How to Stop iPad from Sleeping and Turning Screen Off

Nov 1, 2017 - 19 Comments

How to stop iPad screen from sleeping

Many iPad users wonder how they can stop their iPad screen from sleeping automatically. If you want to stop the iPad from sleeping and turning the display off on it’s own, you can easily do so with a settings adjustment.


For the unfamiliar; the iPad will put itself to sleep and turn the screen off when it’s not in use after a short amount of time, this mechanism is the default because it helps to preserve battery life and can improve device security since by sleeping itself it will lock with the device passcode as well. That’s all well and good, but some users may find the automatic sleep behavior on iPad to be overly aggressive, and if you use the iPad to read something while participating in another activity, like cooking, reading or referencing something on screen, of if you’re using the iPad as a display or kiosk type situation.

It’s important to differentiate between the automatic screen sleeping behavior, which occurs with inactivity, and the automatic display brightness adjustment, which occurs with changes in ambient lighting. You can disable or enable the auto-brightness setting in iOS if desired, note that it changed locations within Settings from iOS 11 onward.

How to Stop iPad Screen from Sleeping and Locking

In modern versions of iOS, you can stop the iPad from sleeping the display with inactivity, or delay how long it takes for iPad to sleep the screen, by doing the following:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on iPad
  2. iOS Settings

  3. Go to “Display & Brightness” then choose “Auto-Lock”
  4. How to stop iPad screen sleeping

  5. Choose one of the following options suited to your iPad display needs:
    • Never – to stop the iPad from sleeping itself completely, choose “Never” as the option, this will completely prevent the iPad from sleeping the screen on its own
    • 2 minutes
    • 5 minutes
    • 10 minutes
    • 15 minutes

    Stop iPad screen sleeping and turning off

To completely disable the iPad screen sleep behavior just choose “Never”, but note that by doing so you will need to lock the iPad display yourself by hitting the lock/power button on the device (or using the virtualized lock button via Accessibility). Just remember there are security and privacy ramifications with the Never option, because if the iPad does not sleep itself and automatically lock, then anyone can freely use the device at any time just by walking up to it in the woken and active state. It will be entirely up to you or the last person on the iPad to turn off the display and lock it down with the lock button.

A decent compromise for many users is the 10 or 15 minutes options, which allow ample time to stare at a screen without interacting with it, before the iPad display turns itself off. The 15 minute option is popular with hobbyists reading manuals and guides, musicians reading notes or tabs, and chefs or any other kitchen enthusiast using an iPad as a recipe holder while cooking, and has the advantage of still turning itself off for security and privacy reasons after 15 minutes of inactivity.

By the way, if your iPad is an earlier model running a prior version of iOS the setting still exists but is located elsewhere, contained within the General settings section rather than the Display settings.

And for those who are curious, this setting also exists on iPhone and iPod touch too, though it seems to be used less on the pocketable devices compared to iPad.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Tips & Tricks

19 Comments

» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Joe says:

    Reminds me of the horror of AppNap on OS X. Thankfully it can be worked around but as a developer, try explaining that to your customers before they leave a bad review for you on the MAS. Thanks Apple!

  2. Showbox says:

    Ah! It was this easy process. I really used to get annoyed when screen kept getting turned off. Thanks a lot Paul for the guide got it solved now :)

  3. Art says:

    Related, is there a way to get an iPhone 7 home button to respond to pressure like an iPhone 6 or older? I use my phone for podcasts, navigation, and music while riding my motorcycle, and my gloves, while touch screen compatible, doesn’t work on the home button.

  4. heather says:

    I have tried to solve this issue by choosing NEVER auto lock, lock/unlock is off, turned off apple pay and my iPad still locks immediately and requires a passcode. I have also tried to do a hard restart (hold home and lock button) until the apple logo appears. Still no luck.

    So frustrating when I am reading a long article.

