How to Change Auto Lock Time on iPhone & iPad (& Fix It When Greyed-Out)

How to Change Your iPhone's Autolock Time

Auto Lock on iPhone and iPad dims the screen after a set amount of time in order to conserve battery life. 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 you’re iPhone is on 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 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 Lock screen as well. If you want to stop your iPhone from locking, here’s how to keep your iPhone screen on.

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

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Table of Contents:

What Is Auto Lock?

How to Change Auto Lock

How to Fix Grayed Out Auto Lock Setting on iPhone

1. What Is iPhone and iPad Auto Lock?

Auto Lock is another way to say sleep mode. Auto Lock activates a screen timeout after a set amount 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. 

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. It's good to note that when iOS 10 was introduced, Apple decided to move Auto Lock's location in Settings...sneaky. So we'll go over both with screenshots below. 

How to Change iPhone and iPad Auto Lock in iOS 10 or Later:

  • 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 next tip. Don’t worry, it’s an easy fix.

How to Change iPhone and iPad Auto Lock in iOS 9 or Earlier:

  • Open Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Select Auto-Lock.
  • Set the sleep timer to your preferred time.

3. How to Fix Greyed-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 either General or 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 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.