What Is Tap to Wake on iPhone and How to Use It

What Is Tap to Wake on iPhone and How to Use It

Before Apple removed the physical home button from iPhone X, it was the quickest way to unlock an iPhone. Interestingly (and expected), turning on the display of new iPhone models is now easier, thanks to the “ Tap to Wake ” function.

The disappearance of physical buttons is not only unique to iPhones alone. Other phone manufacturers are also removing home buttons to keep up with the trend and are also adding other features. From under-display fingerprint sensors to integrated cameras and display speakers, the functionality of smartphone screens has transcended the visuals.

In this article, we will explain the “ Tap to Wake ” feature on Apple iPhones. At the end of this explainer, you’ll know what it does, how to use it, how to activate it on your device, and other questions you may have about functionality.

Tap to wake up on iPhones

From the name, what ‘Tap to Wake’ does is quite simple and doesn’t need too much explanation. The feature allows you to “wake up” your iPhone (when it’s locked) by tapping the screen. While “ Tap to Wake ” is relatively new on iPhones, the first story of the functionality can be traced back to the Nokia Lumia line of smartphones – introduced as a “ Double-tap to wake ” feature.

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Apple introduced Tap to Wake with the iPhone X. It was designed to compensate for the lack of a physical home button on the iPhone X (and newer iPhone models). So instead of pressing the power button on your iPhone, you can just tap anywhere on the screen when it’s locked to turn it on.

Note: As mentioned earlier, the Tap to Wake feature only works on iPhone X and newer iPhone models. IPhone 8 Plus (and older models with physical home buttons) do not support Tap to Wake.

Using Tap to Wake

Certainly, the Tap to Wake feature on your iPhone is a nifty way to wake up your locked iPhone. Pressing the power button often for this can be tedious and can affect the lifespan of the button in the long run. One drawback to the functionality is that it can become a huge battery pig by draining your iPhone battery faster than usual. “How?”, You might ask.

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When activated, the Tap to Wake function can cause your iPhone screen to be unintentionally and unnecessarily woken up. Suppose your iPhone is in your pocket or in your hands, if you accidentally touch or touch the screen, the screen light will turn on. And as you know, leaving your screen on, especially on a higher automatic lock period and setting a high brightness level is one of the quickest ways to drain your iPhone’s battery.

So when this feature is enabled on your iPhone, you may want to prevent it from being used by mistake. Otherwise, your battery would pay the price. If you can limit accidental tapping, you’ll appreciate the convenience that comes with easy text checking, notifications, and quick use of other widgets on your iPhone by simply touching the screen.

Now let’s see how to activate the feature on your iPhone.

How to enable and disable the Tap to Wake feature on iPhone

Typically, the device is always on by default on new iPhone models. If your iPhone supports Tap the Wake, but the screen does not turn on when touched, follow the steps below to activate it.

Step 1: Tap the gear icon on your iPhone to launch the app / Settings menu.

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2nd step: Select Accessibility.

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Step 3: In the “Physics and engine” section, press Touch.

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Step 4: Press the ‘Tap to Wake’ option to activate and activate the function.

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If the option is already activated, you can use the Tap to Wake function.

That’s it. Super easy to do. You can now lock your iPhone and tap once on the screen to see if the display comes to life or not. If you find the feature rather inconvenient or insignificant, follow the same steps above to turn it off.

How to enable and disable the Raise to Wake feature on iPhone

This is another feature that allows you to easily turn on your locked iPhone screen. You can imagine the “Raise to Wake” as a sibling of the “Tap to Wake” function.

The “ Raise to Wake ” powers on your locked iPhone when you pick it up on a surface. Unlike the ‘Tap to Wake’ feature, you don’t even have to touch your screen. Just choose your iPhone on your desk or take it out of its pocket and the screen will instantly turn on. This feature is also turned on by default on new iPhone models, but if your phone’s display doesn’t turn on when you pick it up, follow the steps below to activate the wake-up feature.

Step 1: Launch the Settings menu on your iPhone.

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2nd step: Press “Display and brightness”.

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Step 3: Press the “ Raise to Wake ” option to activate it and activate the function.

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Raise to Wake was introduced as part of the iOS 10 update and is compatible with the iPhone hosting Apple’s M9 motion processor – iPhone 6S or newer. The iPads do not have the Raise to Wake function, even if they house the M9 motion processor.

Press life

Instead of unlocking your phone and scrolling through apps in public, you can just tap your iPhone screen to check for scheduled meetings, dates, or notifications for new apps. This way you can secure the information based on what you choose to display on the iPhone lock screen. Now that you know everything, go ahead and tap your iPhone screen comes to life.


Unlimited access to the Control Center via the lock screen of your iPhone or iPad can cause various problems. We have listed a few reasons why you should turn it off (and how to do it) in the linked article below.

Last updated March 8, 2020

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