Just arrived on iOS and looking for a way to perfectly customize the settings on your iPhone? Relax. I’m here to walk you through 22 essential iPhone settings, which you need to change. Even if you have been using iOS for long, you might not have discovered some of the most appreciable features. From preventing unauthorized access to the sensitive data, enhancing your viewing experience to adding an extra layer of safeguard to your iPhone, the operating system has got more than you may think.
So, either watch the hands-on video or snap a look at each bullet point to configure everything that matters a lot both for your smartphone and user-experience!
22 iPhone Settings You Need to Know About
#1. Limit Ad Tracking
Based on your usage, Apple shows ads that might interest you. However, you can limit the Ad tracking to receive targeted ads. To do it, Open Settings app → Privacy → Scroll down and tap on Advertising → turn on the switch for Limit Ad Tracking.
#2. Turn Off iPhone Analytics and System Services to Stop Sharing Data With Apple
Apple needs to have diagnostic and usage data of your iPhone to improve your overall experience. However, you get the complete freedom to opt out of these things at your own terms.
To take control of these things. Open Settings app → Privacy → Location Services → scroll down and tap on System Services. On this screen, you can disable the access to a ton of things like Location-based Apple ads, suggestions, iPhone analytics and more. So, fine-tune everything as per your needs.
iTunes & App Stores Settings to Change on iPhone
#3. Disable In-App Ratings & Reviews
At times, in-app ratings & reviews seem to be too distracting especially when they start popping up time and time again. Fortunately, there is a quick way to turn off such popups.
To do so, launch the Settings app and head over to iTunes & App Store section. Then, turn off In-App Ratings & Reviews toggle.
#4. Disable Video Auto-play
The short previews of apps and games are helpful as they let you snap a quick look at what they have to offer. However, they can drain out your iPhone battery and also eat into plenty of your cellular data.
But don’t worry as you can easily disable the video auto-play to browse through the App Store with complete peace of mind.
To get it done, jump into Settings app → iTunes & App Store → tap on Video Autoplay. Now, you can choose Off to completely disable this feature or allow the videos to play only on Wi-Fi.
Tighten Up iPhone Security Settings
#5. Change Passcode to Alphanumeric
A four-digit password isn’t recommended for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a tad easier to guess. And the second, you know how devastating it can be for your sensitive info.
To change passcode to Alphanumeric, open Settings app → Face/Touch ID → hit Change Passcode. Then, enter your old passcode → tap on Passcode Options → Choose Custom Alphanumeric. And then, set a strong passcode as usual.
#6. Disable Access To Siri, Home Control, Control Center When Locked
While it’s helpful to quickly access some of the most used things like Siri, Control Center, Wallet and more right from the Lock screen, it also exposes your privacy. Thus, it’s better to disable the access to such essential features.
To do it, launch Settings app → Face/Touch ID & Passcode → slightly swipe down to Allow Access When Locked section.
Now, you get the option to disable the access to many things like Control Center, Notification Center, Siri and more. Turn off the toggles for every feature you wish to protect.
#7. Enable two-factor Authentication for More Security
Apple’s Two-Factor Authentication adds another layer of safeguard to your device. It can go a long way in offering a strong shield to not just your personal device but also protect your data from falling into the wrong hands. So, make sure to keep it enabled.
To get started, open Settings app → Your profile → Password & Security → enter Apple ID password → Turn On Two-Factor Authentication → Tap Continue. And then set it up by following the instructions.
#8. Disable USB Accessories
USB Restricted Mode is a well-thought-out security feature that shields your iPhone against hacking. It prevents your device from connecting to an accessory if it hasn’t been unlocked for more than an hour.
To make sure this security is ON, head over to Settings app → Face/Touch ID & Passcode. Then, be sure the switch for USB Accessories is turned OFF.
Don’t get confused because when the switch is ON, accessories will be allowed to connect to your device without any restriction.
#9. Limit Microphone and Camera Access to Certain Apps
You may have allowed many apps to access your microphone and camera on your iPhone. But did you know that you could completely stop those apps from using your mic or the camera? It’s quite simple to put the plug on them.
Fire up Settings app → Privacy → Now tap on Microphone and turn off the switch next to the app which you no longer want to use your mic.
Similarly, you can tap on Camera and then disable the switch for the apps, which you want to stay away from your device camera.
#10. Enable SIM PIN
What if someone steals your iPhone and start using the SIM to blackmail others? Oh…that will be a disaster– to say the least!
Why give anyone a chance to endanger your life when you can enable SIM PIN and prevent them from using it. To get going, open Settings app → Cellular/Mobile Data → SIM PIN → turn on the switch for SIM PIN → enter the PIN and you are done!
#11. Customize Privacy & Security in Safari
“Safari” makes web browsing more secure. You can further customize it to keep spammers or data trackers at bay.
To get it done, head into Settings app → Safari → Under Privacy & Security, you have multiple options like prevent cross-site tracking, block all cookies, get fraudulent website warning and more.
So, adjust everything to navigate through the web with more safeguard!
Adjust Display & Brightness For Enhanced Viewing
#12. Adjust Auto-Lock
iOS automatically locks your iPhone after a predefined time when it doesn’t detect any human interaction. It not only prevents unnecessary power consumption but also stops others from viewing your content.
It’s better to keep the auto-lock to the minimum level. As the screen automatically dims before 10 seconds, the 30 seconds option would be a bit too short. So, choose either 1 or 2-minute option as it can fit into most of your needs.
To fine-tune this; open Settings app → Display & Brightness → Auto-Lock. Now, you should see multiple options like 30 seconds, 1 minute, etc. Choose the preferred option keeping in mind the security of your device.
