In iOS 10, Apple made a small but fundamental change to the way touch ID users unlock their phone phone. If you’re tired of seeing “Press home to open” or “Press home to unlock” every time to you grab your phone, here’s how to switch it back to the way it was in iOS 9.
How Touch ID Changed (and Why)
When using an iOS 9 device with the Touch ID fingerprint recognition feature, you could simply press the home button on your device and it would wake and unlock the device in one clean swoop. Finger to home button, click, unlocked.
The lock screen itself and the unlocking process both got a big makeover with iOS 10. The most obvious change is the death of the slide-to-unlock feature. On prior versions of iOS–going all the back to the early days (long before finger print recognition)–you swiped right to unlock your phone (and put in a passcode if you used one). Even when Touch ID was introduced, the swipe-to-unlock feature remained.
In iOS 10, however, if you swipe right you don’t unlock the phone. Instead, swiping will pull up the camera. If you swipe left, you’ll pull up the lock screen widgets. In addition, the Touch ID unlock flow was tweaked slightly so that pressing on the home button still activates the screen and unlocks the device, but it doesn’t return you to where you left off (e.g. the home screen page you were on or the app you were using). Instead the device unlocks and sits on the lock screen. If you want to return to where you were, à la iOS 9, you have to then click one more time.
That sounds entirely pointless, right? Well, in fairness to Apple, there is actually a benefit to their new method. When an iOS device is unlocked, the apps on the device have access to encrypted data. If you use the default iOS 10 Touch ID unlock method, this means that when you swipe right to open the camera, the camera isn’t in tourist mode but has full access to your photo library. It also paves the way for Apple to allow other apps to appear on the lock screen system and access encrypted data.
While that sounds nice and all, we don’t need that feature, and so far this is the most annoying change in iOS 10. With that in mind, let’s change it back.
(Obviously, if you don’t have a phone with a Touch ID-enabled home button, this isn’t nearly as annoying a change–it just means you’ll have to press the home button a second time instead of swiping to unlock. The below guide is intended for Touch ID Users only.)
Change the iOS 10 Touch ID Behavior Back to iOS 9’s
Changing the behavior of the Touch ID unlock is trivial if you know where to look. To change the functionality back to the iOS 9 style you’re familiar with, simply launch the Settings app.
Navigate in the Settings menu to the “General” entry and select it.
Scroll down a ways until you see the entry for “Accessibility”. Select it.
In the Accessibility menu, again, scroll quite a bit until you see the entry for “Home Button” and select it.
In the Home Button menu you’ll find an entry, turned off by default in iOS 10, labeled “Rest Finger to Unlock”. Toggle it on, as seen below.
You can now press the Home button and, with a single press, both awake and unlock your iOS device.
While we can appreciate why Apple made the change (to facilitate access to secure apps from the lock screen), we also appreciate they left a method in to go back to the iOS 9 way of doing things.