Setting Passcode, Touch ID, and Auto-Lock Preferences
Your iPhone contains data you probably don’t want others to access. You can (and should) require a passcode so your iPhone can’t be unlocked without the proper passcode being entered. This gives you a measure of protection should you lose control of your phone. If you have an iPhone 5s or later, you can record your fingerprints so that you can unlock your phone (by automatically entering the passcode) and enter your Apple ID password by touching the Touch ID/Home button. The capability can also be used in other apps and services that require confirmation, such as Apple Pay.
The Auto-Lock feature automatically locks your phone after a specific period of time. This is useful because your iPhone automatically locks and, assuming you require a passcode, the passcode or fingerprint must be provided to be able to unlock your phone.
Securing Your iPhone with Auto-Lock
To configure your phone so it locks automatically, perform the following steps.
On the Settings screen, tap General.
- Swipe up the screen until you see Auto-Lock.
- Tap the amount of idle time you want to pass before the iPhone automatically locks and goes to sleep. You can choose from 1 to 5 minutes; choose Never if you only want to manually lock your iPhone. I recommend that you keep Auto-Lock set to a relatively small value to conserve your iPhone’s battery and to make it more secure. Of course, the shorter you set this time to be, the more frequently you have to unlock your iPhone.
Tap General. You’re ready to configure your passcode and fingerprints (iPhone 5s and later).
Configuring Your Passcode and Fingerprints (iPhone 5s and later)
To configure the passcode you have to enter to unlock your iPhone, perform the following steps (note these steps show an iPhone that has Touch ID; if your model doesn’t have this, the steps will be slightly different as you will only be configuring a passcode):
On the Settings screen, tap Touch ID & Passcode.
Tap Turn Passcode On.
Enter a six-digit passcode.
Reenter the passcode. If the two passcodes match, the passcode is set.
Tap Require Passcode; when you use Touch ID to unlock your iPhone, you don’t have an option for when the passcode is required and can skip to step 8.
- Tap the amount of time the iPhone is locked before the passcode takes effect. The shorter this time is, the more secure your iPhone is, but also the more times you’ll have to enter the passcode if your iPhone locks frequently.
Tap Touch ID & Passcode.
If you have an iPhone 5s or later, tap Add a Fingerprint and continue to step 9; if you have a model that doesn’t support Touch ID, skip to step 21.
- Touch the finger you want to be able to use to unlock your phone and enter your Apple ID password to the Touch ID/Home button, but don’t press it. An image of a fingerprint appears.
Leave your finger on the Touch ID/Home button until you feel the phone vibrate, which indicates part of your fingerprint has been recorded and you see some segments turn red. The parts of your fingerprint that are recorded are indicated by the red segments, gray segments are not recorded yet.
- Take your finger off the Touch ID/Home button and touch the button again, adjusting your finger on the button to record other parts that currently show gray lines instead of red ones. Other segments of your fingerprint are recorded.
- Repeat step 11 until all the segments are red. You are prompted to change your grip so you can record more of your fingerprint.
Repeat step 11, again placing other areas of your finger to fill in more gray lines with red ones. When the entire fingerprint is covered in red lines, you see the Complete screen.
Tap Continue. The fingerprint is recorded and you move back to the Touch ID & Passcode screen. You see the fingerprint that has been recorded.
- Repeat steps 8 through 15 to record up to five fingerprints. These can be yours or someone else’s if you want to allow another person to access your iPhone.
- To be able to use Touch ID to unlock your iPhone, ensure the iPhone Unlock switch is set to on (green).
- To use your fingerprint to make Apple Pay payments, set the Apple Pay switch to on (green).
If you want to also be able to enter your Apple ID password by touching your finger to the Touch ID/Home button, set the App and iTunes Store switch to on (green).
Enter your Apple ID password and tap OK.
- Swipe up the screen until you see the Voice Dial switch.
- To prevent Voice Dial from working, set the Voice Dial switch to off (white). (Voice Dial enables you to make calls by speaking even if you don’t use Siri.)
- Use the switches in the ALLOW ACCESS WHEN LOCKED: section to enable or disable the related functions when your iPhone is locked. The options are Today (the Today tab on the Notifications Center), Notifications View (the Notifications tab of the Notifications Center), Siri, Reply with Message, and Wallet. If you set a switch to off (white), you won’t be able to access the corresponding function when your iPhone is locked.
If you don’t want the iPhone to automatically erase all your data after an incorrect passcode has been entered 10 times, set the Erase Data switch to off (white).