How to Stop iPhone Screen Auto Locking While You’re Actively Using Device

Having your iPhone screen automatically lock while you’re actively using it can be frustrating. Whether you’re reading an article, watching a video, or using navigation, the constant need to unlock your phone interrupts your flow. Thankfully, there are a few ways to prevent or delay your iPhone’s auto-lock feature.

Understanding Auto-Lock on iPhones

The auto-lock feature has been a staple in iOS for years. After a set period of inactivity, your iPhone will automatically lock to protect your information and save battery life. The default auto-lock time is 30 seconds, but you can adjust it to up to 5 minutes.

Auto-lock engages even if you’re looking at the screen. So if you momentarily stop interacting with the touchscreen, your iPhone may still lock. Face ID iPhones can tell if you’re looking at the screen, but still lock per the auto-lock timer.

While useful in many cases, auto-lock can disrupt activities like:

  • Reading long articles or books
  • Watching videos or listening to podcasts
  • Using navigation apps
  • Viewing recipes while cooking
  • Making video calls

Thankfully, you have a few options to prevent auto-lock from interrupting you.

Adjust the Auto-Lock Timer

The simplest solution is to increase your auto-lock timer. The maximum setting is 5 minutes, which works well for shorter activities.

To change auto-lock:

  1. Open Settings > Display & Brightness
  2. Tap Auto-Lock
  3. Select a longer duration

A longer auto-lock delay gives you more uninterrupted usage before the screen locks. But remember to reduce the timer again when you’re done to save battery.

Use Guided Access to Temporarily Disable Auto-Lock

Guided Access is an iOS feature that locks your iPhone into a single app. This prevents auto-lock until you exit that app.

To enable Guided Access for an app:

  1. Open the app you want to lock into
  2. Triple-click the Home button (on older iPhones)
  3. Turn on Guided Access using Face ID/Touch ID/passcode
  4. Adjust settings if desired
  5. Click Start

With Guided Access, your iPhone stays locked in that app without auto-locking. You can exit at any time by triple-clicking Home and entering your passcode.

Keep the Screen On with Auto-Lock Disabled

You can completely prevent auto-lock by disabling the feature. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness
  2. Tap Auto-Lock
  3. Select Never

With auto-lock disabled, your iPhone screen stays on until you manually lock it. This gives you uninterrupted usage time.

However, having auto-lock off does drain battery quicker. Only keep it disabled temporarily for long sessions of reading, watching videos, etc. Remember to re-enable auto-lock when you’re done.

Use an External Display for Long Sessions

If you regularly have long usage sessions on your iPhone, consider getting an external display. Models like the Sidecar Display let you mirror your iPhone’s screen to a larger external monitor.

Benefits include:

  • Larger screen reduces eye strain
  • External display stays active while your iPhone screen locks
  • Conserve iPhone battery life

With the content mirrored to an external display, you can disable auto-lock on your iPhone without excess battery drain. This gives you uninterrupted viewing while the iPhone screen locks to save power.

The Auto-Lock Dilemma

Auto-lock is useful for security and battery life, but can also interrupt your iPhone experience. Thankfully, iOS gives you options like adjusting the timer, using Guided Access, and disabling auto-lock.

Finding the right balance comes down to your usage habits. Short 5-10 minute sessions are fine with adjusted auto-lock timers. But longer continuous usage calls for Guided Access or disabling auto-lock altogether. An external display also helps you get around auto-lock.

Hopefully with these tips you can now stop auto-lock from interrupting your important iPhone activities! Let us know if you have any other clever auto-lock solutions.