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How To Lock Apps On iPhone With A Password Or TouchID?

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iPhones don’t let you lock apps directly, but this guide gives you a few tricks to limit access and keep your apps private! Read this article to know more about tricks on how to lock apps on iPhone.

- Updated: 14th Jun 2024, 16:22 IST
  • 1
    These Are Some Methods To Lock Apps On iPhone Or Restrict Them!
  • 2
    Method 1: How To Lock Apps On iPhone Using Screen Time Limits ( iOS 12 Or Later)
  • 3
    Method 2: How To Lock Apps On iPhone Using Guided Access
  • 4
    Method 3: How To Lock Apps On iPhone Using Third-Party Applications
  • 5
    Method 4: How To Lock Apps On iPhone Using Face ID Or Touch ID?
    • Tip: Using Two-Factor Authentication On Selected Apps
  • 6
    Method 5: How To Lock Apps On iPhone Using Shortcuts (iOS 13 or Later)
  • 7
    Hiding Apps On iPhones (iOS 11 or older)
  • 8
    Frequently Asked Questions!
    • Q: How Do I Lock Apps On iPhone?
    • Q: Does iOS Have A Built-in App Lock Feature?
    • Q: Can I Lock First-party Apps On An iPhone?
    • Q: Are There Third-party Apps To Lock Apps On iPhone?
    • Q: Does iPhone Have Hidden Folder?
    • Q: How Do I Lock My Notes On My iPhone?
    • Q: How Do I Lock WhatsApp On iPhone?
  • 9
    At Last,

If you have nosy siblings or friends, then looking out for how to lock apps on iPhone is not an alien thing. Also, that is why you are here right now. The iOS is well known among global users for its exceptional privacy and security features. So the good news is that there are many easy ways you can protect your app data via app lock in iPhone. Hop into this guide to find out your options.

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These Are Some Methods To Lock Apps On iPhone Or Restrict Them!

  • Method 1: Using Screen Time Limits Feature
  • Method 2: Using Guided Access
  • Method 3: Using Third-Party Applications
  • Method 4: Using Face ID/ Touch ID
  • Method 5: Using Shortcuts

Now, let’s explore all the available methods to lock apps on iPhone in details for better understanding.

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Method 1: How To Lock Apps On iPhone Using Screen Time Limits ( iOS 12 Or Later)

how to lock apps on iphone: screen time limit
right image: screen time limit in the bottom

This feature on iPhone let’s you put a limitation on the amount of time you should be spending on that specific app. This is mostly useful for social media apps. But, it can also be used for locking out apps (indirectly). If you regularly have a specific time frame to use an app, you can set a limit.

What Happens After the Daily Screen Time Limit Has Crossed?

After reaching the daily time limit, when you leave your phone unattended, your app remains locked away and can only be opened with your set Screen Time passcode. This is one way to put up an app lock for iPhone.

Here are a few functions of the screen time limit:

Function/FeaturePurpose
Start Screen Time With App Limits (No Passcode)Use this feature to easily limit specific apps and customise time limits in hours or days.
Starting Screen Time Feature with PasscodeThis feature will limit app usage time, prompting for a passcode once the limit is reached.
Adding Parental RestrictionsUsed for child viewing safety

# Start Screen Time With App Limits (No Passcode)

  1. Go to the Phone’s Settings
  2. Scroll down to Screen Time. Tap on it
  3. Click on App Limits. On the next page, toggle it ON.
  4. Click on ‘Add Limits’. A list will open for the most used apps.
  5. Tap and tick the check box against the apps on the list for which you want to limit time. You can also choose ‘All Apps & Categories’ to limit all apps.
  6. Click on ‘Next‘.
  7. Set the time limit as you wish. For example, you chose the Games category. Then, you can set 2 hours or customise days.
    Click on ‘Add‘.
how to lock apps: add limit and choose categories to lock specific apps
right image: add limit ; left image: All Apps & Categories

This will add the app category to your screen-timed app list.

