Ipad Pro Magic Keyboard Notes HeroSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

Notes are a handy way to collect and store any information you want to keep handy. If that information is medical, financial, or otherwise personal — like a hotel reservation or phone number, or a draft message — you may want to keep it extra safe. That's why Notes lets you set a password and use it or Face ID/Touch ID on iPhone or iPad to secure any individual note. It's easy to do, once you know how!

How to set your Notes password on iPhone and iPad

You'll automatically be asked to set a global password for securing the notes the first time you try to protect a note, or the first time your visit the password section in the Notes settings. If you don't want to wait, you can set it immediately by doing either of those things now.

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To set a password in Notes:

  1. Launch Notes from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on an existing note or type a new note.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing launching Notes, selecting a noteSource: iMore

  3. Tap on the Share button.
  4. Tap Lock Note.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing tapping Share button, tap Lock NoteSource: iMore

  5. Enter a Password — this will be for all your notes, including Notes on Mac, if you use it.
  6. Enter the same password again to Verify.
  7. Add a hint, as it is required.
  8. Switch Touch ID or Face ID to on, if you want to use a fingerprint or your face for faster and more convenient unlocking.
  9. Tap Done to confirm that you want to lock the note.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing input password info screen, tap Face ID or Touch ID toggle, and then Done to saveSource: iMore

To set a password in Settings:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on Notes.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing launching Settings, tapping NotesSource: iMore

  3. Tap on Password.
  4. Enter a Password — this will be for all your notes, including Notes on Mac, if you use it.
  5. Enter the same password again to Verify.
  6. Add a hint, as it is required.
  7. Switch Touch ID or Face ID to on (green), if you want to use a fingerprint or your face for faster and more convenient unlocking.
  8. Tap Done to save.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing tapping Password, input your password info and toggle Face ID or Touch ID, then tap DoneSource: iMore

Make sure the password is strong enough to really protect your notes. If you need to, you can always record it in a password manager apps like 1Password or LastPass so you can paste it in on any device, as needed.

Touch ID and Face ID make the process much faster and more convenient, but also means someone could try and get you to touch the sensor when you're sleeping or otherwise incapacitated. Most people will never have to worry about that, but if you're James Bond or Natasha Romanov, keep it in mind.

How to lock a note with your password or Face ID/Touch ID

Once you have a password set up you can lock a note at any time.

  1. Launch Notes from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on an existing note or type a new note.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing launching Notes, select NoteSource: iMore

  3. Tap on the Share button.
  4. Tap Lock Note.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing tap Share on a note, tap Lock NoteSource: iMore

  5. Use Touch ID or Face ID, if available, to lock your note.
  6. If you prefer not to use Touch ID, tap Enter Password. If Touch ID isn't available, also simply enter your password and tap OK.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing a locked note and how it hides info in note once lockedSource: iMore

A lock animation will confirm the note has been secured.

You do have to enter your password at least once before you can use Touch ID or Face ID. So if Touch ID or Face ID isn't presented as an option the first time, simply enter your password and you should get asked for Touch ID or Face ID the next time.

It's important to remember that, while the body of the note will be hidden when locked, the title of the note will still be visible. (So you can find it later when you want to unlock it.) To make sure you don't leak any information unintentionally, never put anything in the title you wouldn't want anyone else to see.

How to unlock a note with your password or Face ID/Touch ID

You can't see a locked note, other than the title, but you can unlock it to see, edit, or otherwise work on at any time.

  1. Launch Notes from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the note you want to unlock.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing launching Notes, tap locked NoteSource: iMore

  3. Tap on View Note in the center or the Lock button at the top right.
  4. Use Touch ID or Face ID to unlock, or if they aren't enabled or available, enter your Notes password.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing tap View Note, then unlock it with Touch ID or Face ID prompt, you're good to goSource: iMore

An unlock animation will confirm the note has been opened.

How to re-lock a note

Notes will lock automatically if you lock or reboot your iPhone or iPad, or if the Notes app quits and is restarted. You can also re-lock a note manually at any time.

  1. Launch Notes from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the note you want to re-lock.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing launching Notes, tap an unlocked noteSource: iMore

  3. Tap on Lock button at the top right.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing tapping the lock button to re-lockSource: iMore

The note will be secured immediately and you'll have to unlock it to access it again.

How to change your Notes password

Your Notes password unlocks any and all your notes. If you want to change it, it will also change it for all your notes.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on Notes.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing launching Settings, tapping NotesSource: iMore

  3. Tap on Password.
  4. Tap Change Password...
  5. Enter your Old Password
  6. Enter a New Password — this will be for all your notes, including Notes on Mac, going forward.
  7. Enter the same password again to Verify.
  8. Add a hint, if you really need one.
  9. Tap Done.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing tapping Password, tap Change Password, input Password info, tap Done to saveSource: iMore

How to reset your Notes password

If you ever forget your Notes password, you can use your iCloud password to reset it.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on Notes.
  3. Tap on Password.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing launching Settings, tapping Notes, tap PasswordSource: iMore

  4. Tap Reset Password
  5. Enter your Apple ID password — the password you use for iCloud.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing tapping Reset Password, then inputting your Apple ID passwordSource: iMore

  6. Tap Reset Password to confirm.
  7. Enter a New Password — this will be for all notes going forward, including Notes on Mac.
  8. Enter the same password again to Verify.
  9. Add a hint for your password, as it is required.
  10. Turn on the toggle if you want to use Face ID or Touch ID.
  11. Tap Done.

    Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad by showing confirmation of Reset Password, then inputting new password info, tap Done to saveSource: iMore

Questions?

That's all there is to it! When it comes to locking your notes, it adds another level of security and privacy, just in case you don't want anyone seeing any sensitive data. Have questions? Make sure to drop them in the comments and we'll help you out.

May 2020: Updated for iOS 13.

iOS

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HomeKit

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