10 iPhone Functions You Need to Deactivate

A new iPhone always seems to perform perfectly when just unboxed. But this delight is just a shadow of what you can get if you do a bit of optimization yourself. So, when setting up a new iPhone, pay attention to some features that are turned on by default: deactivating them can make your iPhone even greater.

Of course, Apple engineers and software developers are great at predicting what users need. But sometimes they do a bit more guessing than required, activating extra features by default while you can go without them. Of course, it’s great to have an option, and this time you can make a better choice.

To access all of the options below, you need to run Settings first. So we’ll skip mentioning this, assuming you have already launched it. If you’re really new to iOS, search for a gear-shaped icon on your home screen. Here is the place to apply all these iPhone tips and tricks.

Always Listen for Hey Siri

hey siri settings

Of course, Siri is a great voice assistant, but do you really need it always on? Go to Accessibility, scroll down and find “Siri.” Under it, find the option “Always Listen for “Hey Siri” and deactivate it, even if you want your Siri always available.

It will result in battery saving because your iPhone will turn Siri off when turned upside down or covered with something. As soon as you access its screen, it starts listening for “Hey Siri” again.

Allow Siri When Locked

Allow Siri When Locked settings

When you suddenly say something similar to “Hey Siri” while your iPhone is locked, its screen will wake, and Siri will prompt you to repeat or specify your request (even if you don’t actually ask). To avoid this, go to “Siri & Search” and turn off the third option – “Allow Siri When Locked”. It will not bother you and activate the screen; at the same time, your phone won’t be exposed to Siri commands from frauds around.

Reply without Confirmation

When you answer your texts via Siri, there’s no guarantee it got you right. If you want to check what it sends, go to Go to Settings → Notifications → Announce Messages with Siri and turn on Reply Without Confirmation. Now Siri will read your message before sending it, and if you detect a mistake, you can correct it.

Actions When Locked

wallet app on iphone

Your iPhone is still doing a lot of work, even when it’s locked. Some apps remain active, and this activity is not always for the better – especially if someone reaches your iPhone when you’re away. We’d recommend you deactivate some of these.

So go to “Face ID & Passcode,” scroll down a bit and select the features you want unavailable while the phone is locked. We suggest it should be Wallet, Reply with Message, and if you’re not a smart home fan, then Home Control as well.

Significant Locations

Apple engineers consider your iPhone should track your frequent locations, so you’re provided better suggestions. But do you actually need it? If not, go to Privacy, then enter Location services (on top of the list), scroll down and tap “System Services” at the bottom. Near the bottom of this section, you can find “Significant Location” switch. Turn it off.

It doesn’t affect the precision of your location settings on iPhone, neither does it deactivate them. But Apple won’t spend its resources on providing you with data regarding your location, given that you probably know it all better.

Motion and Fitness Trackers

motion and fitness settings

Motion trackers in your iPhone (and in Apple Watch as well) are the source of data for all fitness-oriented apps. But do you really need them all to work all the time? If not, leave only those you really need, like your favorite Runtastic or Nike Training Club you actually use. 

So, go to Privacy, then to Motion & Fitness (at the bottom of the list), and make sure that only the apps that need that access have it. Basically, it’s Apple Health and one or two third-party apps. All the others should be off.

Save Reading List Offline

It’s a great option of Safari that it can save marked pages offline, so you can read them even with no network. But if it always does, it takes your storage and requires some work. To turn this off, go to Safari, and then deactivate “Automatically Save Offline.” You don’t lose a thing: Safari allows for saving a certain page offline manually.


system haptics

Haptic feedback is a great thing when you actually need some feedback from your phone. But it consumes significant energy as well. No wonder: this small vibration is one of the rare physical motions your iPhone is capable of, and it shows. So go to Sound & Haptics and scroll down to the end. Turn off the “Haptics” switch. Your phone won’t vibrate in response to your touch – and thus will hold on longer before charging.

Again, this is quite an extreme advice, because haptic feedback really impacts the user experience. But if you’re good without it, you will benefit in terms of battery life and overall performance.

Camera Mode

camera mode settings

Imagine a situation: you want to capture a beautiful sight or a funny situation, or take a selfie, for example. You turn on the camera, with a swipe, not even unlocking your phone… and suddenly find out your camera launched in video or panorama mode. It takes less than a second to switch it back… if you ever notice the wrong mode at all.

To avoid these confusing moments, go to Camera and tap “Preserve Settings”. The top switch is “Camera Mode”: it defines whether your camera will start in the Photo mode, as by default, or load the last mode used. Turn it off if you want it to start in Photo always.

iCloud by Cellular

Well, it’s a good thing to be always connected with your iCloud drive. But if it predates your cellular data plan, you start to reconsider. Well, there is a simple way to avoid this. Go to Mobile Data and scroll it down to the very bottom. Then turn the “iCloud Drive” switch off. From now on, iCloud will only sync to your device via Wi-Fi. 

By the way, here you can also block the apps you don’t want to use your cellular data. Just go through the entire list in the same section and deactivate those you don’t need that much.

You’ll have to repeat that after a reset.  As you reset all settings iPhone will return to defaults, and you’ll need to apply these changes again. But a couple of minutes is worth a better performance after. We tested these on iOS 13.4, but it applies to other versions as well.

More Tricks Wanted

What tricks would you add to these? Which do you consider necessary? Leave us a comment if you have something to say, and we’re sure you have.