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If you’ve ever tried to answer a phone call when your screen is locked, you know how frustrating it can be.

You cannot completely change the slide to answer feature on your iPhone, but you can adjust how it works to suit your needs better. Any changes you make will be temporary, and you can revert to the original settings with just a few clicks.

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Why Do I Have to Slide to Answer My iPhone?

Contrary to some explanations floating around, the slide to answer on your iPhone does not pop up for a specific group of callers (i.e., android users or unknown numbers). Neither is it available for only specific iPhone models.

Apple products are well known for their sleek designs and convenient features. If you have an iPhone, you must have discovered a function down the line that you didn’t even know you needed.

The slide to answer feature is one of such. Spot on in anticipating your needs, Apple rightly assumed that if your phone is locked, you are probably paying it no mind, and it applies to a phone tucked into your bag or pocket.

You don’t have to worry about accidentally answering a call with this feature. Even the most stuffed bag or pocket cannot slide and answer. Rest easy because you won’t have to explain away the strange sounds the person at the other end hears when you “pick up” a call you didn’t mean to answer.

Can You Change Slide to Answer on iPhone?

You can set your iPhone to answer after a few rings automatically. Besides this, you cannot change the slide to answer feature. This alternative is excellent if you have any problems with sliding to answer.

A dirty screen or software glitch can affect your use of your touch screen, and it could also be because your fingers are smudged, wet, or have sensitivity issues. If you are experiencing difficulties with using the sliding option, here are a few tips you can use:

Clean the dirt off your screen

Dirt and dust are frequent culprits in making your screen unresponsive to touch. Using a soft clean cloth, wipe your screen carefully to rid it of dirt and grime. Your screen is now clean enough to respond to the slightest touch

Restart your phone

Sometimes, a good reset is all your iPhone needs to get back to regular programming. Restart using the power button or go to your settings app. When your phone comes back on, retry the slide to answer option.

Remove your screen guard/protector

Some screen protectors are so thick that they reduce the sensitivity of your screen. It might be why you have difficulties with sliding to answer. To fix this, remove your screen guard and wipe your screen with a soft, clean cloth. Try the slider again and see it work.

Update your software

The slide to answer option may not work because you are still using old software. Update your software to the latest by checking for updates and following the instructions.

You can find available updates in General>Software Update>Download and Install.

Your phone updates itself after inputting your passcode and agreeing to the terms and conditions. You can now try the slide to answer option.

Reset or erase all content and settings on your iPhone

Resetting your iPhone or erasing all contents and settings can get the slide option working again. You lose data when you erase all contents, so make sure you back up your data before erasing anything. Here’s how to reset your phone:

Open Settings>General >Reset or Erase All Content and Settings>Erase Now>Enter your passcode as requested.

Next, you input your Apple ID and password to remove the Find My iPhone option on your phone and turn off the Activate Lock. Your phone is now like a new one.

How Do I Change the Swipe to Answer on My iPhone?

If your iPhone is locked, and you get a call, the slide to Answer option will appear. When you get a call while your iPhone is unlocked, you will see the answer and refuse buttons. Unfortunately, there is no way to modify this. You can however change the swipe to answer feature. 

Adjusting the swipe to answer is easy, and your automatic answer setup is only a few clicks away.

Outlined below is a step-by-step instruction on how to do it:

  1. Open your Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Accessibility and head to Touch.
  3. Select Call Audio Routing.
  4. Tap on Auto-Answer Calls.
  5. If the toggle is set off, turn it on.
  6. A drop-down option appears to choose how long your phone should ring before it automatically answers the call.
  7. Select the number of seconds you want, and voila!

You have successfully “changed” your slide to answer feature.

Pros of the Automatic Answer

  • While using earphones, you can receive important calls you expect even when your hands are busy.
  • You can say bye to the annoyance of always needing to slide.
  • It helps if you cannot accept phone calls manually.
  • The auto-answer is suitable for people who take too long to respond to calls.

Cons of the Automatic Answer

  • You will answer calls from everyone, including those you don’t want to answer.

Why Does iPhone Give You Two Options to Answer?

As a devoted iPhone user, you may have noticed that your iPhone has two styles of displaying your answer options for phone calls. Alas, there is no mystery behind this phenomenon.

Given how many functions an iPhone has, there are still many features you do not know and use. One of them might be the reason your phone has two options to answer calls.

When your phone is locked, the slide to answer option comes up, and when it’s unlocked, it has the “accept” and “decline” buttons. This setup allows your answer options to match your situations.

As mentioned earlier, the slide to answer feature is good for having your phone in a bag or pocket. Apple rightly assumed that your phone is most likely in use if unlocked.

If a call interrupts your email, movie, text, etc., you can choose to decline it and get back to what you were doing. With the slider feature, you would have to wait for the phone to finish ringing or decline using the power button.

Having the “accept” and “decline” options in a locked phone increases the risk of accidentally answering or declining a call before you are ready. It is almost impossible to slide the answer bar to the end by accident, and doing it halfway will not pick up a call

How Do I Reject a Call When My iPhone Is Locked?

The answer options are not set in stone, so you can rest easy. Even if your phone is locked, you can still decline or silence an incoming call. You don’t have to stare at the slide to answer option until the call ends.

To silence a call, press the lock/sleep button once and to decline or send straight to voicemail, press the button twice. Pressing it twice will let your caller know you refused the call on purpose.

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Why Can I See the “accept” and “decline” Buttons on My Locked Screen?

In 2019, an iPhone user of iOS 13 complained in the apple forums about having the “answer or decline” feature on their locked screens. Usually, these buttons only appear on an unlocked screen. The glitch didn’t happen all the time, and it was hard to catch it in action to record as proof.

If you experienced this problem, you would have noticed that restarting and restoring to factory settings did not fix the issue. An upgrade was not the solution either because some iPhone users experienced this issue last year with the iOS 14.

A bug was the source of this malfunction, and all efforts to have Apple fix the issue produced no result. Although there has been no complaint with further software upgrades, this was a nightmare while it lasted.

Can you imagine accidentally answering calls while on the move or handling your private business?

Unfortunately, many iPhone users had to explain why they answered calls and said nothing. You might have explained or even received one! However, it is good to know that the current software does not have this problem.

If you have this issue or any similar issues, try to record it and report it to Apple as a glitch. Issues can be reported to Apple’s feedback assistant.