How to Lock Apps on the iPhone in 4 Steps

How to Check Your Screen Time on Android

How to Lock Apps on the iPhone in 4 Steps

Have you ever opened an iPhone app like Instagram, intending to scroll for a few minutes? Have you ever looked up from your phone only to see that an hour has passed? Please don’t feel bad, as it happens to all of us. If you want to limit your screen time and up your iPhone security, consider putting a lock on your apps. Locking apps on your iPhone means that you can set a time limit. You can choose however much time you want to dedicate to that to that particular app for a day. Locking apps is a great way to stay on task and not waste hours endlessly scrolling social media when you should be doing other things. If you’re ready to learn how to lock apps on the iPhone, let’s get started. 

Lock iPhone Apps Using a Unique Passcode

Using your phone’s Screen Time ability, you can limit your use of an app during the day or 24 hours. Once you’ve used your allotted app time, you’ll need to enter your password to bypass the time limit. Once you’ve entered your passcode, you’ve locked that app for the duration of the day. 

Step 1: Get Your iPhone

Once you’ve opened your phone, navigate to Settings.

Apps lock iPhone
Tap the gear icon on your home screen to access Settings.

Step 2: Access Screen Time

Go to Screen Time and select “Use Screen Time Passcode.” 

Lock apps iPhone
Screen time is the last setting in the second section.
Lock apps iPhone
Tap the blue text to use your Screen Time passcode.

Step 3: Choose Your Passcode

Enter and then confirm your passcode. Make it something easy to remember but not too easy for anyone else to guess. Be sure to add your passcode for Screen Time Recovery. You can do this using your Apple ID and Password. 

Lock apps iPhone
Select a passcode that will be easy to recall.
Lock apps iPhone
Re-enter your code to confirm.

Step 4: Choose Your Limits

Enter your Passcode that you just set up, and then choose the apps to restrict. Select Next

Here, you can choose how long you’d like to limit your screen time and if you want to block once the time is up. 

Note: App limits apply to all devices signed into iCloud — if you have Share Access Across Devices enabled. You’ll receive a 5-minute warning when you’re time is almost up. 

Lock apps iPhone
Enter your newly created passcode.
Lock apps iPhone
Now, choose your app limits.
Lock apps iPhone
Tap the circle next to the category to include it in the limits.
Lock apps iPhone
Set how long you want to be able to use the app.

Lock iPhone Apps Using Face or Touch ID

In addition to locking your apps with a password, you can choose to lock them using your Face ID or Touch ID. First, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to set up Touch or Face ID on your iPhone to continue. You can use either one to lock the majority of apps on your iPhone. Finally, once you have these enabled, you can lock your apps without using the now valuable screen time. Some apps can’t be locked, but most can.

In the following brief video, Howfinity demonstrates how to lock apps on the iPhone using face ID or passcode.

Why Should I Lock Apps on My iPhone?

Most people think that putting a passcode on their iPhones is enough to keep their data safe. However, our information isn’t always as secure as we believe it is. Hackers, or anyone with enough gumption, can access your private data through something as simple as your voicemail. Once they have access to your voicemail, they can hack the data that’s stored on your phone, such as your apps. 

Hackers can also access your cell phone data through phone hacking software. This software allows people to steal your data by installing malware on your phone. This malicious software can get access to such data as your email login credentials. Once someone can access your email, they can scan it for more information. While you can’t prevent this kind of malicious attack on your iPhone, you can help keep your sensitive data safe by locking your most used apps. 

How to Use a Locked iPhone App

Are you ready to use apps that are locked? Once you’ve put App Limits in place, you can select “Ask for More Time,” which gives you access to the app. Once you enter your passcode, you can choose how long you want the app to be unlocked. Keep in mind once you unlock an app, you can’t lock it again until the time is up unless you go through the entire App Limit setup process again. For example, if you choose to unlock the app for an hour, you can’t relock it after just 20 minutes. 

What About Locking Apps Using Third-Party Apps?

If you have ever used an Android device or know someone who does, you may have heard of third-party apps that lock Android apps. Unfortunately, these third-party app lockers don’t exist for iPhones unless you have a jailbroken device. Jailbreaking your phone can lead to security issues, so we don’t recommend going this route. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you password restrict apps on iPhone?

Yes, you can. Go to App Limits and enter your unique passcode for Screen Time. You can select all apps, or only some.

How do I hide things on my iPhone?

You can hide photos on your iPhone by opening the Photos app and selecting the photos and videos you want to hide. Select More, then Hide. Confirm that you want to hide those items.


Why do people lock apps?

To keep unwanted people from accessing their data. This includes hackers and anyone else who would benefit from seeing your apps.

Ho can I use apps that are locked?

Once you’ve put App Limits in place, you can select “Ask for More Time,” which gives you access to the app. Once you enter your passcode, you can choose how long you want the app to be unlocked.

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