iOS 16: How to Automatically Switch to a Lock Screen at a Set Time

Apple introduced several improvements to focus modes in iOS 16, and one of them is the ability to bind a custom lock screen to a particular focus mode. With the wealth of customization options that can now be applied to lock screens, this means you can customize them specifically to better reflect your purpose.

One of the great things about ‌iOS 16‌ is that it lets you make lock screens more informative or functional and then switch to your favorite one when you need it. For example, when you’re in the office, you can have a lock screen with work-focused widgets and a family photo. Or in the evening, when you’re relaxing before bed, you might prefer a minimal lock screen with fewer widgets and a soothing sunset wallpaper.

The benefit is that by linking a lock screen to a focus mode, you can automatically switch to your custom lock screen at a set time. As shown in the image above, you can link lock screens to existing focus modes by tapping the focus button that appears in the lock screen gallery, accessible from the screen your iPhone’s currently active lock with a long press.

You can also select a lock screen when creating a new focus mode in settings. Here’s how it works in ‌iOS 16‌, which is currently in beta and slated for release in the fall.

Creating a scheduled focus with a custom lock screen

In this example, we’ve already customized a lock screen that we want to activate when the working day is over, and now we’ll create a Focus Mode to bind it to by following the steps below.

  1. On ‌iPhone‌, go to Settings -> Focusand press the + in the upper right corner of the screen to create a new Focus.
  2. Faucet Custom in the next screen, give your Focus a name and an associated icon, then tap Next.
    1link ios lock screen focus mode
  3. Set notification silence options for people and apps when your Focus is active, then under “Customize screens” choose the Lock screen option.
  4. Create a new lock screen from the gallery, or Choose from existing lock screens.
  5. With your lock screen linked, tap Add automation under “Enable automatically”.
    2link ios lock screen focus mode
  6. On the New Automation screen, select Time.
  7. Enable Program and choose the time you want your Focus to become active and the days of the week.
    3link ios lock screen focus mode

With your new focus mode now programmed, your associated lock screen will also become active at the same time.

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