#13. Enable True Tone and Night Shift
True Tone and Night Shift are designed to enhance the viewing experience. While True Tone automatically adapts your iPhone display as per ambient lighting conditions, Night Shift ideally shifts the colors of the display so that your eyes find it more comfortable to view the content.
To enable these features, head over to Settings → Display & Brightness.
bring True Tone into action, turn on the switch for it.
To activate Night Shift, tap on it and then customize it based on your need.
Few More Essential iPhone Settings you Should Toggle
#14. Enable Find My iPhone To Track Your Lost Device
“Find My iPhone” is known to be an advanced device-tracking feature. And it can be enormously helpful in letting you find your lost device. So, be sure it’s enabled. Open Settings app → Your profile → iCloud → tap on Find My iPhone. And ensure that the toggle is ON.
#15. Enable Wi-Fi Assist
Imagine a situation where you are watching your favorite Netflix shows, suddenly your Wi-Fi connection becomes sloppy and brings your binge-watching to a halt.
Wouldn’t it better if your device automatically connects to the mobile data when Wi-Fi connection is poor? This is where Wi-Fi Assist comes into the play. To turn it on, fire up Settings app → Cellular/Mobile Data → scroll down and ensure that Wi-Fi Assist toggle is ON.
#16. Optimize Storage With High Efficiency
By taking full advantage of High-Efficiency format, you can reduce the file size of your photos and videos by up to 50%. To me, it’s the best way to manage the storage and prevent the device from being cluttered for space. So, never fail to give it a shot.
To get going, launch Settings app → scroll down and tap on Camera → Formats → make sure High Efficiency is selected.
#17. Turn on Reachability
While big screen iPhones are great for media viewing, web browsing, and playing games, they aren’t convenient to use with one hand. If you find it a bit uncomfortable to use your device one-handed, you should take advantage of Reachability.
To enable it, open Settings app → General → Accessibility → and then turn on the switch for Reachability.
Next, to activate this feature on the iPhone X series, swipe down from the middle of the bottom row of apps.
When you are inside an app, touch your finger on the gesture bar and swipe down to invoke Reachability.
On the classic iPhones like iPhone 7/7 Plus, 8/8 Plus with Touch ID, you need to double-tap on the Home button.
When it’s activated, the content of the top half of the screen will slide down, making it a lot comfortable for your thumb and fingers to interact with them.
#18. Turn off keyboard Clicks
While keyboard click sound may be helpful in letting you know that you have successfully entered a letter, it may turn out to be annoying stuff especially during the night or when you are in a meeting. Thankfully, you can easily turn it off.
To do it, open Settings app → Sounds & Haptics → and then turn off the switch for keyboard Clicks.
#19. Disable Auto-Correction in Keyboards
Don’t’ get me wrong; I find Auto-Correction in the keyboard app very useful as it enables you to type correctly. But at times, it doesn’t seem to work spotlessly and may even hinder you from typing fast. If this is the case, you may want to turn it off.
To do so, open Settings app → General → Keyboard and then turn off the switch for Auto-Correction.
#20. Set Emergency SOS
Emergency SOS is a life-saving feature. It lets you quickly call emergency services by clicking the side button 3 times. Knowing how significant this feature is, make sure it’s always on in the Settings → Emergency SOS section.
#21. Enable Do Not Disturb While Driving
We must all root for safe driving, ensuring we follow all the rules carefully. iOS comes with a highly appreciable feature called “Do Not Disturb While Driving” that mutes incoming calls, texts, and notifications when you are on the go to prevent accident-causing distractions.
You can choose to turn it on manually or automatically whenever your iPhone detects a car’s acceleration or connects to a car’s Bluetooth.
To get started, simply open Settings app and head into Do Not Disturb section. Then, tap on Activate under Do No Disturb While Driving. Next, select the preferred option.
One thing worth noting is that you can activate this safe driving feature from the Control Center as well. But first, you have to add it to the CC. To do so, go to Settings app → Control Center → Customize Controls → and then hit the “+” button to the left for DNDWD. Now, it will be available in the CC.
#22. Enable Screen Time
Apple has introduced a robust parental control feature called “Screen Time” in iOS 12. You can use this new add-on to not only keep track of your iPhone usage but also get rid of smartphone addiction. To get started, open Settings app → Screen Time. Now, you have multiple options:
- Downtime: It lets you set a schedule during which you don’t want to use your device. Based on your need, you will also customize the days to exclude Sunday or put a restriction for only a few hours on a specific day
- App Limit: You can set daily time limits for app categories. For instance, you can configure the settings to use apps for just one hour
- Always Allowed: It’s in this section where you will see the allowed apps during downtime. You can choose to disallow the access to any app by tapping on the “+” button to the left of it. And just in case if you want to remove an app from the Allowed section, tap on the red button to the left of it
- Content & Privacy Restrictions: It provides you control over a ton of things. For instance, you can use this option to restrict iTunes & App Store Purchases, keep explicit music, news, podcasts away from your device. Simply, head over here to customize the settings depending on your requirement
One more very important thing, be sure to set the Screen Time passcode to prevent anyone from making any changes. Simply hit Screen Time Passcode → enter the code and confirm.
To get to know more about Screen Time, follow this complete guide.
There you go!
Stay Tuned For More…
Hopefully, you’ve adjusted everything to suit your needs better. Of course, nothing is perfect but iOS does offer advanced security to ensure your data and privacy stay guarded.
Plus, there are quite a few user-friendly features like Continuity that offers a seamless experience across iDevices.
With Apple always trying its best to improve the performance, we can expect iOS to continue to get better. Let me know your thoughts down below.
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