How to secure your iPhone or iPad with a strong alphanumeric password

How to secure your iPhone or iPad with a strong alphanumeric password

If a simple 4-digit passcode isn't secure enough for you, you can choose to protect your iPhone or iPad Lock screen with a longer, stronger alphanumeric password. That greatly reduces the chances that anyone can guess or brute-force their way into your device and access your data without your permission. What's more, Apple makes it easy to set up.

How to protect your iPhone with a long, strong alphanumeric password

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Tap Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode).
  3. Enter your existing 4-digit passcode if you have one.
  4. Scroll down and toggle Simple Passcode off.
  5. Re-enter your existing 4-digit passcode if you have one.
  6. Enter your new long, strong alphanumeric password.
  7. Re-enter your new long, strong alphanumeric password.

If you only use numbers, you'll still get the bigger, easier to use passcode entry interface. You'll just be able to enter more than 4 digits.

If you do go for full-on alphanumeric, and need help choosing a long, strong password, check out this article from AgileBits and Steve Gibson's page on password haystacks:

That's it! The next time you want to unlock your iPhone or iPad you'll have to enter that strong alphanumeric password and any time someone else tries to break in, that's what will hopefully stop them dead in their tracks.

What are you using to secure your iPhone or iPad? Touch ID? Passcode? Password? Nothing at all? Let me know what you've chosen and why!

Note: Originally published October 2011. Updated April 2014.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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How to secure your iPhone or iPad with a strong alphanumeric password


I forget the pwarsosd for my IPad. I tried all the pwarsosds I can remember, but my IPAD is locked before my wrong trials. I connect it to ITunes in my computer, because it still ask for the pwarsosd. I cannot proceed for the backup process as recommended in this site. Please, instruct my how can I overcome the pwarsosd in my IPAD.Thank you

I would personally be %100 satisfied if someone would advise me on what to do about being hacked into from December 18th to this day. I live in hell america. Worse I know the person who is doing this , but the locals round these parts cheer, DO NOT have a clue about wireshark and how it can be used against you. Into my computer system, IPhone 4s, net10 sim everything!! This guys has complete autonomy over my life. I have seen him add Icloud contacts from my old ones, stream live nude pictures of me through the cloud through I tunes. He has captured interfaces of my Student PC and IPhone. I am from Casper wyoming and at least there are 2 Walmart's there, mountains, trees, water !! I am currently enrolled to be a Computer Engineer, and the local yokals commented, claiming to my husband that works out of state for months at a time, how "Raunchy" the picture were. I have deleted and erased them in front of their eyes and they think that I am crazy. He just changed my screen just now, funny though! I have seen my phone send pictures of me taunting me, to my husbands boss in front of my eyes, a flirty picture that my husband had taken, with a corny cation, hey, call me please, me~ If ANYONE has any advice please feel free to comment. He claims to be a tech ,but is just savvy and took a few courses and dropped out. He's a junkie hacker and I need help. I have gotten a new sim and reset and erased all data on my IPhone and am hardwired into my modem. Makes no difference because he captured that as well, Ethernet and WLAN. I have called net 10, Apple, My ISP, what else? I know what he did down to the format of the stick or disc or SD he made it on. IF anyone has any advice for me PLEASE PLEASE.