How to Link or Unlink Focus Mode with Lock Screen on iPhone

Increase your productivity or ease of convenience by linking specific customized lock screens with the focus mode of your choice.

Apple introduced Focus Mode with iOS 15. An evolution of DND, it allows you to only receive alerts and notifications from apps you deem necessary when a particular ‘Focus’ is enabled. For example, you can only allow notifications from work-related apps when you have turned on the ‘Work’ focus.

iOS 16 isn’t letting this feature take a backseat. It’s linked with one of the biggest new features in the new OS. Any guesses? With iOS 16, you can finally customize the lock screen as per your taste. (You can read more on it by heading to our dedicated article on it.)

And now, both of these features combine and allow you to have a dedicated lock screen and widgets linked with a specific ‘Focus’. Whenever you switch the Focus, the chosen lock screen style and widget palette automatically change along with it or vice versa.

You can easily link a customized lock screen with a Focus right from the lock screen. However, do note that you will need to have a customized lock screen and a Focus mode created to link with each other.

First, unlock your iPhone by providing your preferred way of authentication but do not go to the home screen. Then, tap and hold on to the lock screen to bring up the screen selector.

Now, navigate to the lock screen you wish to link with a focus and tap on the ‘Focus’ button on the screen to continue. This will bring an overlay window to your screen.

After that, tap on the ‘Focus’ you would like to link with the lock screen. Then tap the ‘X’ button to close the overlay window.

That’s it, you have now linked the lock screen and the Focus mode. The Focus mode will be automatically triggered if you choose the lock screen, and the lock screen will be automatically applied if you manually choose the Focus mode.

Note: If you link a focus mode with more than one lock screen, then the lock screen you used most recently will be the one that’ll activate if you manually turn on the Focus mode from the Control Centre.

To unlink a focus mode, bring up the screen selector by tapping and holding the lock screen. Next, once you have navigated to the desired lock screen, tap on the Focus button on the screen.

Then, from the overlay window, tap on the selected Focus mode to unlink it; the ‘tick’ next to it will disappear. Tap on the ‘X’ icon to close the window.

You can also link up the lock screen with a particular focus of your choice from the Settings app as well.

First, head to the Settings app, either from the home screen or from the app library.

Then, locate and tap on the ‘Focus’ tile from the list to continue.

Next, tap on the ‘Focus’ for which you wish to set a customized lock screen.

After that, on the next screen, tap on the ‘Choose’ button present underneath the lock screen wireframe present in the ‘Customize Screens’ section. This will bring an overlay window to your screen.

Now, from the overlay window, scroll to navigate to your desired lock screen and tap on it to select it. You can also create a new lock screen instead of selecting an existing one. Then, tap on the ‘Done’ button to confirm.

That’s it, you have linked the customized lock screen with the focus mode of your choice.

To unlink the focus mode, from the specific focus mode screen, tap on the ‘Edit’ button present right underneath the selected lock screen thumbnail.

After that, tap on the selected lock screen tile to deselect it and tap on the ‘Done’ button to confirm your action.

Now, if you have smart activation turned on for any focus mode that is linked with a customized lock screen, the lock screen will automatically change once the focus mode is activated.

Note: While the Focus mode and its settings will sync across all your devices, the lock screen is device-specific and will not be synced across devices.


Linking Focus with a lock screen in iOS 16 is an exciting addition that elevates both features. Now, you can use custom lock screens to achieve more from the focus mode on your iPhone, and quickly switch between them.