Tag Archives: Tablets

Hey Smartphone, STOP Asking for my Password Every Single Time!

passcodesIf you use an iPhone or iPad, you know that there was a major upgrade recently to iOS; version 7.  The most common complaint we’ve heard about this update is that it requires a passcode to unlock the device.  And, by default, it requires that passcode EVERY time the screen goes dark.  It is very annoying when you’re using your phone (or tablet), get distracted for a just a minute, and when you look back you need to swipe to unlock AND enter a passcode.  Although this feature got turned on with the iOS 7 upgrade, you do have the ability to turn it off, or adjust it.

Android phones and tablets have similar settings.  Both are detailed below.

There’s a setting for that!

You can turn off the need for a passcode altogether, but we don’t recommend that.  These devices contain a lot of your personal information.  If you leave it on an airplane, or drop it at the park, you don’t want just anyone to be able to pick it up and use it.  BUT, you can at least turn it down so it only asks for the passcode after some time has passed.

To keep your iPhone / iPad from turning the screen off (locking) so often:

  1. Tap on Settings->General->Auto-Lock (2021 update: Settings->Display and Brightness->Auto-lock)
  2. You should see a choice now of 2, 5, 10, or 15 minutes; Or Never.  The shorter the time, the greater the battery savings.  However, having your screen go black every 2 minutes can be a bit annoying.  We recommend 5 minutes.

To keep your iPhone / iPad from asking for a passcode every time you turn the screen back on i.e. every time you “unlock” it:

  1. Tap on Settings->General->Passcode Lock (2021 update: Settings->TouchID and Passcode)
  2. You will have to enter your passcode here to enable you to change the setting
  3. If yours is set to Require Passcode “Immediately” that means a passcode is necessary every single time.  If you tap where it reads “immediately,” you should now see options for 1, 5, or 15 minutes or 1 hour and 4 hours. (Immediately will be your only option if you use Apple Pay or Face ID)  If you choose 1 hour, this means that even though your screen goes dark or “locks” you will only need a simple swipe right to unlock it, UNLESS more than 1 hour has passed.  If the hour has passed, then you will need the passcode.  You can turn it off altogether if you prefer with the option at the top, “Turn Passcode Off”

To keep your Android phone / tablet from turning the screen off

  1. Settings->Display->Sleep (2021 update: Settings->Display->Screen Timeout)
  2. Choose to have it sleep after 15, 30 seconds or 1, 2, 5, or 10 minutes.

To manage when your Android phone / tablet asks for a passcode

  1. Settings->Security and Screen Lock (2021 update: Settings->Lock Screen)
  2. Choose None, Pattern, PIN or Password
  3. If you chose something other than None, you can select a time for it to automatically lock: 5, 15, 30 seconds or 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, or 30 minutes.  You can also choose for the power button to automatically lock – thereby requiring some kind of code to unlock it.
  4. Smart Lock will keep your phone unlocked when in a trusted location

Solve Problems by Restarting your Smartphone or Tablet

man holding digital tablet  screaming angry furiousRestarting (or “Rebooting” for us old-timers) your computer is the single most important troubleshooting technique you can learn.  Mouse stopped working?  Restart.  Operations slow down to a crawl?  Restart.  Weird things happening on your screen?  Restart.  Your problem is almost always fixed when it comes back on.

Guess what?  Your smartphone or tablet is just like a computer!  Just today, my Android smartphone stopped working.  It displayed a message that there was no SIM card, no Verizon Service and it wouldn’t make a call or get email – nothing!  What?!  I had just made a phone call.  It is a total mystery to me why that would happen, I’ve never seen that message before.  Before freaking out and calling Verizon (with some other phone!), I restarted.  All fixed.

Last week, during our iPad/iPhone class, one of the student’s iPads became unresponsive and the screen was blinking like crazy.  Pressing home did nothing, pressing the power or wake/sleep button did nothing, holding down on the power button did nothing.  It just kept blinking away.  What to do?

How do you ShutDown/Restart a Smartphone or Tablet

With an iPhone/iPad, you hold down the power button (aka Sleep/Wake button) until you see a red bar with the words “slide to power off.”  Slide it in the direction indicated and the screen should go dark and your device is, indeed, powered OFF.  Then, to turn it back on, you also hold down on the power button until you see something happen … an apple logo should appear on your screen.  You can let go then, and your device should be back on soon. 

IMG_0240With the iPhone/iPad, it can also be a good idea to kill all apps in your Recently Used list before performing the shutdown.  That means to double-tap on the home button (the round, physical button on your device) and you will a series of App icons at the bottom of the screen.  On iOS7 you will also see a full representation of the app in the middle of the screen, you kill the app by swiping it up, off the screen.  Do that for all the apps.  In iOS6 you need to longpress on one of the icons at the bottom until they all start wiggling and you see a red minus sign on each icon.  Tap each minus sign until they have all disappeared.

With an Android Device, you hold down on the power button until you see choices.  Select the choice to Power Off.  When it’s finished and the screen is black, press and hold the power button again until you see something appear on the screen, then you can let go and wait until the device is all the way back on.  This procedure automatically clears all recently used Apps on the Android devices.

What if it Doesn’t Respond to ShutDown?

Sometimes, like in the blinking iPad described above, the power button is non-responsive.  If your device has a removable battery, you’re in luck.  Remove it. It has no choice but to power off then!  Most devices today have sealed batteries that you cannot remove, so you need to know about the 2 or 3 button technique to force it to shut down and restart.

With an iPhone/iPad, you hold down on the power button (sleep/wake) AND the Home button at the same time for several seconds … until the screen goes black.  This is the technique we used for the blinking iPad mentioned above.  Holding down on the sleep/wake and the home button together eventually stopped the annoying blinking screen and it peacefully powered off.  With this process it automatically turns itself back on, and all was functioning normally.

With Android Devices: On my Motorola Droid Razr Maxx the way to force a shutdown is by holding down the Power button and the Down Volume button at the same time for several seconds.  As it turns out, that is the same key combination that takes a screen shot – so if you hear a click, just keep holding down the keys, it will eventually restart.  Your Android phone or tablet may be different, you will need to find the user’s manual for your specific make and model.  You can also call your service provider (Verizon, AT&T etc.) and they’ll be able to help.

Tutorial Videos to Watch

In our Smartphones and Tablets section, watch