Change These 20 iPhone Settings and Thank Us Later

Say it with me: You aren’t caught along with your iPhone’s default settings. You can (and ought to) change loads of options in your system, relying on the way you need it to operate. Sure, you may must dig into the software program, however will probably be price it to make your system work the way in which you need.

Whether you wish to transfer the handle bar in Safari or limit knowledge utilization if you’re operating low, the ability is in your palms.

We’ll check out 20 settings for iOS 15.5, Apple’s newest main model of its cellular working system, that you could configure to make your iPhone higher — for you.

And if you wish to take a sneak peek into the longer term, you must take a look at what Apple has deliberate for iOS 16 later this 12 months, together with all the new major features that will be available on iOS 16 and which devices will be compatible with iOS 16.

A phone showing a notification bar at the top of the screen, propped up on a table in front of various toys

This incoming name alert is not splendid for everybody. 


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1. Bring again full-screen incoming name alerts

Prior to Apple’s iOS 14 replace, the incoming name display screen would take over your complete show when your iPhone was unlocked and getting used. It was disruptive, certain, however it additionally obtained the job executed.

Starting with iOS 14, nonetheless, Apple modified the incoming name immediate to look extra like a typical alert. That is, now it is a small notification that exhibits up close to the highest of the display screen if you’re utilizing your cellphone. On multiple event I’ve practically missed a name as a result of I dismissed the alert as yet one more annoying notification that did not instantly want my consideration.

To get the extra attention-grabbing full-screen alerts again, go to Settings > Phone > Incoming Calls and faucet Full Screen.

2. Change Siri’s voice

Siri gained two new voices when iOS 14.5 debuted final 12 months. And Siri now not defaults to a feminine’s voice. Instead, if you arrange a brand new system you may be requested which Siri voice you wish to use. Once you make your choice, Apple will change Siri’s voice throughout the entire gadgets linked to your Apple ID. It’s fairly slick. 

You can take a look at the voice choices by going to Settings > Siri & Search > Siri Voice. To be taught extra, take a look at our complete guide to changing Siri’s sound.

Apple can also be added a gender-neutral Siri voice option for English audio system in iOS 15.4

An iPhone held in a hand

5G is sweet, when you’ve got entry to it, however it can be a battery hog. 


Patrick Holland/CNET

3. Turn off 5G protection you do not need or have

Apple touts a Smart Data characteristic that is particular to its 5G telephones (the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 strains) that can robotically change between 4G LTE and 5G networks — with out you having to know or do a factor — primarily based on the way you’re utilizing your system. The computerized change is a part of an effort to enhance battery life. However, you could discover that your iPhone’s battery drains sooner than it did earlier than. If you do not wish to sacrifice battery life for sooner 5G speeds, shut it down. You can all the time flip 5G again on if you need it, or when service in your space improves.

To turn off 5G on your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13, forcing it to all the time use 4G LTE even when you’ve got 5G protection, open the Settings app, then go to Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Voice & Data and faucet LTE.

Alternatively, in order for you your iPhone to completely use a 5G connection when obtainable, you possibly can choose 5G On.

Read extra: AirPods 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Comparing Apple’s Latest Earbuds

4. Fine-tune how a lot knowledge is used on a 5G connection

If you are comfortable along with your 5G efficiency, this is a network-related setting you need to take a look at. Go to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Data Mode the place you may discover three totally different choices: Allow extra knowledge on 5G, Standard and Low Data Mode.

Even although there are temporary descriptions under the three totally different settings, they do not paint an entire image for the primary choice. According to an Apple support document, permitting extra knowledge on 5G provides you with high-quality video and FaceTime calls, and it additionally implies that your cellphone can obtain software program updates and stream high-definition Apple TV and Apple Music content material and it permits third-party builders to additionally enhance their respective apps.

The default setting on this web page will rely in your provider and your knowledge plan, so it is a good suggestion to check your iPhone and be sure that it is set to your choice.

Apple Watch Series 7 with a geometric face

You can unlock your iPhone along with your Apple Watch if Face ID is not working.


Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

5. Unlock your cellphone whereas carrying a face masks

One of the irritating features of carrying a face masking in public whereas utilizing an iPhone that has Apple’s Face ID tech inbuilt has been the lack to unlock the cellphone. Because half of your face is roofed, Face ID simply would not work. And whereas getting into your passcode to unlock your cellphone works, it isn’t as handy. 

You now have the choice to activate a face unlock feature that makes it simple to unlock your iPhone when your face is roofed with iOS 15.4. Before the replace, you would solely unlock your iPhone if you owned an Apple Watch

To unlock your iPhone along with your Apple Watch, open the Settings app in your iPhone and then open the Face ID & Passcode choice. Scroll down till you discover the Unlock with Apple Watch part (you should be related to an Apple Watch for the setting to look), the place you possibly can activate the characteristic for any watches linked to your iPhone. 

If you may have an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 that runs iOS 15.4 or later, you possibly can unlock your iPhone whereas carrying a masks and with out an Apple Watch, too. Go to the Settings app and open Face ID & Passcode. From there, you possibly can toggle Face ID With a Mask and select the Face ID With a Mask choice. It’s fairly superior. 

6. Put the handle bar in Safari again on high

Apple moved the handle bar in Safari to the underside of the display screen by default in iOS 15. This ought to theoretically really feel extra pure because it’s nearer to the keyboard and the place you sometimes place your thumbs. But it may be off-putting since many individuals are used to seeing the URL bar close to the highest of the display screen, as is the case on laptops. 

You can change this by opening Settings, tapping Safari and selecting the Single Tab choice underneath the Tabs subheading. 

7. Organize alerts with Notification Summary

Apple desires that will help you handle your notifications in iOS 15, beginning with the Notification Summary characteristic. Rather than letting notifications pile up on your own home display screen, you possibly can schedule alerts that are not pressing to reach in a bundle at a selected time of day. Important notifications like calls, direct messages and different time-sensitive alerts (just like the standing of your Uber or Lyft trip for instance) will nonetheless seem instantly.

To do that out, open Settings, press Notifications and faucet Scheduled Summary

Allow Access When Locked settings with most of them enabled

You can resolve which options you wish to entry when your cellphone is locked. 


Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

8. Add options that can be utilized when your iPhone is locked

There are instances if you may have to have sure info useful even when your cellphone is locked. That’s why Apple permits you to allow some options with out having to unlock your system, such because the notification heart, Control Center, the flexibility to answer to messages and the Wallet app.

Customize the options you’d wish to entry on the lock display screen by launching the Settings menu, faucet Face ID & Passcode and enter your passcode when prompted. Scroll down till you see the Allow Access When Locked part, and toggle the sliders primarily based in your preferences. 

Chrome settings screen with the default browser set to Safari

You now not have to make use of Safari or Mail as default apps. 


Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

9. Make your favourite e-mail app or internet browser the default

It was a very long time coming, however 2020’s iOS 14 replace lastly introduced the flexibility to decide on your personal default apps — no less than for e-mail and internet shopping. That implies that if you happen to change these defaults, then if you faucet a hyperlink or an e-mail ship button your iPhone will robotically launch the net browser or e-mail supplier of your selecting fairly than Safari or Mail. 

To get began, open the Settings menu and choose the app you’d wish to set as a default (reminiscent of Google Chrome or Outlook). You ought to then see a button that claims Default Mail App or Default Browser App. Tap that choice and choose the app of your selecting as a substitute of Safari or Mail. 

Read extraIf You Care About Your Privacy, You Need to Change These Browser Settings

10. Get full notifications in your lock display screen

The first time you expertise Apple’s Face ID tech, you may discover that you could’t see the content material of recent alerts and notifications on the lock display screen. For instance, as a substitute of seeing who despatched you a textual content message and what it says, you may solely see a generic Messages alert.

By default, all iPhones with Apple’s Face ID tech will disguise the content material of an alert till you decide up your cellphone and unlock it by taking a look at it. It’s a privateness characteristic that I fairly get pleasure from, however I additionally get how it may be annoying (and have heard a number of complaints from readers and members of the family alike).

