iPad Pro with Guided AccessSource: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

Whether you're working for a business that wants to use iPads to display information or you'd simply like your child to focus on their homework app, you can use Apple's Guided Access feature to lock your screen on one specific app.

Built as an Accessibility feature, Guided Access limits users to one specific app, preventing them from switching to another program or returning to the Home screen. This can be extremely useful in several settings, including education, autism research, businesses, restaurants, museums, and more.

Whether it's a writing app, drawing app, music app, math app, or a story, video, or reading app, Guided Access helps make sure that all attention remains on that app. It also prevents you from accidentally exiting to the Home screen or another app when you don't mean to.

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Guided Access can even be used to create a "guest mode," allowing you to hand your device to someone so that they can use Safari, iBooks, Video, or a game without having to worry that they'll snoop through your personal information.

How to enable Guided Access on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Accessibility.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and then tap on Guided Access.

    How to use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad by showing steps Launch Settings, tap Accessibility, tap Guided AccessSource: iMore

  4. Turn the toggle for Guided Access to ON (green).
  5. Tap on Passcode Settings.

    How to use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad by showing steps Turn Guided Access Toggle ON, then tap Passcode SettingsSource: iMore

  6. Tap Set Guided Access Passcode to create a six-digit passcode. This passcode is needed to end a Guided Access session.
  7. Verify your passcode by typing it in again.

    How to use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad by showing steps tap Set Guided Access Passcode, input your passcode and verify itSource: iMore

How to enable Face ID or Touch ID for Guided Access

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Accessibility.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom and then tap on Guided Access.

    How to use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad by showing steps Launch Settings, tap Accessibility, tap Guided AccessSource: iMore

  4. Tap Passcode Settings.
  5. Turn the toggle to ON for Face ID or Touch ID (depending on your model).

    How to use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad by showing steps Tapping Passcode Settings, then toggle Face ID or Touch ID to ONSource: iMore

How to use Guided Access

  1. Launch the app you'd like the user to have access to. In this case, we used Music.
  2. On iPhone or iPad with a Home button, triple-click the Home button, or on iPhone or iPad with Face ID, triple-click the Side button to launch Guided Access.
  3. Circle any areas of the screen that you would like to make inaccessible.

    How to use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad by showing steps launching app, triple-clicking Home or Side button, circling area you want to make inaccessibleSource: iMore

  4. Tap on Options in the bottom left corner to choose whether or not you want to grant access to the Sleep/Wake button, Volume buttons, touch screen, and motion. Tap Done to save your selections.
  5. Tap on Start at the top of the screen to begin Guided Access.

    How to use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad by showing steps tapping Option, turning any toggles you want, then tap Start to begin Guided Access sessionSource: iMore

Once Guided Access is enabled, anyone trying to leave the specific app you've locked it to will receive a banner message telling them to triple-click the Home button to exit. If they don't know the pre-set passcode, they won't be able to exit Guided Access.

Questions?

Have more questions about Guided Access? Let us know in the comments below!

May 2020: Updated for iOS 13.

iOS

Main

HomeKit

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