# Starting The Screen Time Feature With Passcode: 

  1. Open phone’s Settings and find Screen Time. Tap on it.
  2. You will get the message for,  Turn On Screen Time in the bottom. Click on it.
  3. Click on ‘Use Screen Time Passcode’ to create the passcode. It may appear as ‘Lock Screen Time Settings‘ in some devices.
Entering passcode in screen time limit of iPhone
right image: lock screen time settings; left image: set screen time passcode

After this, you would need further steps to lock apps individually by setting App Limit as we have mentioned in the previous step.

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Important to note:  Using Screen Time in this way won’t lock apps with a passcode, but it will limit usage for a set amount of time each day. Once the time limit is reached, you’ll be prompted to enter your Screen Time passcode for more use.

Once the predefined time limit is set, the app gets locked, and you can always extend the time limit by clicking on “Ask for More Time” and entering the passcode to disable the lock.

# Adding Parental Restrictions

Once, you have enabled your screen time limit, you can carry on the following steps:

  1. Choose “This is My [Device]” or “This is My Child’s [Device]” depending on your situation.
  2. Tap “Content & Privacy Restrictions”.
  3. Set up a passcode for Screen Time (different from your phone’s passcode). Remember this code, as you’ll need it to access locked apps. Retype the passcode for confirmation.

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You can also use the time limits feature introduced in iOS 12 to lock apps on the iPhone. Wondering how to lock apps on iPhone running in other iOS versions? Keep reading.

Method 2: How To Lock Apps On iPhone Using Guided Access

Lock Apps on iPhone Using Guided Access
steps for guided access

The most secure way to lock your apps is to use Guided Access. Guided Access prevents you from leaving the app you have opened. This is useful when you need to give your phone to someone else for a specific app but don’t want them to access anything else without permission.

Here is how to enable guided access to lock apps on iPhone:

  1. To enable Guided Access, head over to Settings and select Accessibility
  2. Now select Guided Access and enable the toggle.
  3. Now head over to Passcode Settings and set Guided Access Passcode.

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The lock apps on the iPhone guided access feature are pretty cool. It lets you lock your device to use a single particular app.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Start a Guided Access session: Open the app you want someone to use. Then, triple-click the side button (iPhone X and later) or the Home button (iPhone 8 and earlier).
  2. Customise access (optional): You can further restrict what the user can do within the app. For example, you can disable certain screen areas or buttons.
  3. Exit Guided Access: When you want to get your phone back, simply triple-click the side/Home button again and enter your passcode (if set).

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Method 3: How To Lock Apps On iPhone Using Third-Party Applications

There is no official third-party app lock in iPhone that allows users to lock any app on the iPhone, unlike we have tons of apps for this on Android. The best way is to install third-party apps such as BioProtect, Locktopus, and AppLocker. These apps are only supported on Jailbroken iPhones. We are not recommending using these apps or the whole process of jailbreaking the iPhone as it’s only for advanced users. But still, if you want, you can try these out.

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Method 4: How To Lock Apps On iPhone Using Face ID Or Touch ID?

Now, let’s look at the steps which you can follow:

  1. Open Settings on your device.
  2. Tap Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter your passcode.
  4. In the “Use Face ID For” section, turn on Face ID for each app you want to lock.
  5. Go to “Other Apps” and turn on Face ID for the apps you want to allow access to.

If you want to use touch ID, use the same method as mentioned, and it will get the job done.

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Tip: Using Two-Factor Authentication On Selected Apps

Once you are aware how to lock apps on iPhone using the FaceID, you can try adding another layer of protection with the two-factor authentication. Here’s how to set up two-factor authentication (2FA) for selected apps on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Passwords. Use Face ID or enter your passcode to proceed.
  3. You’ll see a list of saved passwords. Choose the website or app you want to set up 2FA for.
  4. Tap Set up Verification Code.
  5. Tap Enter Setup Key and enter the code you receive.

Please remember a few things about this feature. The 2FA code is liable to change every 30 seconds for security purposes. So, it works only for those apps that support this feature. You may only use it for certain important apps, like banking or money wallet apps.

Method 5: How To Lock Apps On iPhone Using Shortcuts (iOS 13 or Later)

Here’s one more method you can try when attempting app lock for iPhone. It is via the Shortcuts feature that is available in iOS 13 or later. Before you go ahead, know that this isn’t a foolproof solution. The reason being, iPhones don’t really lock the actual apps this way. You are creating shortcuts with passcodes that hide the real app and put a lock on the shortcut itself.

