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Ask an Expert – adjusting auto-lock

No time to drop into the Apple Store and ask the Genius Bar for help with your iPhone or iPad? Maybe one of our resident experts can help!

As Apple nerds, we get asked a lot of tech support questions – and some of those questions crop up time and time again. Here’s a recent query that we think will be familiar to many of you.

“How can I keep my display on for longer before it switches itself off?”

iOS automatically shuts off the display after a period in an effort to converse battery life, but oftentimes it can be an annoyance. Luckily, if you need the display to remain on for any reason, it’s very easy to adjust this behavior.

Open Settings and tap Display & Brightness followed by Auto-Lock. You can choose for the device to automatically switch off after a set period of time (from 30 seconds up to 5 minutes) or to Never lock itself.

It’s worth noting that on devices with Face ID, the inactivity timer is reset if it senses that you’re looking at the screen – even if you don’t interact with anything. In theory, that means it will never dim or lock the screen while you’re actively watching – but in practice, that’s not always the case, especially if your iPhone is lying flat.

Also bear in mind that regardless of the setting you choose here, enabling Low Power Mode overrides the Auto-Lock timer, setting it to 30 seconds until you turn Low Power Mode off again.