How to Stop iPad from Sleeping and Turning Screen Off

Nov 1, 2017 - 5 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.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, Tips & Tricks


» 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.

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