How to Delay Auto Sleep Mode and Passcode Lock on the iPad

Set your iPad to tolerate longer periods of inactivity without locking

Man lying on lawn with closed eyes holding digital tablet
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The iPad goes into sleep mode after two minutes of inactivity by default, which is great for conserving battery power. However, this may not be enough time if you jump back and forth between your iPad and another focus, or if you want to display what is on the screen during a period of inactivity, for example, musicians who use an iPad to display sheet music. It's easy to delay the Auto-Lock mode on your iPad and how often the passcode is required.

Instructions in this article apply to iPads running iOS 12 or iOS 11.

How to Delay the Auto-Lock Mode on iPad

To increase the amount of time before your iPad goes into sleep mode:

  1. On the iPad Home screen, open Settings.

  2. In the left panel, tap Display & Brightness.

  3. In the Display & Brightness screen, tap Auto-Lock.

    Auto-Lock setting on iPad
  4. Select the option you prefer. Choices are 2, 5, 10, or 15 minutes. You can also choose Never.

    Auto-Lock timing settings on iPad

Choosing Never means the iPad never goes into sleep mode automatically. If you put your iPad down and forget to put it into sleep mode, it stays active until it runs out of battery life.

Which Auto-Lock Setting Is Right for You?

If the iPad goes into sleep mode while you are using it, set the delay to 5 minutes. While three extra minutes doesn't sound like a lot, it more than doubles the default setting.

If you have a Smart Cover that automatically puts the iPad into sleep mode when the flap is closed, use the 10-minute or 15-minute setting. If you are good about closing the flap when done with the iPad, you won't lose any battery power, and the longer setting keeps the iPad from going to sleep when you are using it.

How to Delay When the Passcode Is Required

If your iPad doesn't have Touch ID or Face ID, you may not want to enter the passcode every time you wake your iPad. If it has Touch ID or Face ID, you can unlock the iPad and do a few other neat tricks, but you don't need Touch ID or Face ID to skip inputting the passcode. Instead, set a timer for how often the passcode is required.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. In the left panel, tap either Passcode, Touch ID & Passcode, or Face ID & Passcode, depending on the iPad model.

  3. Enter the passcode.

    Unlocking Passcode settings
  4. In the Passcode Lock screen, tap Require Passcode.

    Require Passcode setting on iPad

    Don't see these settings on the screen? If you have iPad Unlock turned on for Touch ID or Face ID, you can't delay the interval. Instead, rest your finger on the Home button or raise the phone and look at it to unlock the iPad.

  5. In the Require Passcode screen, select a setting from Immhhediately up to 4 hours.

    After 15 minutes option for Require Passcode on iPad