iOS 18 Lets You Lock and Hide Your Apps for Added Privacy

Apple is improving privacy in iOS 18, introducing a feature that allows apps to be locked or hidden, which makes them inaccessible without a Face ID scan.

ios 18 lock apps
If someone is using your phone and you've locked an app, when they try to open that app, they'll see a popup that says it can't be accessed without secondary authentication. Locking an app can be done by long pressing on it and selecting the Require ‌Face ID‌ option (or Touch ID on the iPhone SE).

Not all apps can be locked, with Apple not providing an option for innocuous apps like Maps, Clock, Calculator, and Stocks, but almost every other app can be locked, including third-party apps. When you lock an app, you have the option to hide it as well, which moves it into a locked, hidden apps folder that requires authentication to open.

Locked or hidden apps are not only unable to be opened, but also hidden from search, notifications, and other places across the operating system. Enabling a lock on an app also shows the apps that have access to it, such as apps that are able to write images to the Photos app. Hiding an app means that you will not receive incoming notifications or calls from it, and it will only be available from a "Hidden" folder in the App Library.

If you want to turn off the locking feature, you can long press on an app icon and choose the "Don't Require ‌Face ID‌" option. Turning the lock on and off requires a ‌Face ID‌ scan, so it can't be turned off without your knowledge. Locking and hiding apps is also a feature that works on the iPad.

Related Roundups: iOS 18, iPadOS 18
Related Forums: iOS 18, iPadOS 18

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Top Rated Comments

mw360 Avatar
1 week ago

If your kids can "take" your phone, maybe you shouldn't have things in your phone that they should be seeing. But, your kid shouldn't be able to "take" and unlock your phone in the first place.
Why you being so weird about this?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
211 Avatar
1 week ago

Who do you have to hide your apps from?
Nosey people like you ?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Anonymous Freak Avatar
1 week ago

innocuous apps like Maps, Clock, Calculator, and Stocks
I would argue that Maps and Stocks could be "not innocuous" - maps can show you recent searched places, revealing information you might not want to share. Stock can reveal stocks you follow, which may indicate investment, which can be considered financial information; although of course it doesn't show actual portfolio amounts, nor does it guarantee a followed stock is one with investments. Maps is the concerning one. At least lock "view searched history/pinned places" behind FaceID.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wiesenlooser Avatar
1 week ago
This is great! I twill be much easier to organise my affairs because now I can hide Hinge and Tinder from my significant other

*irony off*

but for real this will probably be the most common use case lol
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JCCL Avatar
1 week ago

Who do you have to hide your apps from?
A potential thief snatching your phone while you have it unlocked? It happens, you know.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mw360 Avatar
1 week ago

Why are you being so defensive about a valid point?
It's not valid it's just plain weird. People have private stuff on their phones. At the same time people have super useful stuff on their phones that kids, family members and others might want to momentarily use. That you think everyone, not just you, but everyone should be obliged to resolve this tension by clutching their phone like a guilty pervert and buying the other party a separate phone is super weird.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)