  5. Ronen H. says:

    I’m not sure the settings changes affect the time the iPad takes to sleep when you are reading notifications on the lock screen itself. For me that time is still annoyingly very short.

  6. Bent P says:

    I updated to 11.3, and the option is gone. I’m not on a batt. saving mode or anything, but there is not an “never sleep” option.
    When I play Sonos, it stops or skipping through songs rapidly and random, as soon as the phone goes into sleep after the max. 5 minutes :-(

  7. Jarkko M says:

    I too am having a frustrating time with autolock and screen timeouts.
    We have deployed 1000+ iPads in our org, and when earlier versions allowed for various degrees of settings for the timers and which settings were to be used as default.
    The schools all prefer 15 minutes autolock, but all I can do is basically set it at 2 minutes.
    I am still “allowed” to offer the option of manual selection up to 15 minutes, but as it still configures setting to 2 minutes as default this option in our MDM is now borderline useless. We need to reconfigure every single iPad manually. Remote administration my foot!

    And do not get me started the lockscreen display timeout, for which there seems to be no setting, and is aprox. 5 seconds.

    • goldey says:

      Jarkko, how are you reconfiguring each ipad manually? To 15 minute auto lock?

      I cannot STAND the lockscreen display timeout. Yes, I believe it is 5 or 6 seconds. Too fast.

  8. Robert says:

    FYI. The new iOS12 has the iPad go to sleep every 20 minutes while in guided access. VERY VERY frustration. I hope they fix this soon. We use 4 iPads in an exhibit and now the exhibit is basically nonfunctional…

    • carter says:

      Ah hah. Thanks for posting this Robert… it was driving me nuts trying to figure out why my “kiosk” iPads set to “Guided Access” were sleeping. I too hope they fix this soon!

    • Andy says:

      Thank you for posting this. I have been going crazy trying to figure out why my check-in iPad keeps going dark. Hopefully they can put a fix in on a future update. I keep the iPad on guided access and because of the design of the pedestal, I can’t physically block the home button so I guess it will just be a inconvenience until they can get it fixed.

  9. Bill says:

    I contacted Apple after unsuccessfully trying to restore an 11.4.1 ISPW file through iTunes, toggling settings etc.

    Support informed me this is a new feature and is by design.

    For now I’ve enabled as many restrictions as possible through Screen Time and disabled Guided Access; our kiosks have a physical block over the Home button, but I’m hopeful 12.1 restores the previous functionality.

  10. carter benson says:

    So far no fix for the screen timing out bug as of update 12.1

    This is maddening as my Square system (for a restaurant chain) seems to lose connection to the kitchen printer more easily if it times out. Upon waking it up it has to reconnect to all the peripherals and sometimes it doesn’t. Hope a fix is there soon.

  11. goldey says:

    We seem to have the same screen sleep problems (screen going black), both running in Guided Access mode and when not in GA. It is impossible that the power button is getting pushed, or the ipad battery is dying, though we’ve had to eliminate these….We are running ios 11.4 (not 12) and the problems are occurring.

    The problem appears to be fairly random. Sometimes we can run for hours with no screen sleep, other times it sleeps AND closes the app we are running.

    When your screen sleeps, does your app close, too, or is it running in the background?

  12. Sk8willy1 says:

    Go to Settings, General, Accessibility, Display accommodations, and shut “auto-brightness” OFF.

    Your Welcome.

  13. David says:

    Sk8willy1, doesn´t work when “guided access” is activated. It seems there is no solution at the moment…..

  14. Ronnie says:

    Before the latest download, I used to be able to keep my screen up during guided access, and when I exited it would go to sleep. Now, I have to go to systems and hit Never sleep, but it still goes to sleep after 15 mins. Crazy! In guided access you can set the time by hours that it will stay in guided access, why can’t you do that with screen lock? Don’t sleep for 6 hours…after six it goes to sleep…why can’t that happen?

Leave a Reply

 

Shop on Amazon.com and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks

News

iPhone / iPad

Mac