Unlocking your iPhone should be easy, but sometimes the security gets in the way and it can be very irritating. There are ways to make it simpler and less irritating. Basically, you have been unlocking your iPhone all wrong till now.

If you get your phone out of your pocket you either have to swipe and enter a PIN or use your fingerprint. If you put down the phone for a minute, the screen will timeout and switch off and when you pick it up, you must unlock it. If you switch it off with the power/sleep button, but then remember something you forgot to do, you must unlock it.

It is not like unlocking is easy. You press the power/sleep button, hold your finger against the home button, wait for it to be recognised, and finally you get in. It is slightly better than the alternative of swiping and typing the PIN, but only just.

There are several scenarios where these security features can be a source of irritation. For example, when it is cold and you are wearing those special gloves that let you use touch screens. The gloves are fine, but you cannot unlock the iPhone with your fingerprint. You must turn on the iPhone, swipe, and then enter the PIN.

Unlocking the phone when you have dirty hands can be a problem, and your dirty finger might not be recognised. You then have to go through the swipe and PIN process.

Let us take a look at the options that are available.

Use your fingerprint and Touch ID

Go to Settings, Touch ID & Passcode. In the USE TOUCH ID FOR section, the switch for iPhone Unlock should be on.

Touch ID on the iPhone

Scroll down the screen a bit and there is a Require Passcode option, which is set to Immediately.

Touch ID on the iPhone

Tap it and Immediately is the only option and it cannot be changed. If you use Touch ID then this is the only option available and as soon as the screen automatically goes off or you switch it off, the iPhone is locked and requires a fingerprint or PIN.

Touch ID on the iPhone

Wouldn’t it be better if there was a delay, say a couple of minutes? You could then let the screen time out or switch it off with the power/sleep button, and easy wake it up with a tap on the home or power/sleep. There would be no need to unlock it.

This is handy for those times when you do something on your phone, put it down and pick it up a minute later to do something else. It would still be unlocked.

Set a lock timer

This is possible with a lock timer. Return to Touch ID & Passcode and turn off iPhone Unlock.

Touch ID on the iPhone

Scroll down to Require Passcode and tap it. Now there are options to set a lock timer.

Touch ID on the iPhone

The only option with Touch ID is Immediately, but with a PIN you can set a timeout. A short timeout is more secure and the four hour option should not be used. If you put your phone down or put it in your pocket, you want it to be locked fairly soon, such as five minutes, but not immediately.

The best unlocking solution

Setting a lock timer is useful, but if you want to use Touch ID, but it is irritating, perhaps you are using it all wrong.

Do you tap the power/sleep button to wake the iPhone? Wong!

Do you tap the home button to wake the phone? Wrong!

Never use the power/sleep button. What you do is press the home button and then relax your finger, but keep it lightly touching the home button. The iPhone will wake up and unlock immediately. It is one action to unlock the phone and not two - wake, press finger, wait is wrong.

It is so easy to forget, you will be annoyed when you do. Remember to press, lift slightly and relax, and keep your finger there. It takes a bit of practice to get right and wake and unlock the iPhone in one go.