How to enable the Camera app from the lockscreen in iOS 5

The Camera application got some really cool upgrades in iOS 5. One of my favorite features is the ability to use the volume up button to snap a picture.  This makes it so much easier to take photos now.

Another way Apple has improved the speed of taking pictures is allowing users to launch the camera app right from the lock screen.  Now when your iPhone is locked and you double tap the home button you will see a camera icon next to the slide to unlock bar. Press this and you will be snapping pictures in no time.  You will only be able to see the pictures you take in the session for security reasons. If you want to view all of your pictures in the photo album you will have to unlock your iDevice. (Note: I am not talking about the carrier unlock. I am talking about the slide to unlock!).

On a side note, another cool feature is the built in photo editing.  You can auto enhance photos, remove red eye, and crop all from the photos app now.

UPDATE: As of iOS 5.1.1 the button is always on the lock screen. Just hold it and slide up and it will take you to the camera.

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  1. Brian says

    Thanks for the tip, it was driving me crazy not seeing that camera icon. Looked everywhere on how to enable it.

  2. anjum says

    thanks a lot i thought my os has not loaded properly, well cool features to fall in love allover with your iphone again

    • Dee B. Pickus says

      For notifications you have to set the settings for each app. Go into Settings> Notifications. Scroll down to Mail first and that will help you understand what to set. You have the following selections:
      Notification Center = turn this on
      Show = X unread items (this is the number that will pulse up at the top of the screen)
      Alert Style = None – means it will not show up, Banners = new feature that shows them at the top of the screen, Alerts = same as iOS4.
      Badge App Icon = On
      Show Preview = On
      View in Lock Screen – AHAH! this will turn on the event notifications while locked and let you open the app from there. You really need to turn this one one.

      Now go back and look through the rest and see what you want to change each of them to.

  3. George says

    The double tap from the lock screen is not working for me. It is bringing up a music control bar. Anyone else getting this?

  4. Barry says

    just updated to iOS 5, but the camera icon is not on the lock screen. I still have to double tap the Home button to make it display. Do I have to enable something to get it there permanently?

  5. Mike says

    Thank you! I was getting mega-pi$$ed trying to figure out where the promised lock-screen camera icon was. Didn’t know a double-tap was required. I started to think it was a 4S-only feature for some reason

  6. paty says

    thank you so much for the tip!!! I was starting to get pissed not knowing how to enable that camera button! thanks!

  7. fareen says

    thanks!!!! i thought i was trippin or my phone was crazyyyyy. camera from lock screen was one thing i was so excited for!

  8. OzAz says

    Thanks aplenty. Like many others I updated to iOS5 today and no camera button on lock screen? Checked Apple site, no indication you have to double tap.

  9. Ted Led says

    I have been looking for this info everywhere! Thanks Very Much!
    I’m probably impatient and just didn’t spend the time trying to figure it out properly (except for scrolling through all of the settings!)

    Ludicrous Info For Everyone !

  10. Cal says

    Yeah had no idea how to find this. However I did figure out that after opening the camera that if you hit the home button again it completely bypasses the lock screen.

      • Cal says

        I do have a passcode set! If I just locked my phone then swiped I’d have to enter it. However if I locked my phone, double tapped the home button, entered the camera, then tapped the home button again it would go straight to my main page bypassing the lock screen.

        Did this multiple times to be sure!

    • Fareen says

      I did notice the lock screen being bypassed. I expected to go back to the lock screen but I don’t have my phone locked so that’s why. If it’s set to pass code immediately it goes to that screen instead

  11. Jerry says

    The Cam has hide behind the double click as you dont want to activate it accidentally with a single tap, which could happen while the phone is in your pocket, bag, pouch, etc.

    Also, I haven’t managed to replicate Cal assertion that you can bypass the lock screen by tapping the home button again. Anyone else managed to do this? That would be an EPIC fail for Apple’s testing team!

    • TOH says

      I have a pass code set and you can bypass the code by hitting the home botton. I just tested it on my phone and have access to eveything without have to put my code in.

      • DuckPuppy says

        Actually, you can’t. I just tested it on my phone, and it went to the passcode screen. If you have a delayed passcode, however, and the passcode timer hasn’t expired, it will bypass the passcode screen – but so would swiping the unlock bar on the lock screen.

        Basically, if the passcode screen would show on an unlock, it will show when you press “Home” from the camera app, since that basically tells the phone to unlock just like swiping the unlock bar.

        • TOH says

          Your right. I just tried after changing the time from 15 minutes to Immediately and it required me to enter my code. Thanks for the clearification.

    • danb says

      I have upgraded my i 4 to the OS 5 system. If I double click the home button it brings up the camera icon on the lock screen. If you click the icon and go to the camera, you can exit back to the main screen without unlocking.

  12. Craig says

    Bypassing the Lock Screen – I have Passcode lock turned on – but after 15 minutes. So, when I locked my phone then decided to try this tip – my phone was still “unlocked” so to speak… So once in the camera mode, clicking the home button brought me to my springboard.
    I am guessing it all has to do with your passcode settings.

  13. Fash says

    Thanks a lot, works well…very much like the same tweak I had bought through cydia previously (same as the volume button to take a shot) 🙂

  14. Randy says

    If you go to the lock screen and Pull up the camera from it and then press the home button it will let you skip the passcode. Must be a glitch

  15. suzy says

    I don’t know what’s up with my iPhone, but the double tap on the home button, does NOT bring up the camera icon on the lock screen. What am I doing wrong?

  16. Bob Bollinger says

    Just got this iPhone 4S and when I try to launch the camera from the locked position, it just jumps a little and does not open the camera app. Am I doing something wrong?

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