iPhone: Change the Auto-Lock Delay

The auto-lock feature of the iPhone causes it to “lock” the touchscreen and turn off the display after so long since your last interaction. The default delay is one minute which may be too short for you (especially if you are writing Tech-Recipes about the iPhone!). If you would like to change the auto-lock delay (or turn off auto-lock completely), follow these steps.

To change the auto-lock settings, tap the Settings icon in the home screen. Look for the General button in the main Settings screen and tap it.

In the General settings screen, tap on the Auto-Lock option which will cause a list of options to slide in. At release time, there are options for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes and Never.

If you choose never, you’ll need to press the sleep/wake button (the thin black button on the very top of the iPhone and to the right as you’re looking at it) to make your phone go to sleep.

Even with the auto-lock feature on, you can still press this button to lock your iPhone.


About Quinn McHenry

Quinn was one of the original co-founders of Tech-Recipes. He is currently crafting iOS applications as a senior developer at Small Planet Digital in Brooklyn, New York.
View more articles by Quinn McHenry

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21 Responses to “iPhone: Change the Auto-Lock Delay”

  1. March 24, 2009 at 8:57 am, WF said:

    One of my cousin brought this phone for me from the UK, I am just struggling as usually with new devices.. Was nice to read through your post.. Thanks you.


  2. March 26, 2009 at 11:33 am, WB said:

    The touch screen tap is like the mouse click, so the app receives a mouse click on tap, when we say lock the touch screen it means not accept the event, it is good to keep the screen lock when not in use for durability..


  3. April 09, 2009 at 5:14 am, Wedding Ideas said:

    This thing was bugging me a lot, thanks for the instructions.


  4. May 22, 2009 at 9:18 am, Deal Hotels said:

    this is really nice… thanks for your suggestions and guidelines.. it would for sure help many getting bugged with this feature like me!!! thanks for sharing this info!!!


    • October 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm, Allen said:

      Thanks for this helpful explanation, Quinn.>


  5. June 19, 2009 at 1:31 pm, Corey said:

    I just upgraded to 3.0 and the option to make it never auto-lock isn’t there anymore! Just 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 minutes? What’s the deal?


  6. July 02, 2009 at 10:16 am, TG said:

    The “Never” option appeared the day I bought it and it disappeared. How do I get it back?


  7. July 07, 2009 at 4:32 pm, Annik said:

    There is no “Never” option in auto-lock; only 1-5 minutes…


    • July 10, 2009 at 8:13 pm, CWSensation said:

      The “Never” option going away has to do with your Exchange account. If the Exchange server admin sets it that way, the option will go away as a security feature.


  8. July 24, 2009 at 3:06 am, Torry said:

    My auto lock setting does not have the choice of never. Only 1-5 minutes. Is there a way around this? It locks up in 5 minutes. It changed after the 3.0 update. I have the 16 gb.


  9. July 24, 2009 at 3:09 am, Torry said:

    Can I change the passcode lock? It is only on immediately. There is not another option to choose? I have the 16gb. It also changed with the 3.0 update.


  10. August 13, 2009 at 11:49 am, Anonymous said:

    My Iphone does not have the never option in the Aulo lock option?


    • December 07, 2009 at 3:19 pm, Topgixer said:

      Make the exchange server based email account inactive and it re-appears


      • July 03, 2010 at 2:00 pm, collinstj said:

        I discovered the same thing about exchange servers turning off the autolock “never” feature. I don’t know of a way around this that is great, but for me if I really want the phone on “never” for a while, I go to settings and turn off the mail and calendar for my exchange account. This is good if you only want the setting “never” to be active for a short time. If you want it to be permanently never, there does be a way to do it if you exchange account won’t allow it.


  11. December 08, 2009 at 4:02 am, Name said:

    what if there is no longer a never option for passcode lock? how can you turn it off?


  12. February 04, 2010 at 5:54 pm, john said:

    Sorry guys but what is Auto lock? ( i have just bought my Iphone you see)


  13. November 03, 2010 at 5:47 pm, D Lindberg said:

    Still a great post — thanks.


  14. December 31, 2010 at 12:04 am, Ubp_ajgo said:

    guys i just want to know i just got my iphone 3gs then the problem is that every time im in a middle of a game the it exit the game then auto lock even if i disable the autolock can anyone help me thanks


  15. November 16, 2012 at 8:16 pm, Name said:


    I have an iPhone 4 which I update every time I sync, so the system on it is the latest version.

    How can I set a ‘never auto-lock when connected’ option (cradle, charger) while still keeping a timed auto-lock when not connected?



  16. December 03, 2012 at 11:54 pm, Cotton said:

    Is there any way to change the amount of time choices to 15 minutes or anything else besides 1. 2, 3, 4, 5 minutes, or never?


  17. April 07, 2014 at 5:58 am, Simmie said:

    I just bought an iPhone 5s and there is no “never” option. Seems Apple wants total control over every little aspect of our usage.


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