Are you or your child addicted to your iPhone? Want to limit the amount of time you spend staring at the screen? Fortunately, iOS comes with the ability to lock apps on your iPhone with a passcode to limit access to them. That is, you can set a specific time frame after which your phone will automatically block access to the app until you enter the passcode.
This is done through the Screen Time feature and is great for parental control. However, there are also third-party options that provide even more control without requiring a password. Here’s a detailed guide that covers it all.
- How to lock an app on iPhone or iPad with a passcode
- How to lock all apps on iPhone or iPad with a passcode
- Lock apps on iPhone using guided access
- How to lock apps on iPhone without a password using mSpy
How to lock an app on iPhone or iPad with a passcode
Before moving forward, make sure you’ve disallowed all apps:
- Go to Settings → Screen Time → Always Allowed. The allowed apps section has four applications by default. These are Phone, Messages, FaceTime, and Maps.
- Tap the red (–) icon towards the left of the apps, followed by Remove that slides through the right.
Note: Ensure that you’ve enabled Screen Time and a Screen Time passcode is set. You can’t remove the Phone app from this section.
- Tap <Back at the top left to go back and tap Downtime. Turn the toggle on.
- Choose your preferred days and time for the downtime of apps.
- Go to Settings → Screen Time
- Tap See All Activity located right beneath the usage graph.
- At the top, you’ll notice the option to view app-wise daily and weekly usage.
A weekly view is suggested for better understanding.
- Scrolling down, you’ll find the MOST USED section. Choose the app you wish to lock based on its usage.
- Tap the app you want to lock, and tap Add Limit.
- Set the time duration and tap Add located at the top right.
Make sure to toggle on Block at End of Limit.
- Continue the same process for other apps you wish to lock.
That’s all you have to do to lock specific apps on your iPhone.
How to lock all apps on iPhone or iPad with a passcode
- Launch Settings from your iPhone’s Home Screen and tap Screen Time.
- Tap App Limits followed by Add Limit.
- Enter your screen time passcode, if asked.
- Now, select All Apps & Categories.
- Tap Next at the top right.
- Choose the desired time limit. Next, turn on the option for Block at End of Limit.
- Finally, tap Add.
Lock apps on iPhone using guided access
- Open Settings → Tap Accessibility.
- Scroll down and tap Guided Access.
- Toggle on Guided Access and hit Passcode Settings.
- Tap Set Guided Access Passcode and enter the desired 4-digit passcode to enable it.
- Optional: You can also enable Touch ID/Face ID as a way to end guided access.
How to start a guided access session
- Open any app.
- Next, ask Siri ‘turn on Guided Access.’ Or, press the Home button/Side button three times.
- Tap Guided Access if you see a slide-up menu.
- Optional: To restrict parts of your screen from working, use your finger to make a circle or any closed shape. Use the dots on the gray selected portion to achieve the desired result. Tap the cross (x) button if you want to remove it. When Guided Access is in action, this selected area will not register any touch and will stay grayed out.
- Optional: Tap Options at the bottom left to choose the features you want to make available. (Motion, Keyboards, and Touch are enabled by default. But you can disable them.) Similarly, if you enable the Side Button, it’ll allow you to lock the device during Guided Access. If you toggle on Volume Buttons, it’ll let you change the volume from the Guided Access screen. You get the idea, right?
- Finally, tap Start located at the top right corner to begin Guided Access.
How to end Guided Access?
There are two ways to do this.
- Press the Home button/Side button three times. Next, enter your Guided Access passcode. Finally, tap End at the top left.
- Did you enable the Touch ID/Face ID option during the initial steps? If so, another way to end Guided Access is by using these. On iPhones with Touch ID, press it twice and confirm with your fingerprint. On iPhones with Face ID, hold the device in front of your face and press the Side button twice.
Note: If you ever get stuck in Guided Access mode, force restart your iPhone to come out of this.
How to lock apps on iPhone without a password using mSpy
mSpy is a nifty parental control app that can help you lock apps on a device that you’re monitoring, such as your child’s phone.
It’s useful to block children’s access to distracting social media and messaging apps. Plus, it’s super easy to set up and comes with a range of other features such as geo-tracking a phone, monitoring calls and messages, etc. Here’s how to use mSpy to lock access to apps on your child’s phone:
- Sign up for a mSpy account.
- Download the mSpy Lite app on your iPhone.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to link a device to monitor.
- Once you’ve linked your child’s device, open a browser on your computer and log into your account on mSpy.com.
- On the top left, select your child’s device.
- Scroll down and select Block Applications.
- From here, you can select which apps to block, such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.
Your child won’t be able to access the blocked apps. You can change this at any time you wish.
Price: $21.00 per month for a monthly plan or $5.00 per month for an annual plan
That sums up the most common ways to lock apps on your iPhone using a passcode. Besides these, you can also use Touch ID or Face ID to Lock compatible apps like WhatsApp, Dropbox, etc.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. I’ll be happy to help.
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