Apple iOS 16 – 14 Settings You Need to Change on Launch

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I’ve been testing iOS16 on my trusty iPhone 12 for a few weeks now, and I’ve compiled a list of 14 settings you’ll want to change as soon as you upgrade to iOS16.

Beta 5 was recently released for developers and there is some interesting quality of life changes here.

1. Battery Percentage

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The very first iOS16 setting to change is to ensure that the battery percentage is turned on – yes, it’s back for the first time since Apple removed it from the iPhone 10 in 2017.

This may not be enabled by default – it wasn’t for me – so go to Settings > Battery and toggle on “Battery Percentage.”

To accommodate the numbers, the battery icon grows slightly larger than usual, but it’s a minor trade-off for something I find so useful.

No more swiping down the control center to see if you’re at 10% battery or living on the edge at 1%.

2. Side Button Calls

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The next thing I believe everyone should change is the side power button.

If you’ve ever been on a call and accidentally hit the side button, you’ll know that it ends the call prematurely, and it drove me insane in iOS16.

We now have the option, thankfully, to prevent this from happening.

To prevent lock to call, go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch and turn ON.

If you accidentally press the side button, your screen will go to sleep, but you will still be on the phone. I believe this should be the default setting, and I’m curious how many people actually use the side button to end calls; if you’re one of them, no judgment.

3. Haptic Keyboard


The haptic keyboard is the next new feature to enable; it’s a feature I’ve wanted since the introduction of the taptic engine on the iPhone 7.

Android users are probably laughing right now, but I can’t be the only one who is ecstatic about this feature, can I?

To enable this, go to Settings > Sound and Haptics > Keyboard Feedback> Haptic.

The haptic feedback is currently quite weak, so I’m hoping this is just a beta issue – it’s nice to see an option to change the haptic feedback sensitivity for typing in particular.

Just a heads up, I believe haptic feedback will still be present in silent mode unless you completely disable it. At the very least, in Beta 5 right now!

4. Minimalist Count View Notifications

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You’re probably aware that the lock screen has changed in iOS16, and there’s a lot you can do here, but there’s one setting that’s a must for minimalists and that I absolutely adore.

Under Notifications > at the top you now have Display As > turn on Count.

All notification bubbles will be reduced to a small number at the bottom of the lock screen, and clicking on them will reveal them.

This keeps the home screen clean forever and keeps me focused instead of catching a glimpse of a text that would normally distract me.

I strongly advise switching to this view and giving it a try!

5. Automatic Verification

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We now have a handy feature called Automatic Verification to save us time and hassle if you want to automatically bypass those annoying captcha forms.

To enable this, navigate to Settings > Apple ID > Password & turn on Security and Automatic Verification.

However, there is a catch: it does not currently work on every single website. It only works on sites hosted by Fastly or Cloudflare CDN – two companies that have collaborated with Apple to develop a new Privacy Pass protocol that essentially keeps our data anonymous during the token verification process, such as a CAPTCHA.

So, in a way, the iOS16 robots are telling CAPTCHAs that we are not robots. Thank you, iOS16.

6. Spotlight Feature

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If you use Spotlight to search for things frequently, as I do, make sure the new Spotlight Feature is enabled in iOS16.

Enable the Show Spotlight button in Settings > Home Screen Menu.

Here you’ll see the spotlight fade in whenever you’re not scrolling through your home screen.

7. Safety Check Feature

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If you’re big on privacy and protecting your own data, then the next feature you’ll definitely want to turn on when you upgrade to iOS16. 

Apple’s new Safety Check allows you to immediately revoke access to private data from both people and apps from a single spot. 

Settings > Privacy & Security > Turn on Safety Check — now you’ve got access to Emergency Reset and Manage Sharing & Access functions

I believe it’s designed for those at risk of domestic abuse, but it’s also useful for easily managing who you’re sharing private data with.

There’s even a new hardcore “lockdown mode” to defend against what Apple calls “highly targeted cyber attacks” by pairing back what’s accessible on your iPhone, turning it into Fort Knox.  

You can activate it by going to Settings > Privacy & Security and scrolling all the way to the bottom – Turn On Lockdown mode.

8. Limit Location Usage

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In terms of privacy, here’s a setting in iOS16 that you should disable.

You can turn off significant locations in the same privacy settings by going to location services and then system services at the bottom.

If we leave this on, it will keep a log of your movements every day, which is not only intrusive but also drains your battery life and data.

It’s also worth turning off any other location tracking settings you don’t want here; I’m going to disable compass calibration, device management, location-based suggestions, and system customization because I don’t find a need for them.

9. Severe Weather Notifications

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When it begins to rain or snow, you can now choose to receive severe weather alerts for multiple cities rather than just one.

Click the weather app > scroll down to “notifications” Under “current locations,” enable Severe Weather and enter the locations for which you want these notifications.

If you want to keep up with the hourly weather on your new lock screen, next-hour precipitation is also very useful.

10. Duplicate Folder Photos

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The new duplicate folder photos feature is an easy way to free up valuable storage space.

As a result, when you upgrade to iOS16, you will notice new duplicate folder photos.

I’d recommend looking through this folder as soon as it finds the duplicates, because boy, have I found a lot of useless, duplicate photos to delete over the years.

You can also merge the duplicates so that it keeps one photo and deletes the others based on photo quality.

11. Screenshots


Screenshots are another major source of clutter in albums, and there’s now a feature that allows you to choose between copying and deleting your screenshots.

This is ideal for times when I want to screenshot something and paste it into Messages, but I don’t want it saved in my album because I’ll most likely delete it anyway. 

12. Protect Mail Activity

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The next setting you should modify is within Mail. This is critical, and I strongly advise you to enable it.

Mail > Privacy Protection and turn on Protect Mail Activity. 

The feature masks your IP address, preventing senders from knowing when and if you open their emails. It’s just a good one to have enabled, especially if you connect to public networks. This feature is disabled by default, so make sure to enable it in your settings. 

13. Sharing Focus Settings 

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In iOS16, we now have toggles to show specific focus modes under Focus Settings and Focus Status.

I previously had the share focus settings turned off because I don’t believe that my entire contact list needs to know what I’m doing at all times.

But I like to share Work and Drive focus statuses because there are times when I can’t respond and it’s useful for others to know. I’ve turned off everything else.

14. Nintendo Switch Controller

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If you enjoy gaming, you’ll appreciate this new iOS16 feature: you can now pair your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons with your iPhone or iPad.

When playing mobile games like Call of Duty, having this is a game changer.

To pair them, press and hold the Joy-con’s black pairing button until the green light appears. Then, on the iPhone, go to Settings > Bluetooth and pair it with the Joy-con.

Now you can jump into games and play with a Joy-con on an iPhone, how cool is that?! 


I hope you found this list to be helpful. Let’s see which of these features are optimized for the full launch.

As always, thanks for reading!

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