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iPhone iOS4 passcode lock workaround if you can't run iPhone config utility

In iOS 4 and 4.0.1, if you perform a "reset all settings" on your phone it can sometimes cause you to lose all your options in the "passcode lock" section of the phone settings, only leaving you with the "immediately" option.

This can be annoying as you will then have to enter your passcode immediately when your phone locks for any reason. I usually like mine set to a 15 minute delay so that I can use my phone frequently without typing in the passcode, but it still locks after a while.

This is a known bug, and should be fixed soon in an upcoming iOS version. Until then there are two workarounds.

One is to do a complete wipe and clean install of iOS4 - without restoring the phone from backup. A pain in the ass. (have to reinstall all your apps and contacts manually).

The other, easier option, is to use the iPhone configuration utility, and make a configuration for your phone with the passcode lock set to the length of time you would like. However, the iPhone configuration utility only runs on Mac OS 10.6. So what do you do if you have an older Mac OS?
(I have no idea about Windows versions, although these instructions work for any iPhone regardless of computer OS).

If you are one of the small number of people who have an iPhone running iOS 4.0 or 4.0.1 AND you for some reason cannot run the iPhone configuration utility:

You can make your own configuration file. Of course standard disclaimers apply - you do this at your own risk, I am not responsible if you mess something up, these are educational and informational only, yada yada, etc etc.

First, open a text editor and make a file with these contents:

<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">
<string>Configures security-related items.</string>
<string>Profile description.</string>
<string>Lock Temp Fix</string>

Save that file with the extension ".mobileconfig", so something along the lines of "passcode.mobileconfig" or whatever would make sense to you.

This file will set your lock period to 15 minutes. You can change the "maxGracePeriod" value if you want something different.

Now, email the file to whichever email account you read on your iPhone. Open your mail on the iPhone and when you open that message, it should allow you to click on the .mobileconfig file and install it on your phone.

You can remove it at any time, and you can see above exactly what is in the mobileconfig file and since you created it yourself you should be able to trust it...

And finally, when you set a mobileconfig profile on an iPhone, it will force an encrypted backup in iTunes. This means that your iTunes sync process with your phone will take a little longer...

Hopefully the real fix from Apple will be out soon, and this won't be necessary.


Anonymous said…
Great tip, I've been using this to extend my auto lock timer to 4 hours instead of the restrictive 15 minutes imposed by my email account exchange server.

However, this weekend I had to re-establish my email account (it stopped syncing), and lost this workaround, I even removed it and reinstalled it with no luck. I didn't update my iphone and I'm still on 4.01

any idea what's going on?

Thanks again for the great tip.

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