You can change how notifications seem in your lock display screen by going to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews and deciding on Always. Conversely, you possibly can choose Never if you wish to maintain the content material of your notifications all the time hidden on the lock display screen.

iPhone 12 settings with arrows pointing to what to select to get HDR video

HDR video appears nice, however it would not work in all places but.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

11. Turn off (or on) HDR video for sharing movies

Phones within the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups can report HDR, or excessive dynamic vary, video with Dolby Vision. That means your movies might be brighter with extra correct colours and improved distinction. Sounds superior, proper? It is. But there’s an issue — not each app or service will work with HDR video. 

Developers might want to replace their apps with a view to settle for HDR video, however even then, the individual viewing the video will want a succesful system to see the HDR distinction. For Apple gadgets, that features the iPhone 8 or newer, the 2020 iPad Air, the second-generation iPad Pro and some Macs

So, what are you able to do? Well, you may have a number of choices: 

  • You can flip off HDR video by going to Settings > Camera > Record video and turning the change subsequent to HDR Video to the Off place. Going ahead, all movies might be captured in normal dynamic vary, and you should not have any points sharing or enhancing it.
  • Leave HDR Video turned on, however if you wish to share the video with, say, Facebook, use the Photos app as a substitute of going into the Facebook app and importing it there. When you utilize the Photos app, your iPhone will robotically convert the video to SDR and add it. When you ship the video to a different iPhone consumer, Apple will detect if their iPhone, iPad or Mac is appropriate with HDR Dolby Vision. If it isn’t, Apple will convert the video robotically.
  • If you permit HDR Video on and have to edit your video, you need to use Apple’s iMovie app or the Photos app that is constructed into your iPhone. You may even use iMovie to export the video as SDR if wanted. 
An iPhone with widgets held up against a cityscape

Customize your own home display screen on iOS 14 and the iPhone 12. 


Patrick Holland/CNET

12. Get rid of muddle on your own home display screen

Since the discharge of iOS 14 in 2020, iPhone users have had more options and control over what their residence display screen appears like than ever earlier than. The App Library, for instance, acts as an app drawer, permitting you to take away apps from your own home display screen with out deleting them. Heck, you possibly can even fully customize your phone’s look with totally different app icons and widgets — it is very Android-like, and there’s nothing flawed with that.

If you just like the minimal look, then you definitely’ll wish to be sure that newly put in apps aren’t robotically positioned on your own home display screen each time you obtain an app. Or, on the flip facet, if you do not need new apps to go on to the App Library the place you are certain to neglect about their existence after a day or two, go to Settings > Home Screen and choose both Add to Home Screen or App Library Only.

On an iPhone with 3D Touch, you need to use a third-party app to play longer-duration “Live” photographs in your lock display screen.


Patrick Holland/CNET

13. Customize your own home display screen with fancy wallpaper    

Another residence display screen tweak you need to make includes your wallpaper or background. Apple has added some new wallpapers of its personal, with a reasonably cool twist. 

Open the Settings app in your iPhone and choose Wallpaper from the record. Make certain the change labeled “Dark Appearance Dims Wallpaper,” which you may see under the 2 thumbnail previews of your wallpaper, is turned on. Now, faucet Choose a brand new wallpaper and choose both Stills or Live. See the circle close to the underside of every wallpaper? It’s half black, half white. 

That circle implies that the wallpaper has a lightweight and darkish mode model and will change robotically primarily based on the system standing of your cellphone. 

You can even set live wallpapers as your background if you happen to’re not bought on darkish and gentle mode.

Dark Mode on an iPhone 11

Dark Mode on the iPhone certain appears good. 


Jason Cipriani/CNET

14. Turn on darkish mode to avoid wasting your battery

Speaking of darkish mode, if you happen to do not wish to must repeatedly alter your display screen’s brightness, you need to use your cellphone’s devoted darkish mode. Dark mode converts the entire white backgrounds in apps to, as a rule, a black background. In flip, your cellphone is ready to save battery energy because of the darker colours. 

Turn it on by going to Settings > Display & Brightness and deciding on the Dark choice on the high of the display screen. 

Apple’s apps will robotically change to a darkish colour scheme and most third-party apps have also adopted the feature

iPhone showing iOS 13 privacy settings

Apple has put all of its privateness controls in a single place. 


