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Key settings you need to change on your brand-new iPhone X, 8, or 8 Plus

So you snagged yourself a shiny new iPhone X, or maybe you’ve gone for the more classic lines of the iPhone 8 — no matter which new Apple iPhone you picked, there are several settings you should immediately tweak to get the best out of it.

Turn on battery percentage

If you find yourself squinting at that little bar at the top right of the screen wondering just how much battery life you have left and whether you need to top up before you head out, then it’s time to turn the battery percentage on. It’s a little weird that this isn’t turned on by default, but it’s easily sorted. Go to Settings > Battery and toggle on Battery Percentage. Now you will see a clear percentage next to the battery bar on an iPhone 8 or older, but you’ll have to swipe down from the top right to see the battery percentage in Control Center on an iPhone X because the notch doesn’t leave enough room in the status bar.

Set Auto-Lock

Your screen is the biggest battery drain around and you don’t want people snooping people on your iPhone when you put it down — both good reasons to set your Auto-Lock as low as possible. On the other hand, it’s so frustrating when you’re using your iPhone, get momentarily distracted, and look back to find your screen locked. Whatever the sweet spot is for you, Auto-Lock can be found in Settings > Display & Brightness.

Hide unwanted apps

If you want to get rid of an app, then simply long-press on the icon for it until your app icons start wiggling and then tap the X in the top corner to uninstall. For some stock apps this will hide or disable them — they’re not really uninstalled — and you can always bring them back via the App Store.

If you have an app you don’t actually want to get rid of, but you don’t want it appearing as you scroll around, then we suggest creating a folder. Tap and hold on the app icon until they all start wiggling, then drop it on top of another app icon to create a folder. Name it whatever you want. If you add more apps to the folder, then you can move the app you want to hide to a later page in the folder, making it even less likely to be found.

Schedule Do Not Disturb

Don’t let your iPhone be the boss of you. We all need some downtime and that is why it’s important to schedule periods when your iPhone won’t alert you. At the very least you should set this up for the hours you usually sleep, but we recommend scheduling it to go quiet for a couple of hours at night when you usually wind down. Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and toggle on Scheduled, then select your Quiet Hours.

If you’re worried about some important calls or messages not getting through, then scroll down on the Do Not Disturb page and you can set up Allow Calls From and toggle on Repeated Calls.

Set blue light filter

Apple calls this feature Night Shift and what it does is to filter out the blue light and make the screen warmer, which can help you fall asleep more easily after reading on your iPhone late at night. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness> Night Shift and you can toggle it on, but we recommend toggling on Scheduled and picking times that suit you or selecting Sunset to Sunrise.

Back up your photos

For many of us, our photos are the most precious things on our iPhones, so it’s worth making sure that yours are being backed up. You can do this by going to Settings > Photos and toggling on iCloud Photo Library.

Apple is a little stingy when it comes to storage space in the cloud, giving you just 5GB for free. You might find that your iCloud fills up fast and maybe you don’t want to pay for more space. Consider installing the free Google Photos app. You can toggle on Back up & sync during the setup process and Google gives you 15GB for free. You can also get another 5GB for free from Microsoft OneDrive or Amazon Prime Photos. Both apps are free and offer automatic photo backup.

Adjust 3D Touch sensitivity

With 3D Touch, you can press on the screen to peek at further options for some apps and jump to shortcut actions. It can be really useful once you get used to it, but it definitely takes a little practice. You will get a feel for it faster if you tweak it to suit you. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch and you can choose from Light, Medium, and Firm and practice on the test image below.

Set your email signature

Do you really want “Sent from my iPhone” as the signature on every email you send? Probably not. It’s easy to change, simply go to Settings > Mail > Signature and you can delete the message and switch it for something else or leave it blank.

Customize Control Center

You can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access the Control Center for shortcuts to things like the Torch and Wi-Fi. Some of these are fixed, but you can also customize a few by going to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Tap the green plus icon next to anything you want to add or the red minus icon next to anything you want to remove.

Set up Emergency SOS

No one wants to imagine that the worst will ever happen but if it does, you will be glad you set up Emergency SOS. Go to Settings > Emergency SOS and toggle on Auto Call. If you press and hold the side button and either volume button, your iPhone will call 911 or the appropriate emergency service in your region.

It’s worth setting up Emergency Contacts via the Health app, where you can also add details on any medical conditions you have and things like your blood type. If you add Emergency Contacts, then they will also receive a message automatically when you trigger Emergency SOS to let them know that you called the emergency services. You can add them by opening the Health app and tapping on the Medical ID tab at the bottom right.

If you’re hungry for more, then check out our iPhone X tips and tricks or read up on iPhone 8 tips.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Hill
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Simon Hill is an experienced technology journalist and editor who loves all things tech. He is currently the Associate Mobile…
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