How to Keep iPhone Screen On by Disabling Auto-Lock

What to Know

  • What is Auto-Lock on an iPhone? This handy feature automatically turns off your display and locks your device.
  • You can change your Auto-Lock timer by going into the Display & Brightness settings.
  • If Auto-Lock is grayed out in settings, simply turn off Low Power Mode.

Want to know how to keep your iPhone screen on? Whether you want to change your Lock Screen settings to turn off Auto-Lock or change how quickly your screen dims, we've got you covered. All your burning questions about Auto-Lock on iPhone will be answered below.

Jump To:

What Is Auto-Lock on an iPhone & iPad?

What is Auto-Lock? Auto-Lock dims the screen after a set amount of time. For example, if Auto-Lock is set to one minute, your iPhone screen will turn off after one minute and lock the device. This is to extend iPhone battery life and prevent others from accessing your unlocked iPhone. If you disable Auto-Lock to get rid of your automatic screen lock time, it will cut into your battery life.

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. You can change Auto-Lock settings for tasks like this, and then easily change it back when you're done. However, you also have the option to turn off Auto-Lock altogether. If your iPhone keeps shutting off, use the tips below to change your iPhone or iPad's Auto-Lock time. To learn more great iPhone and iPad tips, check out our Tip of the Day newsletter.

How to Change Screen Timeout on iPhone & iPad

If you want to keep your iPhone screen on, you can change your iPhone Auto-Lock timer. You can select thirty seconds all the way to five minutes before your screen locks. You can also choose to set Auto-Lock to Never, essentially turning Auto-Lock off. Here's how:

  1. Open the Settings app, and tap Display & Brightness.

    iphone settings with display and brightness circled in red
  2. Select Auto-Lock.

    iphone display and brightness settings with auto lock circled in red
  3. Set the timer to the time that works best for you.

    iphone auto lock settings with a red circle around the options for 30 seconds, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 minutes, or never

If you attempted to change your Auto-Lock time but it’s grayed out—take a deep breath and proceed to the next section of this article. Don’t worry; it’s an easy fix.

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How to Fix Auto-Lock Grayed-Out

iphone display and brightness settings with a red circle around the auto lock toggle which grayed out and unselectable

If your iPhone won't let you change Auto-Lock because it's grayed out, that means Low Power Mode is on. Low Power Mode on the iPhone and iPad forces Auto-Lock to remain at thirty seconds to conserve battery life. To stop Auto-Lock from being grayed out, all you need to do is turn Low Power Mode off. If you follow our tip for how to turn on Hey Siri, you can activate Siri and say, “Turn off Low Power Mode.” Or, you can check out our tip on how to use Low Power Mode to manually turn it off.

Now, you can navigate back to Auto-Lock in Display & Brightness and change the Auto-Lock time. If interested, you can also learn this nifty shortcut to switch between your open apps on your iPhone. 


  • Why is Auto-Lock greyed out on my iPad or iPhone? As we covered in the previous section, you cannot change your Auto-Lock settings when Low Power Mode is active. Low Power Mode forces Auto-Lock to stay at thirty seconds in order to conserve battery. You will need to disable Low Power Mode to change your Auto-Lock setting.
  • Should I have Auto-Lock on iPhone? It is generally recommended that you leave Auto-Lock turned on. Whether you have it set to thirty seconds or five minutes is up to you. Keeping Auto-Lock turned on helps to preserve battery life by turning off the display if you set your phone down and forget about it. It also keeps you secure because if you leave your iPhone unattended with the screen unlocked, someone could take it and access your personal data. With Auto-Lock, your phone will lock automatically, so you don't have to worry about that.
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Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Author Details

Sarah Kingsbury

As the Editorial Director at iPhone Life, Sarah Kingsbury manages the online editorial team and oversees all website content. She is a long-time Apple enthusiast who never goes anywhere without her Apple Watch and owns way too many HomePods. Since joining iPhone Life in 2013, Sarah has done everything from writing hundreds of how-to articles to founding the Daily Tip newsletter. She even co-hosted the early episodes of the iPhone Life Podcast. When not at work, Sarah can be found hiking in the mountains and canyons around Las Vegas, where she lives with her partner and dogs.