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How to use the iPhone’s incredibly useful StandBy mode

StandBy mode was added with the iOS 17 update, and it is now one of the handiest software features on the iPhone. Here we will show you how to turn it on and get the smart display mode working.

StandBy mode turns any iPhone running iOS 17 into something comparable to a smart display. It can highlight the time, weather, calendar appointments or show a photo slideshow and works brilliantly on a desk or bedside table.

While this feature works best with a wireless charging stand that sits the phone horizontally, it will work as long as the phone is charging in a horizontal position.

What you’ll need:

  • An iPhone running iOS 17
  • A charger

The Short Version 

  1. Unlock the iPhone
  2. Open Settings
  3. Select StandBy
  4. Make sure it’s toggled on
  5. Place the iPhone horizontally on a charging stand
  6. The StandBy screen will appear
  1. Step

    Unlock the iPhone

    First off, unlock your iPhone running iOS 17.homescreen on the iPhone

  2. Step

    Open Settings

    Next up, open the Settings app. This is the app represented by the cog icon you can see below.Find the Settings icon

  3. Step

    Scroll down and tap StandBy

    Once you’re in Settings, scroll down to the menu labelled StandBy. Tap it.Find the standby icon

  4. Step

    Make sure StandBy is toggled on

    Make sure the toggle for StandBy is green. If it’s not, tap it to turn it on.toggle standby on

  5. Step

    Place the iPhone in landscape on a charging stand

    For StandBy to spring to life, you need to place your iPhone in landscape on a standing wireless or Magsafe charger. We used this Anker 3-in-1 Cube and it worked very well. You can then swipe up, down, left and right to change the display configuration, and you can tap and hold to customise the look too.standby on ios17


What is StandBy?

StandBy is a new mode introduced with iOS 17 that adds new functionality to an iPhone when it’s charging. The mode can show the time in various forms, photo albums, calendar appointments and Live Activities from within apps.

Does it work differently on phones with an always-on display?

Yes, if you’re using this on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max, this StandBy screen will stay visible like the current AOD does.

Does this work on the iPad?

Sadly not. For now, this is an iPhone feature – however, there’s every chance it could come to the iPad in the future.

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