Thu. Feb 29th, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • StandBy mode is a useful feature on the iPhone that displays information on your nightstand while the device is charging.
  • StandBy mode is automatically enabled when your iPhone is connected to power and in a landscape orientation. You may need a stand for it to work properly.
  • You can customize StandBy mode by switching between different modes, adding or removing widgets, choosing clock styles, and displaying notifications and Now Playing information. You can also disable StandBy mode in the settings.

The iPhone’s StandBy mode puts useful information on your iPhone display at night while your device is on your nightstand. Here’s how it works, how to customize it, and how to disable it.

How StandBy Mode Works

StandBy was introduced with the iOS 17 update, which is currently available in public beta and due for release in late September 2023. You don’t need to do anything special to enable StandBy since it is on by default, but it only shows up when your iPhone is connected to power and in a horizontal (landscape) orientation.

You may need to invest in a stand for StandBy mode to work, but you can simply prop your iPhone up on something, attach a tripod or Gorillapod, or fashion a stand.

iPhone StanBy mode

StandBy mode works on all models of iPhone compatible with iOS 17 including the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and newer. StandBy mode won’t remain on all of the time unless you have an iPhone model with an always-on display like the iPhone 14 Pro or newer.

You can still use StandBy Mode, but you’ll have to reach across and tap the screen to do so.

With StandBy mode active on your iPhone display, you can swipe left and right to switch between the three modes. The basic modes are (from left to right): widget mode, Photos mode, and Clock mode.

Widget mode is probably the most interesting since it splits the screen between two widgets. You can swipe up and down on each side of the screen to change widgets. Tap and hold a widget to add or remove widgets from the carousel.

iPhone StandBy widget mode

There are widgets for many first-party apps like Weather, Notes, and Reminders. Third-party developers can also display widgets here. While editing widgets use the “plus” + button to add new ones, or tap on the minus “-“ button next to a widget to remove it.

Edit which widgets are displayed in StandBy mode

Photos mode will only display images when your device is unlocked. You can tap and hold the screen then tap on the “plus” + icon to choose albums.

StandBy mode Photos view

In Clock mode, you can swipe up and down to choose between different clock styles.

StandBy mode Clock view

StandBy mode will also display information from notifications (like scores for any sports you’re following) and Now Playing information from apps like Music.

Now Playing view in StandBy mode

How to Disable StandBy on iPhone

If you don’t like StandBy mode you can disable it entirely. Head to Settings > StandBy and disable “StandBy” from the list of options.

Disable StandBy mode under Settings

You can also toggle “Night Mode” off to stop StandBy from using a dim red glow, disable notifications, and choose to hide notification previews until you tap on them.

StandBy mode's ambient red hue

On modern devices with always-on displays StandBy seems like it could be a nice companion for your nightstand, much like the Apple Watch nightstand mode. Find out what else is new in iOS 17.

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By John P.

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