I use my iPhone to connect to conference calls at work. Frequently I'll need to speak up, with little notice. But it takes me upwards of three seconds to be able to unmute to speak:

  1. Click home button to bring up lock screen.
  2. Use fingerprint to unlock phone.
  3. Hit green bar at the top to get into the current call.
  4. Hit "Hide" on the keypad if it's up.
  5. Finally, hit mute button to unmute.

I have Googled around and not found any sort of shortcut here. Even the ear buds lack any sort of unmute feature. My workaround has been to sit there and fiddle with the phone screen for the whole call so it doesn't lock itself.

What can I do to improve this situation?

  • Change your auto-lock time and/or turn off low power mode, maybe? Also, can't you control the phone call without unlocking?
    – owlswipe
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 16:23
  • Can't seem to use the phone from the lock screen. There is a phone status display, but when you click on it, it suggests that you swipe right. If you swipe right, you get the key entry screen
    – mattalxndr
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


There is no "good" answer for this, but here's the best I can figure out.

Once you are on the call and muted:

  • make sure you are on the screen that displays the mute/addcall/facetime/contacts buttons (I'll call this the "mute screen" from hereonout)

  • click the top button that turns off and locks the phone

  • when you need to unmute, you can click the on/off or home button and swipe right. at this point you will see the "mute screen" and you can unmute.

  • this only works once as far as I can tell. Once you have done this once, the next time the phone locks and you need to unmute, swiping right will not display the mute screen, but will just display your passcode pad as usual.

NOTE: in order for this to work at all, the screen MUST BE the mute screen when you click the top on/off button. If you are on any other screen when the phone locks, this will not work even one time, as far as I can tell.

I hope this is helpful. As usual with Apple, basic functionality is omitted for no discernible reason. "YOU AREN'T I-TELEPHONING RIGHT."

  • 1
    Thanks for the workaround. Looks like I'll be quicker to the mic, the first time. This is one of those things where I just can't figure out what my behavior is supposed to be. I mean, the use case is pretty typical, right?
    – mattalxndr
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 18:59

I've struggled with the same for years--and just discovered an easier way. Tap the home or power button to get to the lock screen, or on the iPhone 6s or 7 just pick the phone up so the screen "wakes up".

You'll see the phone number you're dialed into and the current call time in mm:ss at the top of the screen. TAP THE PHONE NUMBER and you'll get the mute/keypad/speaker/add call screen, all without unlocking the phone.

  • This works for me on iOS 10.3. It's a shame Apple doesn't put the mute button on the lock screen. Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 16:14

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