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How to lock Notes on iPhone and iPad

Ipad Pro Magic Keyboard Notes Hero
Ipad Pro Magic Keyboard Notes Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

The Notes app has evolved so much over the years. With every new software update, Notes has become a useful and resourceful note-taking app. Even more so with the arrival of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, which introduced a bunch of new features to make it easier to use. However, one of its best features is the ability to lock notes on iPhone or your iPad. You don't need any extra app to secure your private notes and information. The best part: It's really easy to do. Here's how!

How to set your Notes password on iPhone and iPad

Setting up your password on Notes is like setting a HomeKit door lock for your home: It's straightforward and you only have to worry about it once. 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 you 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.

To set a password in the Notes app:

  1. Launch Notes from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on an existing note or type a new note.
  3. Tap on the options menu on the top right corner.
  4. Tap Lock Note.

How to Set up a password from the Notes app: Launch Notes and select an existing note. You can also create a new one. Tap on the options menu on the top right corner and select Lock Note (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Enter a Password — this will be for all your notes, including Notes on Mac, if you use it.
  2. Enter the same password again to Verify.
  3. Adding a hint is optional but it's highly recommended.
  4. Switch Touch ID or Face ID to on, if you want to use a fingerprint or your face for faster and more convenient unlocking.
  5. Tap Done to confirm that you want to lock the note.

How to Set up a password from the Notes app: Enter your password and then verify it. You can and should add a hint too!. Enable Touch ID or Face ID to make it faster to unlock. Tap on Done to confirm (Image credit: iMore)

To set a password from Settings:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Notes.
  3. Tap on Password.

How to set a password from Settings: Open Settings, scroll down and tap on Notes. Tap on Password (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Enter a Password — this will be for all your notes, including Notes on Mac, if you use it.
  2. Enter the same password again to Verify.
  3. Adding a hint is optional but it's highly recommended.
  4. 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.
  5. Tap Done to save.

How to set a password from Settings: Enter a password and then verify it again. You should add a hint too. Enable Touch ID or Face ID to make it faster to unlock. Tap on Done to confirm your password. (Image credit: iMore)

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 Notes on iPhone and iPad

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.
  3. Tap on the Options menu on the top right corner.

How to Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad: Launch Notes and select the note you want to lock. Tap on the Options menu. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Lock Note.
  2. Use Touch ID or Face ID, if available, to lock your note. If you prefer not to use Touch ID or Face ID, tap Enter Password.

How to Lock Notes on iPhone and iPad: Tap on Lock Note. Use Touch ID, Face ID or your Password to lock the note. (Image credit: iMore)

A lock animation will confirm the note has been secured.

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, Face ID, or 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.
  3. Tap on View Note in the center or the Lock button at the top right.

How to unlock a note: Launch Notes and tap on the note you want to unlock. Tap on View Note in the center of the note. You can also tap the lock on the top right corner. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Use Touch ID or Face ID to unlock, or if they aren't enabled or available, enter your Notes password. 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.
  3. Tap on the Lock button at the top right.

How to re-lock a note by showing steps: Launch Notes and on the note you want to re-lock. Tap on the Lock button on the top right corner (Image credit: 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.
  3. Tap on Password.

How to set a password from Settings: Open Settings, scroll down and tap on Notes. Tap on Password (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Change Password...
  2. Enter your Old Password
  3. Enter a New Password — this will be for all your notes, including Notes on Mac, going forward.
  4. Enter the same password again to Verify.
  5. Add a hint, if you really need one.
  6. Tap Done.

How to change your Notes Password: Tap Change Password. Enter your old password, your new pasword and then your new password again. Once you're finished, tap on Done on the top right. (Image credit: 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.

How to set a password from Settings: Open Settings, scroll down and tap on Notes. Tap on Password (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Reset Password
  2. Enter your Apple ID password — the password you use for iCloud.
  3. Tap on Ok on the top right corner.
  4. Tap Reset Password to confirm.

How to reset your Notes password: Tap Reset Password. Enter your Apple ID password and tap on OK. Tap on Rewset Password to confirm. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Enter a New Password — this will be for all notes going forward, including Notes on Mac.
  2. Enter the same password again to Verify.
  3. Adding a hint is optional but it's highly recommended.
  4. Turn on the toggle if you want to use Face ID or Touch ID.
  5. Tap Done.

How to set a password from Settings: Enter a password and then verify it again. You should add a hint too. Enable Touch ID or Face ID to make it faster to unlock. Tap on Done to confirm your password. (Image credit: iMore)

Questions on how to lock Notes on iPhone or iPad?

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. Do you still have questions about how to lock notes on iPhone or your iPad? Make sure to drop them in the comments and we'll help you out.

Updated November 2020: Updated for iOS 14 and iPadOS 14.