If that fits your needs, you can proceed with this simple process:

  1. Open the “Shortcuts” app and create a new shortcut.
  2. Name it after the app you want to “lock” (like “Secret Snapchat”).
  3. In the shortcut, add a step to “Ask for Input” (like a passcode).
  4. If the passcode is correct, add a step to “Open App” and choose the real app (like Snapchat). This creates a shortcut that looks like the app but requires a passcode to open the real app.

Remember, you’ll still need to hide the original app for this to work effectively. While this method still works, it is not as effective as the Screen time feature we had discussed earlier.

Hiding Apps On iPhones (iOS 11 or older)

For iPhones with iOS 11 or older, there isn’t a built-in app lock for iPhone. However, you can use Restrictions to hide apps from your home screen. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap General.
  2. Scroll down and tap Restrictions.
  3. Tap Enable Restrictions and create a passcode (different from your phone’s unlock code). Remember this code, as you’ll need it to unhide apps later.

Here’s the catch: Restrictions can only hide Apple’s built-in apps, not downloaded ones.

  1. With Restrictions enabled, scroll down to the Allowed Apps section.
  2. To hide an app, tap the toggle switch next to the app name to turn it off (white). The app icon will go invisible from your home screen.

Important: To use them again, you’ll need to re-enable them in Restrictions. This might not be ideal for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions!

Q: How Do I Lock Apps On iPhone?

A: To know how to how to lock apps in iPhone, you can use several methods. One way is to utilize the built-in Screen Time feature by going to Settings > Screen Time > Content and Privacy Restrictions. Another option is to set time limits for app usage in Settings > Screen Time > App Limits. Additionally, you can use the more extreme Guided Access feature in Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access.

Q: Does iOS Have A Built-in App Lock Feature?

A: iOS doesn’t have dedicated system-level support for individually locking apps. However, you can use workarounds like Screen Time limits, Guided Access, or third-party apps to achieve similar functionality.

Q: Can I Lock First-party Apps On An iPhone?

A: Yes, you can restrict access to first-party apps on iPhone using Screen Time. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content and Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps, then turn off toggles for the apps you want to lock.

Q: Are There Third-party Apps To Lock Apps On iPhone?

A: While there are third-party apps like BioProtect, Locktopus, and AppLocker available for Jailbroken iPhones, they are not recommended due to the advanced nature of Jailbreaking. For non-jailbroken iPhones, workarounds like Screen Time and Guided Access are more secure options.

Q: Does iPhone Have Hidden Folder?

A: iPhone does not have a dedicated hidden folder feature, but you can hide your private photos and videos in the Photos app. You can head over to Photos and then select the photos the photo you wish to hide. Click on the three-dot menu and choose Hide to add your selection to the hidden album.

Q: How Do I Lock My Notes On My iPhone?

A: To lock a note and make it private, open the Notes app on your iPhone and choose the Note that you wish to lock. Press the More button, and you can create a unique password for the Notes app or use the iPhone Passcode.

Q: How Do I Lock WhatsApp On iPhone?

A: To protect your WhatsApp chat, open the app and head over to the Settings tab in the bottom right corner. Click on Privacy and choose the Screen Lock option. Here, you need to toggle the “Require Face ID/Require TouchID” toggle to ON and select the duration.

At Last,

Protecting your app data on an iPhone is unavoidable so that nobody interferes with your privacy. Despite iPhones not having a direct built-in feature to lock apps, there are several ways of knowing how to lock apps on iPhone. From using the Screen Time limits and Guided Access to third-party applications and Face ID/Touch ID, there are multiple methods to ensure your apps and data remain secure.

By following this guide, you can find the best option to suit your needs and keep your information private. Hope this information was useful for you. If you have any queries or doubts, do drop them in the comments section.

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Highlights of the Story

  • iOS are one of the most powerful operating systems renowned for its privacy and security features.
  • While Android has been known for its customisation abilities for a long time, iOS is generally more constrained, and the features are restricted.
  • Here are some quick ways on how to lock apps on iPhone.

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