Your smartphone can save you the cost of a new WiFi router. Just turn ON the WiFi hotspot, and you can connect your smart speaker, laptop, game console, and TV to the internet. Except that there’s one problem! Your hotspot disconnects when the iPhone is locked, and your game console stops working each time that happens. “How many times am I going to have to keep unlocking my phone and turning the hotspot back ON?” you asked.
Well, it is frustrating when you have to turn ON your iPhone hotspot every time you unlock it. You’re not the only iPhone user to report this problem. And in this article, I’ll let you know why your phone acts that way and what troubleshooting options you have to keep hotspot ON when iPhone is locked.
Why Your iPhone Hotspot Disconnects When Locked
The most common reason for this problem is enabling a data or power saving mode in the iOS settings.
When the phone is on any mode preventing it from running in the background, the personal hotspot and other processes will stop when the phone’s display goes off.
Also, the data sharing feature may stop when your phone is not on the WiFi hotspot screen. Likewise, when the phone locks or the display light goes OFF, all background processes, such as downloads, WiFi hotspots, mail synchronization, and more, could stop.
Finally, the problem could be an iOS bug, perhaps you just updated your phone to an iOS version, or your iOS version is outdated.
How to Fix an iPhone Hotspot That Disconnects on Lock Screen
Here are the top fixes to try to keep hotspot ON when iPhone is locked:
1. Disable low data mode
If you have a limited data plan, you may have enabled the Low Data Mode option from iOS Settings. Low Data Mode is a feature that’s supposed to help reduce data usage.
When running, it works with iOS disabling tasks such as automatic updates, WiFi hotspots, and other background activities. You can check if this feature is enabled using the steps provided below:
- Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone.
- Step 2: Look for Mobile Data.
- Step 3: Select your primary SIM card to see if Low Data Mode is enabled. If it is, disable it to keep hotspot ON when iPhone is locked.
2. Reconnect the hotspot connection
Forget the WiFi hotspot from the iPhone on your PC or Mac. Then reset and try reconnecting with another password to see if it works.
To change the password, go to Settings and then Personal Hotspot. Change your hotspot password and try to reconnect to keep hotspot ON when iPhone is locked.
3. Keep the iPhone personal hotspot screen active
I suggest you keep the hotspot screen active. But, apparently, this method will consume more battery power. So, it’s better to do this if you have enough battery power or the iPhone is connected to a charger.
4. Disable the Low Power mode
This feature automatically disconnects your hotspot when you enable Low Power mode in the iOS Settings or the Control Center. Therefore, you will have to disable the mode to keep the hotspot ON.
This feature temporarily restricts background activities like email syncing, personal hotspots, download processes, and more so your phone can fully charge. Unfortunately, keeping your iPhone in power-saving mode will frequently disconnect the hotspot on the device.
Open the Settings app, go to the Battery menu, and disable Power Saver mode. You will be fine with a strong iPhone hotspot connection.
5. Reset your network settings
If none of the above procedures work, you may try resetting your iPhone’s network settings. Here’s how to do that:
- Step 1: Go to Settings on your iPhone.
- Step 2: Go to the general menu and scroll until you find the reset feature.
- Step 3: Tap it and reset your network settings to keep hotspot ON when iPhone is locked.
6. Update the operator settings
Your network provider regularly updates the network connectivity, including data speed, to improve these services. These are often installed automatically over the air. Meanwhile, you may sometimes have to update these carrier settings manually and restart the phone. To do this, follow the procedure below:
- Step 1: Go to Settings
- Step 2: At the general menu, select About.
- Step 3: Scroll down and find the SIM card details.
- Step 4: Check the version of the network provider.
- Step 5: Tap it so you can have the latest version.
- Step 6: Restart your phone
- Step 7: Turn ON Personal Hotspot, and let your devices reconnect.
7. Update your IOS version
iPhones with older iOS versions are known to have a lot of bugs and issues. Installing the latest iOS version can fix many problems with your iPhone. To do this, go to Settings > General > Software Update, and you should be able to install the latest iOS version.
Read also: 5 Best Wi-Fi Adapters for Gaming
How to prevent iPhone Screen From Turning Off
To disable the iPhone’s auto-lock, go to Settings > Display & Brightness and tap on Auto Lock. Select Never in the list of options, and your iPhone will no longer lock itself unless you do so.
Alternatively, you can also do the following:
- Step 1: First, go to Settings on your iPhone.
- Step 2: Tap the Touch ID & Passcode if your iPhone has a home button. Alternatively, go to Face ID & Passcode if your iPhone has a Face ID.
- Tap the Turn Passcode Off option. You can also turn off fingerprint recognition and Face ID here.
There are various settings for the lock screen on the iPhone. You can make the phone lock after a couple of seconds or minutes of inactivity, after which you can unlock it with a PIN or Face ID. You can also display different wallpapers and a clock.
But with the process I just introduced you to, you can also stop the screen from going off temporarily to keep the hotspot always active. However, note that the setting will only take effect when you enter your current unlock code.
However, I recommend that you don’t turn off the screen lock on the iPhone. Without protection by number code, face, or touch ID, strangers otherwise have free access to your data and content on the iPhone. But if you only use the iPhone at home as a second device, you can switch off the lock screen in the iOS settings.
I suggest you increase the auto-lock timeout range, increasing the period that should elapse before the automatic screen or key lock is activated. You have options from Never to 5 minutes.
As earlier mentioned, if you tap on “Never,” you will disable the automatic task mode of your iPhone. But I only recommend using the Never option only temporarily. If you have activated this option and forget to lock your iPhone manually, you will easily drain the battery. So always remember to switch this setting back to the minute option.
Why Can’t I Turn Off Auto Lock on My iPhone?
This could be that your iPhone is in Low Power Mode. This feature helps your phone conserve battery as much as possible, and auto lock is an essential process. Unfortunately, the iPhone locks itself automatically after 30 seconds with the Low Power Mode. So, you have to disable the low power mode to turn off the auto lock. If you can’t switch off the automatic lock on the iPhone still, there are a few other options to try::
- Reboot iPhone: Like I always say, this is the classic troubleshooting when something doesn’t work. Try restarting your device if you can’t enable, change, or disable your auto-lock. In most cases, it will work again after restarting the phone.
- Software Updates: You got the info about a new software update but haven’t installed it for ages? Malfeatures can always occur if you don’t. Install the update and wait for your iPhone to restart. Then see if you can turn ON Never in the auto-lock setting.
- Your iPhone is a company phone: If the iPhone is a company phone, certain features may have been disabled. For example, companies could disable this feature since a permanently unlocked screen can pose a security risk. This may also be related to the next point.
- Exchange account and server updates: The Microsoft Exchange account is a business, university, or school email account. With a business account, the respective company runs various updates via the server, which are then forwarded to the email address. These updates may also extend to the phone’s features. If you have an active Exchange Server account on your iPhone, this can affect the feature of the lock. Perhaps an update was also made on the Exchange Server, and the feature was thus deactivated. Try deactivating the account. Then the “Never” feature of the automatic lock should work again.
How to Keep My Hotspot Always ON?
If there’s no issue with your phone settings, you can always keep your hotspot on as much as you want. It stays on until you turn it OFF. However, protecting the WiFi hotspot with a password is always advisable to prevent unauthorized users. Also, ensure you don’t have any power or data saving mode turned off to keep the hotspot on. These features can interfere with the running of the hotspot in the background.