Guided Access not working on iPhone or iPad? 7 Quick fixes

How to Fix Guided Access not working on iPhone or iPad

Guided Access is a feature that limits your iPhone or iPad to a single app and lets you decide which features are accessible. It comes in handy for many situations, like keeping kids from accidentally buying things or assisting individuals with disabilities in using their devices more comfortably.

Unfortunately, there are instances when Guided Access may fail to function properly. In this article, I’ll walk you through effective solutions to fix Guided Access not working on your iPhone or iPad.

  1. Ensure you have enabled Guided Access
  2. Ensure the Accessibility Shortcut for Guided Access is enabled
  3. Check the power button
  4. Review Guided Access Options
  5. Restart iPhone or iPad
  6. Update iPhone or iPad
  7. Reset All Settings

1. Ensure you have enabled Guided Access

  1. Open the Settings app on your device.
  2. Head to Accessibility → Select Guided Access.
  3. Ensure that the button next to Guided Access is toggled on.
    The first time you enable it, you must read the instruction and tap Continue.

    Head to Accessibility, select Guided Access, and toggle on the button next to Guided Access
  4. Also, don’t forget to enable the Accessibility Shortcut toggle below. This way, you’ll be able to quickly activate Guided Access by simply triple-clicking the side button. 

2. Ensure the Accessibility Shortcut for Guided Access is enabled

Enabling the Accessibility shortcut provides a reliable option to activate Guided Access whenever needed. Normally, the triple-click function is set to activate Guided Access. But if it’s not working, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Tap Accessibility → Scroll down and choose Accessibility Shortcut.
  3. Select Guided Access from the list.

    Tap Accessibility, choose Accessibility Shortcut, and select Guided Access from the list

3. Check the power button

Before you assume that Guided Access is not working properly, make sure that the power button is not faulty or stuck. You can check this by pressing and releasing the power button a few times. If you feel any resistance or irregularities, you may need to get the button repaired or replaced.

Eliminating the power button as a possible cause will help you troubleshoot the problem more effectively. If the power button is not the problem, you can move on to the next troubleshooting step.

4. Review Guided Access Options

You can adjust the Guided Access to suit your preferences. If certain settings are not functioning as expected, they are likely turned off. To enable them, follow these steps.

  1. Triple-click the Side button to open the Guided Access menu.
  2. Choose Options.

    Here are some options available for controlling Guided Access on your iPhone and iPad.

    • Prevent the Side button and volume buttons from closing the screen or adjusting the volume.
    • Lock auto-rotate by disabling motion.
    • Deactivate any keyboards used within the app.
    • Set a time limit for Guided Access, ensuring that it disables after a specific duration.

    5. Restart iPhone or iPad

    Restarting your device can help you fix the software glitches that may be causing Guided Access to not work on your iPhone or iPad. Simply hold down the power and volume up buttons simultaneously until the slider appears.

    Move the slider from the right to the left side to turn off your device, wait a few seconds, and then press the power button again to turn it back on. If you are still having trouble, please refer to our article on how to restart your iPhone or iPad.

    6. Update iPhone or iPad

    Apple is dedicated to enhancing the software on your iPhone and iPad through regular updates. These updates aim to address common issues that bother users, such as the problem of Guided Access not functioning correctly on your iPhone or iPad.

    To ensure your device has the latest software version of iOS or iPadOS, you can follow these steps: Go to Settings General Software Update. You will find a button at the bottom of the screen labeled Download and Install if your software is outdated. Simply tap it and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update process.

    Go to Settings, General, Software Update, download and install

    7. Reset All Settings

    If you’re still having trouble with Guided Access on your iPhone or iPad, you can try resetting all settings on your device as a last-resort solution. Here’s how you can do it.

    1. Launch the Settings app.
    2. Tap General → Head to Transfer or Reset iPhone/iPad → Choose Reset.

      Tap General, head to Transfer or Reset iPhone, and choose Reset
    3. Select Reset All Settings → Confirm by tapping Reset All Settings.

      Select Reset All Settings and confirm by tapping Reset All Settings

    By doing this, all the settings on your iPhone will be restored to their default state. Don’t worry; following the instructions carefully and tapping the correct buttons won’t cause you to lose any data on your iPhone. Yet, if needed, you can also consider factory resetting your device to bring it back to its original state.


    Can I use Guided Access with all the apps and features on my iPad or iPhone?

    Yes, you can use Guided Access with every app on your iPhone or iPad. However, some apps or features might have restrictions or limitations that prevent Guided Access from working as intended.

    What should I do if I can’t exit Guided Access mode even after pressing the Home or Side button?

    Try forcing a restart of your device if you are unable to exit Guided Access mode using the Home or Side button.

    Can I use Guided Access simultaneously across different apps?

    You can only concentrate on one app or feature at a time with Guided Access. Multiple apps cannot be enabled for Guided Access at the same time.

    Does Guided Access have an impact on my device’s notifications or phone calls?

    Guided Access does not turn off calls or notifications by default. However, you can alter the Guided Access settings to limit incoming calls or turn off notifications while the mode is in Guided Access.

    Guide your device with ease.

    I’m a little disappointed that Apple didn’t add any improvements to Guided Access in the latest iOS 17 and iPadOS 17. I was hoping they’d make some changes in the upcoming versions. What’s your opinion on this? Let me know in the comments below.

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    Author Profile

    Bhaskar is a tech guru who turned wordsmith. Hiding his B.Tech degree in a closet, he ditched the corporate path to simplify tech for everyone. For the past 5 years, he's been dishing out how-tos, reviews, and sharp insights. But there's more! He's a witty interview champ and has been sharing his wisdom for 3 years. Furthermore, he has honed his editing skills for 1.5 years and is now delving into marketing to assist newcomers. When not jamming his fingers on those mechanical keyboards, you may find him on strings or engaging in sports. And by evening, his quotes will be appearing on your Instagram feeds.

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