How To Keep iPhone Unlocked While Driving: 2 Easy Options

how To keep iphone unlocked while driving - featured image

There’s nothing more annoying than repeatedly unlocking your iPhone when you’re driving.

Not only is it a nuisance, but it’s also dangerous!

Your hands should be on the wheel, and your attention on the road—putting in a passcode or raising your phone to your face for facial recognition while you’re driving is dangerous for you and those around you.

Here’s how you can keep your iPhone unlocked while you’re driving:

  • Turn off auto-lock completely before starting your drive.
  • Add the Google Maps widget to your lock screen.


I’ll explain both of these methods in detail in the rest of this article.

If you want a more thorough understanding of how to keep your iPhone unlocked while you’re driving, keep reading!

For navigation apps: If you’re reading because you don’t want your navigation app to go off, then there’s no need. Apps such as Google Maps, Waze, and Apple maps will automatically stay unlocked while you’re driving in navigation mode.

Tip: If you have Apple CarPlay, it could be a good idea to use one of these apps instead. See our article on the best CarPlay navigation apps for more information.

1. Turn Off Auto-Lock Completely Before Starting Your Drive

auto lock iphone setting for keeping iphone unlocked while driving

The best way to keep your iPhone unlocked while you’re driving is to stop it from auto-locking at all.

Many people keep their iPhones on low power mode, which reduces the amount of battery your phone uses. Part of this mode is dimming your phone’s brightness, which reduces battery drain.

Another part of this mode is that it reduces how much time your phone stays unlocked before going to sleep.

Even if you aren’t using low power mode, your iPhone is set to automatically lock after a certain amount of time.

However, you can easily change this setting so you can drive without worrying about unlocking your phone.

Here’s how:

  1. First, go to the Settings app.
  2. Click on the “Display and Brightness” menu option.
  3. Select the “Auto-Lock” option.
  4. In this menu, you can select how long you want your iPhone to wait before it automatically locks: 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, or never. If you want your iPhone to remain unlocked throughout your entire drive, you should choose the “never” option.
  5. Exit the Settings app.


Or watch the YouTube video below:

After doing this, your iPhone won’t lock unless you press the power button or change the settings again.

This means that you can go your entire drive without your phone locking, so you can check your progress on whichever navigation app you’re using or quickly check a message without having to unlock your phone first.

However, I don’t recommend checking messages or staring at a map if you are driving. Your attention should always be on the road.

To save your phone’s battery, it’s best to change the settings back once you’re done driving.

If you fail to do so and keep iPhone unlocked while driving, the battery will drain quickly, and your phone will die faster.

Follow the above steps and select whichever option (other than “never”) you prefer to change the settings.

2. Add the Google Maps Widget to Your Lock Screen

iphone widgets

An alternative option to changing your settings to keep your iPhone from locking is to add the Google Maps widget to your lock screen.

This doesn’t keep your phone from locking, but it does eliminate the necessity to unlock your iPhone in many situations.

Most people who want to keep their iPhones unlocked as they drive want to check their navigation as they’re driving.

This becomes difficult when they have to input their passcode or hold their phone up for facial recognition.

However, there is a way to see directions on your lock screen: a widget that acts as a shortcut to the Google Maps app.

This way, you can see where you’re going without unlocking the phone.

Here’s how to install the widget:

  1. Open your iPhone’s lock screen and swipe left.
  2. Select the “edit” button at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Search the available widgets until you find Google Directions.
  4. Click on the green “add” button.
  5. Select “Done.”


Now you should be able to see this widget and know where you’re driving, even if your phone is locked.

If you ever want to remove the widget, follow the steps above, but instead of clicking the green “Add” button, tap the red “minus” button.

You can also reorganize widgets by touching the screen next to them, holding, and dragging the widgets to where you want them.

Final Thoughts

Now you can hit the road without dealing with the annoyance and danger of unlocking your phone while operating your vehicle.

If you’re interested a safer option could be CarPlay as this is built into your car’s ecosystem and only allow for audio-based apps apart from navigation apps.

Happy driving!

Picture of Alex
I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system! Founder
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