How to Lock iPhone Screen

This post will walk you through securing a new iPhone by setting up a lock screen using the in-built screen lock features. Here’s a quick guide to lock an iPhone screen in iOS 15 and later versions.

lock iphone screen ios 16 MAIN

iOS 15.6 Screen Lock

A common method that’s used to lock an iOS device is through a passcode.

With a six-digit unique passcode,  you can protect all sensitive information stored on your device. 

Aside from a passcode, more advanced security features such as fingerprint security for iOS devices that support Touch ID and face recognition for devices that support Face ID.

A passcode is usually one of the first iOS features that needs to be enabled during the initial setup of a new iPhone. If you skipped that process, then you should consider setting it up as soon as you could to ensure all your iPhone data is secured.

Once you’ve set up the passcode, it will be required to unlock your iPhone. This means the need for you to enter your 6-digit code to access your iPhone’s Home screen.

To augment your iPhone’s security, you can set up fingerprint security or face recognition, whichever biometrics feature your device supports.

Setting up Touch ID and Face ID in new iOS devices is pretty straightforward. But for the sake of those who are new to the iOS platform, we’ve outlined a step-by-step walkthrough as follows.

Different Ways to Lock an iPhone Screen in iOS 15.5

The following steps outline the standard process of locking an iPhone with a passcode, Touch ID and Face ID security.

These steps are applicable to any iPhones running on the iOS 15 and later versions, so be sure to keep your device software up-to-date to ensure all key features and menu items are available. 

Actual screens and menu items may vary between device models and service providers so every device’s user interface may likewise differ slightly.

A. Setting Up iPhone Passcode Security

This is the common method used by many iPhone owners. Just follow these steps to set up a six-digit passcode to lock  your iPhone:

Step 1: From the Home screen, tap Settings to launch the iOS settings app.
lock iphone screen ios 16 featured
Step 2: While in the main settings menu, find and then tap Face ID & Passcode.
lock iphone screen ios 16 FIP
Step 3: On the succeeding menu, tap Turn Passcode On. The next screen will prompt you to enter a six-digit passcode.
lock iphone screen ios 16 PCODE ON
Step 4: Enter a unique 6-digit code then enter it again to confirm and activate.

Now that your passcode is activated, you will need to enter it every time you unlock your iPhone.

Aside from unlocking your device, your passcode will also be used when turning on or restarting your iPhone, for Emergency SOS, Medical ID viewing, consecutive Face ID or Touch ID attempts, when remote lock command is received and when you haven’t unlocked your iPhone for over 48 hours.

Updating iPhone Passcode Security

Updating or changing the existing lock screen passcode on your iPhone regularly is highly recommended to prevent any potential security breach.

  • To change or update your passcode, just head over to your iPhone Settings-> Touch/Face ID & Passcode menu. On the next screen, enter your current passcode. To continue, tap the option to Change Passcode and follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to change the current lock screen passcode and enter your new passcode.

Be sure to take note of your new passcode as you will be needing it to access and manage Apple-related features and services along with your Touch ID or Face ID.

B. Setting Up iPhone Touch ID

For iPhones with Touch ID support, setting up a Touch ID is an option to augment your iPhone lock system.

Just like Face ID, setting up Touch ID also requires an active passcode on your iPhone.

Once you’ve got everything set, you may go ahead and proceed with these steps:

Step 1: Open the Settings app to begin.

lock iphone screen ios 16 featured

Step 2: Tap Touch ID & Passcode or Face ID & Passcode.

lock iphone screen ios 16 FIP

Step 3: Follow the setup wizard to add a fingerprint that you’d like to use for Touch ID/fingerprint recognition.

lock iphone screen ios 16 FINGERPRINT

After setting up Touch ID, you can immediately use it to security and conveniently unlock your device, authorize online purchases and payments as well as sign in to different third-party apps. All you have to do is press on the Home button with your finger or thumb, whatever was registered during the Touch ID setup.

If you’re having trouble adding Touch ID or unlocking your iPhone using Touch ID, make sure that your Home button is working.

C. Setting Up iPhone Face ID

After setting up a 6-digit passcode for your iPhone lock screen, you can set up a Face ID or Touch ID for augmented security. To set up Face ID on iPhone, just follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Settings app by tapping on the settings icon from Home.

lock iphone screen ios 16 featured

Step 2: Tap Face ID & Passcode from the Settings menu to continue.

lock iphone screen ios 16 FIP

Step 3: On the next screen, tap Set Up Face ID and then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions.

lock iphone screen ios 16 FACE ID

You can also use your iPhone’s accessibility options during the Face ID setup when needed. Doing so prompts the facial recognition setup wizard to not require the full range of head motion.

  • To make this happen, you will need to disable the Require Attention for Face ID option from Settings-> Accessibility menu of your iPhone.

By then, you should be all set to use your Face ID to securely and conveniently get lock screen access, authorize purchases and payments and sign in to various third-party apps and services. Just glance at your iPhone and it should immediately unlock.

If you want to set up additional appearance for Face ID to recognize, just head back to your iPhone Settings-> Face ID & Passcode and then tap Set Up an Alternate Appearance. Follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to finish setting up the additional Face ID appearance.

Note: The above steps are based on the interface of the new iPhone SE 2022 (3rd generation).

What happens when you enter the wrong passcode?

Be sure to note that entering the wrong passcode on your iPhone too many times will result in your device being disabled.

Should this happen, you will need to restore your device in iTunes. 

Restoring an iPhone means wiping all its data, so be sure to back up all critical files you have on your device beforehand.

You can back them up to your iCloud storage or through a dedicated secure folder on your computer through iTunes.

And that’s how to lock an iPhone screen using the available security features in iOS 15 and later version.

Please keep posted for more comprehensive iOS tutorials and troubleshooting guides on this site. Or you can check out this YouTube channel to view more comprehensive tutorial and troubleshooting videos including recent iOS devices.

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