by itself once more but after that it should be okay. 

If the probelm persists, contact Apple Support. You may also try reading through the epic reddit forum to see if there's a solution someone else mentioned that might work for you. 

3. How to Fix Grayed-Out Auto-Lock Setting on iPhone

Auto-Lock on iPhone will be grayed out when Low Power Mode is on. Low Power Mode forces Auto-Lock to remain at 30 seconds in order to do its job conserving battery life. To stop Auto-Lock from being grayed out, all you need to do is turn Low Power Mode off. You can do this easily by activating Siri and saying, “Turn off Low Power Mode.” Or you can use the tip below to manually turn Low Power Mode off in Settings. Once you’ve turned Low Power Mode off, navigate back to the Auto Lock setting and you’ll be able to change it to whatever time you prefer. To fix grayed out Auto-Lock setting and stop your iPhone from sleeping when you don't want it to:

  • Open Settings on iPhone.
  • Tap Battery.
  • Toggle Off Low Power Mode. It’s now fixed.
  • Navigate back to Auto Lock in Display & Brightness (depending on your iOS) and freely change the Auto-Lock time.

Top image credit:  nenetus / shutterstock.com

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Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor of iPhone Life magazine. Previously she wrote for savvyvegetarian.com and was the Associate Editor of the Iowa Source for many years.