One of Apple’s great but for some reason unknown features is Guided Access.
If you’re trying to get some work done on an app on your phone, and don’t want to be distracted by mistakenly opening a notification or going to the home screen, you can lock your phone to one app!
What about giving someone your phone to make a call, and you want to make sure they don’t by mistake open an app? Or want to give your child your phone to use just a specific app? Here’s how you can lock the phone to only be able to use that app with Guided Access!
What does it do:
When Guided Access is turned on, you will only be able to use the app that you’re on and will need a code to go out of it. Do your kids already know your code? You can create a special code that will only be for Guided Access. You also have the ability to block accessing part of an app, for example, let’s say your child wants to see the family WhatsApp chat, you can open the chat, turn on Guided Access, and block the arrow that will take you back to all chats.
Let’s break down how to set it up, and all the features it can do:
- Turn on Guided Access: To get started go to Settings > [For iOS 12: General >] Accessibility > Guided Access > On
In this section you have a few more settings:
- Passcode Settings: Create a new passcode that will only be for turning off Guided Access and it can be different from your phone passcode. You also have the option to turn off Touch ID or Face ID to exit.
- Time Limits: This name is a bit misleading, since you don’t actually set the limit for how long Guided Access should be on (we’ll come to that later). Here you can set if there should be an audio played or a spoken warning before the time runs out.
- Accessibility Shortcut: You can ignore this, if you don’t have any other accessibility features enabled. If you do, this setting will make the shortcut for accessibility activation to be Guided Access.
- Mirror Display Auto-Lock: When this is on, then the phone will auto-lock after the time period set in Display & Brightness. When off, the screen will turn off after 20 minutes of inactivity when Guided Access is on.
Activate Guided Access on an App:
Go to your desired app and on an iPhone X or later, triple-click the side button, or for an iPhone 8 or earlier, triple-click the Home button.
You now have several options:
Start/Resume at the top right of the screen.
Cancel/End at the top left of the screen.
Options on the bottom left of the screen.
Disable specific areas on the screen: You can draw circles around parts of the screen you want to make off-limits and cannot be touched. After making a circle, you can move it by dragging it, and resizing that part or removing it by tapping the X button.
In Options you can control which features are available:
- Sleep/Wake Button
To turn off/on the ability to press the Sleep/Wake button on your device.
- Volume Buttons
To turn off/on the ability to press the volume buttons on your device.
You can use this to lock the phone in portrait or landscape mode, and you won’t be able to switch to the other layout.
To turn off/on the ability of using the keyboard
To turn off/on the ability of the screen to respond to touch, useful if you want to let a young child watch a video.
- Time Limit
To choose a time limit for your Guided Access session, turn this on.
To turn off features or set a time limit, triple-click the Side or Home button, then tap Options. If you don’t see Options, triple-click the Side or Home button again and enter your passcode.
Turn on the options that you want, then tap Done.
Note: Certain apps support both portrait and landscape mode, for example, in WhatsApp, if you circle a section of the app that should not be accessible, but then turn the phone to a different orientation, that section will now be accessible. To solve this, you can turn off the “Motion” setting in “Options.”
Pro Tip: It can also be used for any business or event you want to do, and showcase an iPad which should only be displaying one app.
Have any questions about this feature? Let us know in the comments!