How to Set Up and Use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad

Opened a YouTube video for your little one and found them mistakenly surfing Amazon some moments later? Or unlocked your device for some work and wasted time looking at photos? We all have been there, which is why setting up and using Guided Access on iPhone and iPad running iOS 13 is a wise move.

Guided Access is an Accessibility feature that limits users to one specific app. They cannot switch to another program or return to the home screen during the Guided Access session. Moreover, you can control which features are enabled or disabled. You can employ the setting to any app, whether video streaming, games, music, writing, or reading.

How to Use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad

Once enabled, the Guided Access has unending use cases, some of which may include:

  • Prevent kids from hopping apps or accessing other content without permission
  • To keep oneself from getting distracted by other apps or notifications
  • Pro users can avoid accidental delete or such incidents caused due to unintentional screen touch
  • Ensuring the employees at restaurants, libraries, etc. do not misuse their device privileges

Interesting right! So let me walk you through the whole process.

Quick Access:

Set Up Guided Access on Your iPhone and iPad

Step #1. Launch the Settings app on your iOS device and tap Accessibility.

Tap on Accessibility in Settings App on iPhone

Step #2. Scroll down and select Guided Access Turn ON the toggle next to it.

Select Guided Access in iPhone Settings

Step #3. Turn ON the toggle next to Guided Access.

Set Up Guided Access on iPhone

Once enabled, you are privy to multiple options, choose settings that fit your requirements. Let’s check them out in brief:

To Set a Passcode: Tap on Passcode Settings, and either select Set Guided Access Passcode or toggle ON the Face ID or Touch ID.

Enable Guided Access Passcode on iPhone

To Set Time Limits: This feature allows you to set a sound/alarm to notify before the set time ends.

Tap Time LimitsSound and then select the preferred sound.

Set Alarm Tone in Time Limits on iPhone Guided Access

You can also make your device speak the remaining Guided Access time. To do so, tap Time Limits → toggle ON the switch next to Speak.

Turn ON Speak in Time Limits on iPhone Guided Access

Enable Accessibility Shortcut –  If enabled, you will be able to access the feature by a simple triple-click on the side button or the home button. Just toggle ON the switch next to Accessibility Shortcut for seamless usage.

Enable Accessibility Shortcut in Guided Access Passcode on iPhone

To Auto-Lock – You can also alter the time your iPhone takes to lock during a Guided Access session. By default, it adapts to the settings active on the Auto-Lock in Display & Brightness. You can adjust the timing as per your convenience.

Change Auto Lock Settings in Guided Access on iPhone

Special tips: 

  • Ensure that your biometric authentication is switched on and prevent locking yourself out, in case of a forgotten password
  • In my experience, enabling the Accessibility Shortcut makes using the feature quite simple

How to Use Guided Access Like a Pro on iPhone or iPad

Step #1. Open any app on your iOS device (In this case YouTube app).

Launch YouTube on iPhone

Step #2. Now, use the home/side button if you have enabled the Accessibility Shortcut during the ask Siri to “Enable Guided Access“.

Ask Siri to Enable Guided Access on iPhone

Step #3. On this screen, tap on Options from the lower-left corner and toggle On/Off features as per your preference:

  • Sleep/Wake or Volume buttons: Choose whether you want these buttons active or disabled during Guided Access session
  • Motion: To enable/disable switching between portrait and landscape or from responding to other motions
  • Keyboards: To stop/allow typing
  • Touch: Ignore or accept all screen touches
  • Time Limit: Set the time, after which the app will stop working
  • Dictionary Lookup: (Only available for related apps) enable/disable the use of the in-built dictionary

Choose Prefered Option to Set Guided Access on iPhone

Step #4. Tap Done once you have set the options.

Tap on Done to Save Save Preferences on iPhone

Step #5. To disable app controls and certain areas of the app screen, roughly draw an outline of the section.

Select App Screen Area on iPhone

Step #6. Tap Start to begin the Guided Access session.

Tap on Start and Use Guided Access Like a Pro on iPhone

And just like that, your session has begun. Now, anyone who tries to leave the app will have to enter the passcode to do so.

Note: Your device will remember the settings and options selected for each app. So, you don’t have to set Guided Access every time, you can just start the session and lock your iPhone into that app.

How to Edit Guided Access Session

To edit or end the current session, triple-click on the side button/home button or ask Siri. Enter the passcode and tap Resume or End accordingly. If biometric authentication is enabled, you can use your Face ID or Touch ID for the same.

Isn’t the feature just great?

Steve Jobs once said that “Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do.” Such features in my iOS device are a great example of the sentiment. I might not have thought about a lock-feature. Although, after using Guided Access on my iPhone and iPad, I indeed need this feature a lot.

Feel free to lock yourself into our iOS app or Website as we have some fantastic content for you:

The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.