How to lock notes on iPhone and iPad

Written By Anoop Reviewed By How-to iPad iPhone 7 Min Read

Things you need to know before locking notes on iPhone and iPad:

  • You can lock notes in two ways: Either by using an iPhone passcode or by using a custom password.
  • Password-locked notes can’t be retrieved if you forget the password.
  • Once unlocked, locked notes will remain unlocked for up to 15 mins unless you remove the app from the background or instantly lock them.

The Notes app on iPhone allows you to scribble your thoughts and add media. Some might even go further to prepare for their work/school projects. Since the Notes app is a place that can hold many personal as well as work-related notes, it is good to lock them, especially if some of that information is confidential.

How to lock a note on iPhone or iPad

  1. Open the Notes app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap and hold the note you want to lock.
  3. Select Lock Note.
  4. Enter Passcode.
    You can also enable Face ID/Touch ID to lock the note.

    How to lock notes on iPhone

Now you will see a lock icon next to that note. Since you have just enabled the lock, it will appear unlocked, but when you open the app after some time or open it after removing the app from the background, you will see a locked lock icon next to that note.

Other than this method, there is another way to lock notes on iPhone:

  1. Open the note you want to lock.
  2. Tap the three dots at the top right corner.
  3. Select Lock.
  4. Enter your device Passcode.

    Another way to lock notes on iPhone

How to set up a password for Notes on iPhone

You can create a unique password exclusively for Notes.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Notes.
  3. Select Password.
  4. Now, tap Use Custom Password.

    Tap Use Custom Password to lock Notes in settings on iPhone
  5. Use your Passcode or use Face ID/ Touch ID to confirm.
  6. Enter the new Password.
  7. Next, enter it again to verify.
  8. You can also add an iPhone notes password Hint.
  9. Tap Done.

    How to use Password to lock Notes from setting app on iPhone

You will see a confirmation informing the password has been changed. Tap Ok to confirm the changes. Now, when you lock new notes or try to unlock notes, you will be required to use this new password instead of the passcode of your iPhone.

Locked notes: Passcode vs password

  • If you use an iPhone passcode to lock a note: To access the note across your Apple devices, you need to enter the passcode of that particular device.
  • If you use a password to lock a note: You can unlock the note on any of your Apple devices using that particular password.

How to change notes password on iPhone

  1. Go to SettingsNotesPassword.
  2. Tap Change Password.
  3. Enter the current notes password.
  4. Now, enter the new password.
  5. Next, enter it again to verify.
  6. You can also add an iPhone notes password Hint and tap Done.

    Change Notes password in settings app on iPhone

Reset your notes password on your iPhone if you forgot it

  1. Go to SettingsNotesPassword.
  2. Enter your Apple ID password.
    Follow these steps if you forget your Apple ID password.
  3. Tap Reset Password to confirm.
  4. You may be asked to switch to the device passcode.
    You can choose accordingly. Here, we are using Not Now.
  5. Enter the new password and tap OK.

    Reset Notes password in Settings app on iPhone

How to open a locked note on iPhone

Now that you know how to lock notes, you will eventually have to open that when needed. Here’s how you can open the locked notes on your iPhone:

  1. Open Notes.
  2. Tap the locked note you want to open.
  3. Select View Note.
  4. Enter the Passcode or notes password.

    Open a Locked Note on iPhone

How to remove lock from a note on iPhone

  1. Open the Notes app.
  2. Tap and hold the note you want to unlock.
  3. Select Remove Lock.
  4. Enter the Passcode/Password.

    How to Remove a Lock from a Note on iPhone

Here’s another way to unlock notes on iPhone:

  1. Open the note you want to unlock.
  2. Tap the three dots at the top right corner.
  3. Select Remove.
  4. Enter the Passcode/Password.

    Another method to remove lock in Notes on iPhone
Can you lock a shared note? 

No. There is no option to lock shared notes on iPhone. Although you can lock a specific page, media or document shared in it.

Why can’t I lock my notes? 

Keep in mind that you can only lock notes stored in your device and iCloud and not the ones you have shared with others. You also need to ensure that you have enabled Passcode on your iPhone or are using password lock.

How do I stop my iPhone Notes from sharing on my iPad? 

Go to Settings → Apple ID → iCloud and toggle off Notes. This will stop all the notes on your iPhone from syncing with other Apple devices such as iPad and Mac.

That’s it!

Privacy is something that we will always be concerned about. We have already done a guide on how you can hide photos and videos on your iPhone. If you still have any doubts or queries, let us know in the comments.

Here are some more interesting reads to check out:

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By Anoop Content Writer
Anoop loves to find solutions for all your doubts on Tech. When he's not on his quest, you can find him on Twitter talking about what's in his mind.
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