Standby Mode FI

How to Setup and Use Standby Mode on iOS 17

Apple introduced many exciting new features in iOS 17. One of my favorites is Standby Mode. It turns your iPhone into a smart display where you can customize widgets such as clock, weather photos, and more.

Activate Standby Mode

To activate Standby, you’ll need to prop your iPhone in landscape mode while it’s charging, and it will automatically go into StandBy mode. You’ll find the settings for Standby here:

  • Settings
  • Standby
  • Make sure the toggle switch is on
  • toggle on Show Notifications or leave this off, and you will still receive critical notifications
  • toggle on Show Preview on Tap Only or leave off to receive a notification preview.
  • Tap Display and choose how long it takes for Standby to Activate
  • Toggle on Night Mode for a red tint in low ambient lighting

Here’s my setup:

How To Customize the Standby Settings

With your iPhone connected to power via a charging stand or lightning cable, the iPhone is in a landscape position and unlocked. You can now swipe horizontally to cycle between the widget gallery, clock view, and Photos. You can customize each interface with multiple options. Here’s how:


  • Tap and hold on to the widget interface to add new ones or reorganize them in Smart Stacks.
  • Tap the – icon in the upper left corner of a widget to remove it.
  • Or tap the + icon in the top left corner of the screen to choose and add a new widget.
  • When finished, tap Done in the top right corner to confirm your changes.

There is also the option to turn on Smart Rotate or Widget Suggestions. Smart Rotate shows widgets based on your needs at the time. Widget Suggestions are precisely that: based on your usage of apps, widgets will be added to the Smart Stack.

Digital Photo Frame

Swipe from right to left if you want Standby Mode to turn your iPhone into a digital photo frame. Long Press on Photo mode, and you’ll receive the following options.

  • Featured
  • Nature
  • Cities
  • People

However, tap the + icon in the upper left corner to add a specific album you created in the Photos app.

Nightstand Clock

For those who would prefer to turn their iPhone into a traditional nightstand clock, you’ll find different layouts to choose from, which include the following:

  • Digital
  • Analog
  • World
  • Solar
  • Float

These are just different ways of showing the clock on your iPhone while charging. However, if you want to customize the colors, tap on the Shutter icon in the lower right corner of each clock.

After customizing Standby Mode, tap the Done button to save your changes.

Best Apps To Use With Standby Mode

Standby Mode has revolutionized the way we manage power consumption and functionality. The feature is handy; adding the right apps can enhance your experience. Let’s look at some of the best apps I’ve found to use with Standby Mode.

Sports Alerts

Get live scores, news, and alerts for your favorite sports team.

Dark Noise

Dark Noise is a powerful way to play ambient noise to help you focus, sleep or relax. The toolbar allows you to shrink your window into a small mini-player for quick access. 

Carrot Weather

Carrot Weather is a fun weather app that delivers hilariously twisted forecasts. Choose one of five personalities, from professional to profanity overkill. You’ll look forward to seeing what the weather robot has for you.


Critical alerts won’t get lost among your notifications. Your flight status will be available throughout your Home Screen and Lock Screen. Live Data is visible even when your screen is off.


Following the steps above, you can easily activate and customize Standby Mode to suit your needs. 

Standby Mode is one of the many new features in iOS 17, but the impact on daily usage can be significant. It may take some time to integrate it into your routine, but the benefits are worth it. I use Standby Mode throughout my day and love it.

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Hi, I'm Ellen!

I help mature adults master their iPhone and iPads, even if they aren’t  techie! 

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