QuickTip – Quickly Lock your iPhone or iPod Touch

It’s time for anther QuickTip! Sometimes, I feel weird even writing about these because they are so familiar to me and I figure everybody already knows them! But, this is actually a tip that Doug showed a man one time while we were waiting to get into a restaurant. So, I know some of you may not know about it!

QuickTip – There is a way to quickly put your iPhone or iPod Touch into “lock” mode without waiting for it to auto-lock on it’s own. To do so, just quickly press the power button (that is the button on the top of your device) one time. Do not hold the power button down (this would turn your device off) instead just give it a quick tap and voilà your iPhone or iPod Touch will lock.

In conjunction with that, you can also use your power button to bring your iPhone or iPod Touch out of sleep/lock mode. Just give it another quick tap and it will wake-up. It is basically the same as pressing your Home Button while your iPhone is in sleep/lock mode.

Doug actually always uses this method to lock his iPhone…he turns off his auto-lock and just does it manually (as described above). I use this method a lot too but, I have to leave the auto-lock feature on because sometime I set down my iPhone and forget to lock it and my battery would totally be dead!

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  1. I have the auto lock turned off too. One thing I to find is that when I get a missed call my balance pops up and when I pull it out of my pocket it is still showing the balance and using my battery.

  2. As obvious as this tip is, you are right, some people don’t know it. I kept getting calls from my sister in law, when her phone was in her bag. I never quite understood why. Then, one day, while having diner with her, I noticed she put her phone in her bag while still on. I asked her why she didn’t lock it. She said, “You can lock it?”

    So … there you go.

    • My guess is that the call happens as she’s placing the phone in her bag, while still on and her hand is still holding it.

    • People that need tips like this are maybe not used to technology like we are. How is it common sense if you don’t need that button to wake it? If nobody tells you or you don’t read the manual – you won’t know. Everything seems doable with the home button.

      • I am glad for the tip. I smiled when I read what you wrote about reading the manual. I didn’t see a manual with my iPhone and I would have loved to read (a printed) one.


  3. aliimaad says

    Its offtopic but can anybody plz tell me where in cydia is CallerID Fix for 2.2.1. HELP!!!

  4. I was looking for an app to quickly lock my ipod touch and now I don’t need it, the power button tip does it for me. Thanks!

  5. This thead is somewhat misnamed, although its actually Apple’s fault as they call it “Auto-Lock” in the settings screen when it is more like “Auto-Sleep” or “Button Protect”. You can configure locking and sleeping separately.

    On my iPhone I have it set to go to sleep after 3 minutes of inactivity. I can also do that manually by pressing the top sleep button.

    I also have my phone set to not require an unlock passcode within 5 minutes of the phone going to sleep. This means that I can leave my phone for up to eight minutes of inactivity before I have to enter the passcode. I still have to move the slider to “unlock” the interface.

    However… Sometimes you do want to lock your phone so that it requires a passcode, even if the 3 minutes hasn’t elapsed. Any one know of a method to force it to do so, without having to disable the delay?


  6. Is there any way to prevent the phone from locking when put into sleep? I hate having to slide to unlock after waking..I want to be able to put the phone in sleep mode without it locking, Anyone know how to do this?

  7. randy, go to settings/ general /passcode lock/ require passcode/ immediatly. and youre good

  8. I think what Randy wants (and me too) is a “quick way to immediately lock my iPhone so that it requires a code to unlock” not as the default set up… but only to be used in rare occasions.

    I like that I can go in and out of my phone for a while without entering the code. But once in a while you want to leave it on a table and know that it’s been immediately locked. And its a paid to adjust setting for this rare occasion.

    Solution? Is there an app for that?

    • After much searching I found your post, I am looking for the same feature:
      Any new info on this?

      “… go in and out of my phone for a while without entering the code. But once in a while you want to leave it on a table and know that it’s been immediately locked [[Added: And passcode locked, not just swipe-locked]]. And its a pain to adjust setting for this rare occasion.”

  9. I meant to say pain instead of paid.

  10. Ttthats totally too hard

  11. I do not know how to do this stup

  12. Hello all, All you have to do to activate your pass code lock immediately is go to “pass code lock” located in general, put in passcode and where it says require passcode change tab to immediately. When u click top button it locks it. Hope this helps! I just had to figure this out this morning :)

  13. Erin Sheffield says

    My iPhone tells me that in order to sync it I should plug it in (to my computer?), lock it, and connect to Wi-Fi. When I lock it (by tapping the on-off button on the top), the screen is black. How can I then connect it to Wi-Fi if the screen is black? What if I’m already connected to Wi-Fi?

  14. chris fountain says

    Apparently I’m as clueless as Erin because I have the same question. And while I’m begging for help, can someone tell me that if my computer is backed up to icloud, does that mean my iphone is too (assuming I’ve synched it to the computer)? I keep getting a warning on my phone that I’ve never backed it up, as recently as this morning, which finally stirred me from my assumption that it was being accomplished with my synching.
    Thanks for any light you can shed for this poor benighted techno-idiot.

  15. Chris and Erin,

    Turn the wifi on before locking, then proceed to do your backup.

  16. Still looking for what Russ George, and Randy want. Sounds like I have to power off. At least when I power on it will require the password :0

  17. Bette Drummond (in Mexico) says

    I still don’t understand the difference between locking and sleep mode. Are they both when the screen is dark? If so, is the difference that when the screen goes dark by itself, it’s in sleep mode and when I hold down the power button, it’s locked? One thread above said something about touching the power button lightly instead of holding it down in order to lock it. What’s the difference? I know that if I have my iPod touch hooked up to the internet and leave it sit (and the screen goes dark) that I hear a ‘ping’ if an email arrives (meaning that it’s still hooked up to the internet even though the screen is dark). I’ve never noticed if it also ‘pings’ when I hold the power button down to shut it off. My ultimate problem is the same as Erin above “My iPhone tells me that in order to sync it I should plug it in (to my computer?), lock it, and connect to Wi-Fi.” I never used to get the “lock it” part of that message, so I assume it’s part of the most recent update. In the past I just turned the phone on and then hooked up to the wireless. I also echo Erin’s confusion over the “plug it in” part. Why should it be plugged into my computer when the WiFi is connected? Thank you for your wonderful site. Apple/Mac technology drives me NUTS. As Erin illustrated, when they give directions, they assume too much (they assume I already know something). I DO know that I don’t want to use a password to lock my iPod. Thanks

  18. Is it only us former Blackberry users that get this issue? Sometimes one wishes to expedite the locking (passcode required) of our devices every now and then and not just lock the screen to keep from butt dialing. We shouldn’t have to change our settings each time to achieve this.

  19. I have the same question. With the Blackberry you can click the top lock button to just lock the screen and keys without requiring a password. But if you want to instantly activate the password, you hit “k” and it locks. There should be a way to do this with an iphone without having to change the settings each time.

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  21. My iPhone 5s is nearly always on wifi. So when it locks it should be baking up BUT a message tells me it has not naked up for 7 weeks? Help I just don’t get it!!!

    • It has to be locked and plugged in to automatically back up. Your iCloud storage may be full, have you checked that? Can you do a manual backup?

  22. Skorry Sod says

    It seems no one has figured this out. I press the power button, the screen goes dark. But I am still able to wake it up and access everything without entering my passcode. Simply put, pressing the power button only puts it to sleep, it doesn’t lock it.

    • You need to set your settings to lock “Immediately”. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Require Passcode and select “Immediately”. See if that fixes it.