How to Use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad to Keep Your Kids Locked into One App

by

If you've ever handed your iPhone or iPad to a baby or toddler to entertain them while you do something else, you'll probably be aware of just how easily their little fingers can navigate into all manner of screens and settings they shouldn't be messing with.


Fortunately, Apple includes a feature in iOS that allows you to keep your device locked into a single app and control which features are available. It's called Guided Access, and this article explains how you can use it.

How to Enable Guided Access on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap Guided Access under the General section at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Tap the switch next to Guided Access to toggle it to the green ON position and reveal further options.

  6. If you use any other accessibility options, turn on the switch next to Accessibility Shortcut so that you can access them when Guided Access is active, using a triple-click of the Home button or Side button (depending on your device).
  7. Tap Passcode Settings, then tap Set Guided Access Passcode to set a special passcode for exiting the feature. Optionally, turn on the toggle next to Face ID or Touch ID (depending on your device) if you want to be able to use biometric authentication to exit Guided Access.
    settings

How to Use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the app that you want the user to have access to. In our example, we're using the BBC iPlayer app to play a kids' show.
  2. If your device has a Home button, triple-click it to enter the Guided Access initialization screen. If your device has Face ID in lieu of a Home button, triple-click the Side button instead.
    guided access

  3. The screen area will appear within a frame. If you want to make certain areas of the screen inaccessible, simply circle them using your finger.
    guided access

  4. Tap Options in the bottom-left corner, then use the switches to control access to the Side Button, Volume Buttons, Motion, Keyboards, Touch, or to set a Time Limit. In our example, we're disabling Side Button and Touch so that video playback can't be disrupted by little fingers.
    guided access

  5. Tap Done.
  6. Tap Start at the top-right corner of the screen to activate Guided Access proper. A banner will briefly appear on the screen advising you that the feature is active.

With Guided Access enabled, the only way to leave the video is by double-clicking the Side button to activate Face ID, or by triple-clicking the Side/Home button and entering the pre-set passcode. So you can leave your little ones to watch their favorite video or play their favorite game, safe in the knowledge that they can't delete your email account, phone a random number, or worse.

Apart from using the triple-click to bring up the Accessibility Shortcut, you can also add a Guided Access shortcut to your device's Control Center.

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

Apple Releases watchOS 7 With New Watch Faces, Family Setup, Sleep Tracking, Handwashing Help and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:47 pm PDT by
Apple today released watchOS 7, the newest version of the watchOS operating system designed to run on modern Apple Watch models. The watchOS 7 update comes after several months of beta testing. ‌watchOS 7‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Here Are All of the New Apple Watch Faces Apple Announced Today

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which will be compatible with new watch faces that are being introduced in the watchOS 7 update set to be released tomorrow. Apple has provided a video highlighting all of the new Apple Watch faces, with details on each one. GMT - The GMT face shows multiple time zones at once, while also taking into...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....