How to Fix Auto-Lock Not Working on iPhone

Wondering why auto-lock is not working on your iPhone?

Every modern mobile device comes with auto-lock features. Besides keeping our data safe, it also helps save battery by turning off our display. 

Despite its claimed features, there are times when your iPhone fails to lock when you’re not using it. 

This leaves your phone unlocked, making it easy for other people to snoop into your messages, contacts, and social media. 

Today, we’ll show you how to fix the auto-lock feature if it’s not working on your iPhone. 

Let’s dive right in!

1. Check If Auto-Lock is Enabled. 

If your iPhone stays when you’re not using it, there’s a chance that auto-lock is not configured on your device. 

Before doing anything, ensure that the feature is enabled on your iPhone first. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Go to your home screen and open Settings
  2. Next, open the Display & Brightness tab. 
  3. Tap on AutoLock
  4. Ensure that ‘Never’ is not selected from the options.
2 Minutes lock


You can set the duration before your iPhone locks when you are not using it. 

Leave your phone on the table and observe if it will automatically lock after the duration you set. 

2. Restart Your iPhone. 

While restarting your iPhone might appear very simple, it’s very effective in solving temporary and minor issues. 

Restarting your device clears corrupted and unused data from the memory, resolving errors that may have occurred during use. 

This also reloads your system resources, ensuring that everything is initialized properly. 

If you are using an iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, 14, or later, here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Hold down the Volume Down button and Side button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears. 
  2. Now, drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds. 
  3. Press the Side button afterward to turn on your device. 
Restart iPhone

For older models, follow the steps below: 

  1. Locate the Power button on your device. 
  2. Now, hold the button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt shows up.
  3. Drag the slider to the right and wait 30 seconds before turning on your device. 
auto-lock not working on iphone

Once done, observe if your iPhone will automatically lock when you’re not using it. 

3. Disable Background Applications. 

Some of your applications might be running in the background and prevent your iPhone from sleeping or locking. 

To confirm this, close all applications from the app switcher and see if the auto-lock feature will work. 

  1. Swipe upwards from the bottom of your screen until the application switcher appears. 
  2. Choose an app you want to close. 
  3. Drag or flick it upwards until it’s removed from the list. 
  4. Repeat this process until you’ve closed all applications. 
auto-lock not working on iphone

Leave your iPhone idling and see if it will lock automatically. 

Related: How to Fix Automation Not Working in Shortcuts App on iPhone

4. Turn Off Attention Aware Features. 

Attention-aware features could be enabled on your iPhone, which allows your device to detect whether you are looking at the screen. 

Your iPhone could be detecting your face from where you put it down and thinks that you’re still using it. 

If you don’t want this, you can disable attention-aware features on your iPhone. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Go to Settings and open Face ID & Passcode
  2. Provide your passcode when prompted. 
  3. Scroll down and find Attention Aware Features
  4. Tap the toggle switch beside it to turn it off. 
auto-lock not working on iphone

Once done, see if auto-lock works on your iPhone. 

5. Use Low Power Mode. 

If auto-lock is still not working, try using low power mode. This feature reduces overall battery consumption on your iPhone.

Regardless of your auto-lock settings, low power mode will lock your phone after 30 seconds to conserve battery. 

Check out the steps below to enable low power mode: 

  1. Go to your home screen and tap on Settings
  2. Now, find Battery and open it. 
  3. Tap the toggle switch beside Low Power Mode to enable the feature. 
Low Power Mode


Battery indicator in the upper right corner should turn yellow when low power mode is enabled. 

6. Update Your iPhone. 

The version of iOS you’re using might have an underlying issue that is related to the auto-lock feature. 

Check if there are available updates for your iPhone and install them to patch bugs and errors. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Launch Settings on your device. 
  2. Now, tap on General > Software Update
  3. If there’s an available update, tap on Download and Install
auto-lock not working on iphone


  • Your device can restart several times while installing the update. 
  • Make sure that your iPhone has at least 50% battery before installing updates. It’s best to keep your device plugged into the wall charger to avoid interruptions. 
  • Allow at least 15 minutes for the update to install, especially if it’s a major update (iOS 14 to iOS 15).

Once done, leave your phone idling and see if it will automatically lock. 

Related: How to Fix iPhone 14 Freezing While On Call

7. Reset Your Settings. 

At this point, you can try resetting your iPhone’s settings if auto-lock is still not working. 

You may have changed some configurations on your iPhone that caused conflicts with the auto-lock feature. 

Follow the guide below to reset your iPhone’s settings: 

  1. On your iPhone, go to the main menu and open Settings
  2. Now, tap on General
  3. Look for Transfer or Reset iPhone and tap on it. 
  4. Tap the Reset option and select Reset All Settings
  5. Follow the prompts to continue. 
auto-lock not working on iphone


  • Your iPhone will immediately restart upon resetting your configurations. 
  • It may appear to be stuck in the Apple logo. Wait for the process to complete, which usually takes 5 to 10 minutes. 

Set up your device and see if auto-lock works. 

That ends our guide for fixing auto-lock if it’s not working on your iPhone. 

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it.


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn Twitter

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