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PSA: Here’s how to keep seeing iPhone 6s Lock Screen notifications + wallpaper despite super-fast Touch ID


“Faster” is almost always “better” with new iPhones, but the iPhone 6s’s lightning-quick Touch ID fingerprint scanner has created a small new issue: if you touch the Home Button to look at your Lock Screen, you’ll see that it disappears within a split-second. At a minimum, this is visually jarring, but it also impacts historic iPhone functionality — users have been customizing their Lock Screens with photos (most recently, Live Photos) and checking the date/time there since the first iPhone launched in 2007, and it subsequently became an easy place to view notifications and activate the camera.

If you want to continue using the Lock Screen for any of these reasons, there are a couple of workarounds:

  1. Start using the Sleep/Wake Button on the iPhone’s right side for all screen activations and deactivations. This is the easiest way to do a quick turn on and off of the display for notifications.
  2. Go into the Settings app, select Touch ID & Passcode, and remove your most commonly used finger scan from the list of stored Fingerprints. This will let you continue to activate the screen using the Home Button’s Touch ID sensor, without immediately moving to the Home Screen.

The choice between 1 or 2 will come down to personal preference, the way you hold your iPhone, and how you use your iPhone when it’s docked or car-mounted. For example, if you want to quickly check notifications when your iPhone is car-mounted (and your car is stopped), you may find that the Sleep/Wake Button is out of reach or inconvenient to press inward, making the Home Button a better choice. Removing your index finger from the Touch ID list will let you naturally use one finger for screen and Home Button interactions.

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  1. Abraham Song - 7 years ago

    Betting that a future release (either point release or iOS 10) will have settings to adjust this. I’ll put money on it.

    • johnmfoley - 7 years ago

      I could never imagine in a million years Apple to include a setting for this:

      Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Turn On: Make TouchID take longer to register my fingerprint

      You don’t include settings to make your tech work worse.

  2. 89p13 - 7 years ago

    Since I only enrolled my right thumb and right index finger – I just touch the home button with my Middle finger to check the lock screen, which is what Jeremy suggests in his 2nd point. Works every time!


  3. bhayes444 - 7 years ago

    I just still can’t believe this is such an issue for people. Granted, I came to the iPhone 6s from an Android device, but using the sleep/wake button is what it’s for. I love the speedy wake up and unlock of the fingerprint scanner, and there is no reason to slow it down. Instead how about people just use a different part of there thumb or finger to press the button? This would make the Touch ID recognition fail, and would still show a lock screen. Problem solved

    • Mike Beasley - 7 years ago

      To be fair, the home wake button on most Android phones is done in software, so it’s not visible when the screen is off. On iPhones, the physical home button is much more conveniently placed for quickly waking the screen. I’ve never really used the sleep button for waking mine.

  4. Terrence Newton - 7 years ago

    I’ve switched over to using the sleep/wake button when I want to see my lock screen, or using other fingers or the side of my index finger if I can’t really reach the sleep/wake button. It’s a slight adjustment, but I wouldn’t give up the faster Touch ID for anything. Between that and the overall vastly increased speed of the 6s Plus compared to the 6s, the new phone is nice and snappy and a real pleasure to use.

  5. bpmajesty - 7 years ago

    I thought I was the only one who realized that the 6S is actually TOO fast! Lol! Well, I’ve tried option one- using the sleep/wake button, but that takes too long. So I did step 2. I removed my right thumb print from Touch ID. This works much better for me, since I use my Apple Watch for Apple Pay.

    So I’m good.

  6. D0GG - 7 years ago

    I’m surprised no one uses what I use… Your thumb nail.

    I just angle my finger slightly and press the home button with my thumbnail/tip of my finger. It allows for the lock screen info to be seen. If I decide to immediately unlock my iPhone I just touch with the bottom of my thumb.

  7. Adam Marsh (@AdamMarsh_) - 7 years ago

    just use your finger nail or the side of your finger press the home button