Jason Cipriani/CNET

15. Manage your notifications with Focus Mode

We get a whole lot of notifications every single day, however not all of them are related on a regular basis. With iOS 15, Apple introduced a feature to address this known as Focus Mode. Think of it as a form of customized Do Not Disturb, however tailor-made to particular circumstances. 

This permits notifications from necessary individuals and apps to return by way of in order that you do not miss something, whereas blocking out much less related alerts. You can arrange several types of Focus modes for particular circumstances. Apple at present affords choices for Do Not Disturb, private, sleep, work, driving, health, gaming, mindfulness and studying, however you can even create your personal customized mode. You can schedule Focus modes in order that they activate robotically when wanted, and show a standing in apps in order that others know when you may have notifications silenced. 

To get began, open the Settings menu, faucet Focus and select one of many obtainable choices to arrange your notification preferences. Tap the plus (+) image within the high proper nook so as to add a brand new Focus. 

16. Control the scale of display screen textual content

With a few faucets in your iPhone’s display screen, you possibly can alter the font dimension to make it simpler to learn. Open Settings and go to Display & Brightness > Text Size the place you need to use the slider till you are pleased with the font dimension. 

For just a little added oomph, you possibly can activate Bold Text (it is slightly below the Text Size button). 

A woman in sunglasses smiling at an iPhone

Face ID would not all the time get it proper. 


Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

17. Add an alternate look to Face ID

Apple’s facial recognition characteristic, Face ID, always learns and relearns totally different features of your face with every scan. If you are struggling to get Face ID to constantly acknowledge you, attempt the Alternate Appearance choice. 

Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > enter your PIN > Set Up An Alternate Appearance and undergo the method of enrolling your face once more. 

Accessibility settings with arrows showing where to enable Auto Brightness

Keep your display screen dim to avoid wasting battery life. 


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

18. Disable auto brightness for longer battery cost

Your iPhone’s display screen brightness stage can have a big effect on battery life. By default, iOS will robotically alter the show’s brightness primarily based on how a lot gentle the ambient sensor detects. But if you wish to take full management, you possibly can disable auto-brightness, that means the brightness stage will keep the place you set it till you alter it once more. 

Open Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size and on the backside of the web page, you may discover a change to show off Auto-Brightness

Now, everytime you wish to alter your display screen, you are able to do so by opening Control Center with a swipe up from the underside of the display screen on a tool with a house button, or a swipe down from the top-right nook on newer iPhones. 

19. Triage your privateness settings

The first time you arrange a cellphone and your whole apps, you are bombarded with prompts asking for permissions to entry private info starting from monitoring your location to your Apple Health info or your digital camera roll. It’s far too simple to get within the behavior of approving the whole lot simply so you need to use the app, however take a couple of minutes and undergo your privateness settings and tailor what every app can and cannot see. We walk you through the process in two quick steps

Control Center has a whole lot of potential, you simply must customise it. 


Jason Cipriani/CNET

20. Put apps a faucet or swipe away with Control Center

Control Center is a handy spot to shortly change songs, activate airplane mode, hook up with Wi-Fi or begin a timer, however there’s a lot extra to it than that. You can shortly flip your flashlight on, test on a timer or begin recording your display screen with a fast swipe and faucet. 

Customize which apps and options can be found in Control Center by opening Settings > Control Center. Remove an choice with a faucet on the purple minus button or add an choice by deciding on the inexperienced addition button. Drag options up or down utilizing the three-line icon on the appropriate facet of the display screen. 

Personally, I like having fast entry to the Wallet app and toggles for low-power mode and darkish mode. 

As a reminder, when you’ve got an iPhone with a house button, just like the 2020 iPhone SE, you possibly can swipe up from the underside of the display screen to open Control Center. If you may have an iPhone with Face ID, like an iPhone X ($292 at Amazon), XS or 13, you may have to swipe down from the top-right nook of the display screen the place the battery icon is. 

For extra, this is how to set up your new iPhone and how to transfer your data from your old iPhone. Plus, this iOS 15 trick gives you more iCloud storage for free.

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