How to Use Standby Mode on iPhone with iOS 17

Nov 9, 2023 - 13 Comments

iPhone Standby Mode

StandBy Mode is perhaps the most interesting feature for iPhone users who update to iOS 17, transforming the iPhone into a customizable display clock whenever the iPhone is placed horizontally and is charging.

With StandBy Mode, your iPhone can become a table clock, a photo frame, an information display, amongst other possibilities, and since it’s easily customizable, how you use the feature is up to you.

How to Use StandBy Mode on iPhone

To use StandBy Mode, the feature must be turned on, the iPhone must be connected to a charger, and the iPhone must be placed into a horizontal position. You can use either a wired or wireless charger for StandBy Mode, but note the feature will not turn on if the iPhone is not attached to a charger.

Here are the precise steps for using StandBy Mode with iPhone:

  1. Connect the iPhone to a charger (wired or wireless does not matter, as long as it is connected to a power source)
  2. Place the iPhone into horizontal position so the screen is in landscape mode and stationary
  3. Press the Side/Power button, or wait a moment, and the iPhone screen should transform into StandBy Mode
  4. iPhone screen when in Standby Mode

  5. Swipe to the left or right on the StandBy Mode screen to switch between available clocks, widgets, and photos, and swipe up or down on each clock or widget to explore the other options available for each widget
  6. Swiping in Standby Mode will change the screen

That’s all there is to it, StandBy Mode is super easy to use once you learn how it works.

iPhone Standby Mode options and different screens

Standby Mode Isn’t Working, How Do I Turn It On?

StandBy Mode is enabled by default, but if for some reason it’s turned off on your iPhone, you can go to Settings > StandBy to turn the feature on.

Next, connect the iPhone to a charger, and place the iPhone into horizontal position (on its side) and let it sit for a moment. StandBy Mode should activate automatically.

If StandBy Mode does not turn on automatically when iPhone is plugged in and placed horizontally, press the Power/Side button once or twice and wait again. Sometimes there is a delay until the feature turns on.

StandBy Mode with Always-On Displays

If you have an iPhone with an always-on display (like iPhone 14 Pro or newer), then StandBy Mode will be enabled and active all the time with the always-on display, anytime the iPhone is charging and on it’s side. You can turn that feature off in Settings > Standby Mode if you don’t want it to always be visible.

Does StandBy Mode work on my iPhone? What about iPad and Mac? StandBy Mode Compatible Devices

StandBy Mode is currently only available for iPhone models running iOS 17 or newer.

The feature would obviously be very useful for iPad and Mac too, but it’s not yet available for those devices. Judging by the fairly predictable cycle of Apple features that first show up on iOS, it’ll likely come to iPadOS next with version 18, and maybe macOS with version 15 or 16 (or perhaps not at all for the Mac).


Related articles:

Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Don Noel says:

    I don’t find a way to make the default clock Eastern time rather than Cupertino

    and is it possible to make my Blink camera a widget this will find?

  2. The Git says:

    Standby mode on 14 Pro Worked well for a couple of weeks until Apple overode my settings with their invasive app store/arcade app.
    So I disabled the now useless feature.

  3. Mitch says:

    And if I need to close the StandBy mode without disconnecting or rotate the iPhone?

    I disabled this “great” feature because every time I set my iPhone in my car (in landscape mode) for using Waze the StandBy mode started up without any mode to quit without making dangerous maneuvers…

  4. Gil says:

    My Standby Mode shows CUPS – what does that stand for? I am sure it is obvious, but not to an old guy. Thank you.

    • Lex says:

      I think CUP is short for Cupertino, the default location of the weather and clock apps, which is where Apple’s headquarters are located.

  5. Steve Steele says:

    Pretty cool. I like it. I need to get a mag safe stand, the Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE™ PRO 2-in-1 Wireless Charging Dock with MagSafe seems to be the best that I’ve seen. It’s pricey at $129.95, but it’s nice.

    Btw, it will switch to StandBy Mode automatically, but if you do need to hold the Power button, make sure Siri isn’t using that button or it will go to Siri first. The large clock is pretty cool. And you can view photos.

    Not a bad feature. nothing mind blowing. Kinda a drag you need an iPhone 14 Pro or higher. Luckily that’s exactly what I have. Great phone btw. Camera is excellent.

    • Lex says:

      Standby Mode works on any iOS 17 compatible iPhone, it’s not limited to the 14 or higher

    • strangel00p says:

      You don’t need to hold the power button (so no interference w/Siri), just click it to put the phone to sleep, then place on the charger.

      I purchased the OtterBox 2-in-1 for this purpose: fast-charging for AppleWatch and tiltable iPhone MagSafe charger. Works very well, also $130.

    • John says:

      I have an 11 pro and Standby works fine. Of course bit does not have the Always On Display.

  6. RM says:

    Great feature but too bad it’s ultimately useless unless you have an iPhone 14 Pro or greater.

    Otherwise, what’s the bloody point if you have to touch the screen to see this even if plugged in??

    If Apple offered a dimmed screen option with a screen-friendly property (like a slightly floating clock as to not burn the screen in), then we could all enjoy this feature. But no. That is Apple.

    Oy vey.

    • War is a Racket says:

      I use it with an iPhone 12 and have had no issues. It actually stays on at night with a red screen for me without having to tap it.

  7. Expo Bill says:

    Great cover of a great  feature!

    the iPhone 12 mini i’m using has the feature and presents the Time and other info when I tap the night stand gently to activate the phone, since this is an older but still good model.

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