All the Ways to Change How Your iPhone Lock Screen Behaves

If you’re wondering how to change the lock screen on your iPhone, there are a few worth considering. Starting with iOS 16, Apple now allows you to customize the Lock Screen beyond what was possible in the past. Apart from these visual tweaks, you can also change the functionality of your iPhone’s lock screen.

We’ll walk you through the lock screen settings available for your iPhone (and iPad), showing you how you can change the way this important part of your device works.

How to Customize the Look of Your iPhone Lock Screen

As long as your iPhone runs at least iOS 16, you have access to the Deep Lock screen customization features. These include adding widgets for quick access to information, changing fonts, and adding depth effects to your wallpaper. You can even create multiple lock screens and switch between them at will, or connect to different iOS focus modes.

Check out our guide for everything you need to know about customizing your iPhone’s lock screen. Since we’ve covered those actions elsewhere, we’ll focus on changing the behavior of your lock screen here.

How to Change Your Lock Screen Wallpaper on iPhone

One of the simplest, yet most personal aspects of your iPhone’s lock screen is its wallpaper. You see it every time you unlock your phone, so it’s fun to change it up sometimes.

Changing your iPhone’s lock screen wallpaper is easy: Open the Settings app and select the Wallpaper field. Here, tap on Choose a new wallpaper to see the available options.

You’ll see a variety of themed options, including wallpapers that use your own photos, simple colors, different designs, and dynamic weather wallpapers. These usually change with each major release of iOS, so it’s worth taking another look whenever you install a major update. There are plenty of places to find new iPhone wallpapers if none of the existing options inspire you.

Depending on the wallpaper you select, you may be able to change the color, tone, or other options. See the guide linked above for more details on this. When you’re happy with your wallpaper, tap Add. You can choose whether to set the wallpaper as both your lock and home screen, or have two separate wallpapers for these.

To go deeper, try changing your iPhone wallpaper on a schedule.

How to change your iPhone’s passcode and security

Of course, the most important function of a lock screen is to protect your device from outsiders. Thus it is important to know how to change your passcode or biometric security when needed.

Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode for iPhone models without Face ID) for the relevant options. For iPhone models with Face ID, choose Reset Face ID if the feature isn’t working properly and you want to restart Face ID from scratch.

There is also an option to set up an alternate

Presence. This allows you to, for example, add the face of your spouse or trusted friend so they can unlock your device. Face ID constantly learns how you look, so you don’t need to use this feature for small changes like growing a beard or wearing a hat.

For devices with Touch ID, touch a finger to identify the scanner in the fingerprint list. Tap an existing fingerprint to remove it, swipe up on one to remove it, or tap Add Fingerprint to set up a new one (you can have up to five).

On either type of device, you can tap Turn off Passcode to disable all lock screen protection, though we strongly recommend against it. Hit Change Passcode to create a new iPhone passcode. During the process, tap Passcode Options to change the length of the code or use letters in it.

Scroll down to Allow access when locked to see a list of features that are accessible even when your device is locked. Disable the slider for anything you want to be accessible only after you’ve unlocked your iPhone. Keep in mind that anyone who has your iPhone can use the actions enabled (though some actions are limited, such as Siri not reading your recent messages when it’s locked).

Finally, with the Erase Data option enabled, your iPhone will erase everything after you enter the wrong passcode 10 times. Because your iPhone locks for a short period of time that increases after several wrong attempts, the risk of this feature is less than that of your child or friend messing with your data.

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