Ever feel that slight unease when putting down your iPhone, wondering if someone could access it without permission? According to security surveys, over 35% of smartphone users report feeling vulnerable to device hacking or unauthorized access. With that said, in this quick guide, we’ll cover how to easily check your iPhone’s unlock history.
To check the unlock history on your iPhone, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Screen Time’ and tap on ‘See All Activity’. Here, you’ll find data including the number of times your phone has been unlocked and which apps were accessed.
What Does An iPhone Unlock History Mean?
Your iPhone unlock history is a new security feature as of iOS 16 that provides insight into attempts to gain access to your device, both successful and failed. This history displays the last 10 times an unlock of your iPhone was initiated, including via the lock screen, after restarting your device, or attempts to use features like Apple Pay or Wallet without biometric unlocking first.
The history log shows the date, time, and location of these access attempts, as well as whether face/touch ID or passcode entry was used to successfully complete the unlock. For failed attempts, details are provided on why the unlock did not occur, for example, if the wrong passcode was entered or the biometric match failed.
Why Do You Need To Check iPhone Unlock History?
There are two main reasons why actively checking your iPhone’s unlock history is recommended as a best security practice.
1. First, reviewing the log allows you to identify any unauthorized access attempts that were unsuccessful, alerting you to the risks of hacking. If an incorrect passcode was tried multiple times from an unfamiliar location, that’s a red flag of someone trying to force access without your permission.
2. Secondly, if you unexpectedly experience trouble unlocking your own iPhone via passcode, face ID, or Apple Watch pairing, the history log provides helpful details. Want to know how? This feature pinpoints what went wrong via the history of detailed timestamps.
How to Check iPhone Unlock History?
Want to know if someone unlocked your Android or iPhone while you were gone? Here’s what you need to do:
How to Check Unlock History on Android?
Since stock Android versions do not natively offer an unlock history, your options may be a little limited. However, MIUI by Xiaomi provides enhanced security features including a way to view recent unlock attempts. Under Additional Settings in the MIUI Security app there is an “Unlock Record” function showing the last 100 unlocks with timestamps. You can only access it by entering your lock screen credentials.
If your device runs an MIUI overlay that also offers an unlock log, you can take advantage of that feature – if not, then you can always download some third-party apps such as “Lockwatch” and “Third-Eye.”
How to Check Recent Activity on iPhone?
You can check recent activity on your iPhone through various ways – here are some:
Check Recent App
Beyond just the unlock history, iPhones give insight into recent device activity through:
- Screen Time: Shows daily usage by the app along with more details on times an app was actively used.
- Battery: The battery graph shows active use versus standby over 24 hours, signaling times of frequent unlocking/usage.
- The App Switcher: Simply launch the App Switcher by double-clicking the home button to see your most recently used apps. This makes it easy to see if anything out of the ordinary has been launched.
Combining these three indicators with your unlock history would definitely give you a clear picture of your iPhone access patterns.
See When an App Was Last Opened
Both iOS and Android list the last time an app was opened if you view its full app info details. On an iPhone, hold down on an app icon until the context menu appears, then tap the (i) info icon. That is where you see when the app was “Last Used” for specifics on the latest launch.
Use Third-party App
You can try apps like “Usage Time Tracking” for iOS as they show advanced metrics on the app and device unlock figures so you can monitor for anything unusual.
Check Lock Screen Notifications
Finally, quickly scan the notifications appearing on your lock screen when you pick up your phone. If your new notifications were pushed to “Older Notifications” then that might mean that your phone was unlocked without your permission.
Quick Tips To Check For Signs Of Unauthorized Access
Here are some quick tips for checking for unauthorized access:
Monitor mobile data/WiFi usage
In Settings check the data usage graph over the past days/weeks for spikes well above normal levels. Unusually high usage of background mobile data or WiFi could mean unauthorized streaming.
Examine phone call/text records
In your phone app, go to Recents and carefully look through all recent calls dialed or received. Also, check message history for unfamiliar contacts. Scam calls or texts can point to device access.
Watch for abnormal drainage of the phone battery
It would be faster than normal battery drainage – go to Settings > Battery – to check for heavy background draining causes. Unauthorized usage is most likely to be your culprit in this situation.
Consider installing a security app
Advanced anti-virus apps like Lookout or ZoneAlarm can spot unusual activities in your phone that might be caused by harmful software or someone trying to secretly access your phone. They also warn you when you’re about to download an app that could be dangerous.
Solutions To Prevent Unauthorized Access
By following these steps you can prevent unauthorized access:
Set a strong passcode
Don’t use easy-to-guess number sequences. Go with at least an 8-character alpha-numeric passcode.
Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
Tie access to your important accounts to both your password and a generated code from an authenticator app.
Don’t save passwords in browsers
Avoid leaving passwords accessible in browsers on your device in case someone gets in.
Install tracking/anti-virus software
Look into security apps that provide features like “remote wipe” if your device is lost. Use the in-built “Find my iPhone” app to mark your device as “lost” on any other Apple device.
Turn on lock screen notifications
So you can scan the notifications appearing on your lock screen when you pick up your phone. If your new notifications were pushed to “Older Notifications” then that might mean that your phone was unlocked without your permission.
Set shorter screen lock timeouts
Go to Settings and turn down the timeout limits before the screen locks to 1 or 2 minutes maximum to prevent easy unauthorized access if you walk away.
Regularly update devices and apps
Maintaining devices and apps at current versions utilizes the latest security patches protecting against emerging access exploits.
By now you would know how to review your iPhone’s data history for red flags, enable every login barrier available, to armor up your device in case of trouble. With that said, keep your friends close without compromising the connectivity you rely on!
James Wilson is a seasoned tech enthusiast with a passion for all things Apple. With years of experience troubleshooting and fixing iPhone issues, he brings a wealth of knowledge to “My Tech Simply.” James’s dedication to helping iPhone users find simple and effective solutions shines through in his articles.