How to Lock Apps on Mac (including Catalina), iOS and Android

2020-03-12 03:39:23 / Posted by Rosa Reyes to Utility Follow @ Rosa

This article mainly takes about how to lock apps on Mac easily in different ways. You probably have dozens if not hundreds of applications installed on your Mac and mobile devices. Sometimes, you may feel the need to put a lock on certain apps such as Messages, Photos and Mail. Locking apps can benefit you in more than one way. And the article will cover the common ways to do the locking.

Why lock apps?

  • You can prevent others who use your Mac from accessing your apps and privacy.
  • It adds an extra layer of protection against hacking.
  • You can limit children’s screen time by stopping them from opening games and other addictive apps.
  • It helps you protect privacy, reduce distractions and thus increase productivity.

How to lock apps on Mac

Method 1. Lock any app on Mac with AppCrypt

You can easily lock built-in apps and third-party apps on Mac with Cisdem AppCrypt, an easy-to-use powerful Mac app locker and website blocker.

  • Lock any app on your Mac such as Photos, iPhoto, Messages, Contacts, Quicken, etc.
  • Use the Schedule feature to lock Mac apps during certain hours
  • Generate a report of incorrect password attempts trying to launch locked apps
  • Also block access to websites on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.
  • Support macOS 10.10 - 10.15 Catalina

Free Download

How to lock apps on Mac in 2 easy steps

Step 1. Download and install AppCrypt. When you open the app for the first time, you will be asked to set a password. Read the Warning before clicking Submit.

The password will be required to unlock locked apps and configure settings. Please DO NOT forget the password.

set a password to lock macOS apps

Step 2. In the app locker for Mac, click the Add App button from the toolbar, which will bring up a Finder window. From the Applications folder, select one or multiple apps that you want to password lock. Click Add.

Alternatively, open AppCrypt and the Applications folder window side by side. Drag apps into the left panel of the former.

add apps to lock up

It’s that easy to lock apps on Mac.

How to successfully open a locked app

When you or someone else tries to open an app locked by AppCrypt, a message will pop up asking for password. To launch the app, just enter the correct password in the field provided. Click Submit.

ask for password

If the password entered is incorrect, as shown in the screenshot below, this Mac app locker will generate a record with details like app name, date, time and photo. To delete a specific record, just control-click the record and click the Delete option that appears.

report of failed attempt

Note: You can disable or enable the "Capture photo with failed attempt" option in Preferences. Click the Menu dropdown icon in the top right corner of the main interface and select Preferences > General.

How to unlock a locked app

To remove password protection from a Mac app, select the app in the left panel and then click the Remove App button in the toolbar.

unlock a locked app on Mac

Get the free trial of the app to password protect your apps in an easy and reliable manner.

Free Download


  • You can set this tool to lock apps for certain time. In the top right corner of the main window, select Menu > Preferences > Schedule. Don’t forget to save your setting.schedule feature
  • To set the tool to automatically launch at boot up, go to Menu > Preferences > General. Check the Launch at system start up option.general options
  • To set a new password, go to Preferences > Password.set a new password
  • On a side note, you can use the WebBlock feature to block any website on web browsers like Chrome and Safari.

Method 2. Lock Apps on Mac via Built-in Disk Utility

The second way you can try is having your data protected with a inside lock that can only be opened by you or by someone who knows the password.

Step 1. Type in Disk Utility in the Spotlight Search. And double-click to open it.

Step 2. Click File > New Image > Image from Folder.

Step 3. Select the app folder you want to lock and click the choose button.

You can see in the photo as below. Only the apps in folder state can be selected. That means, you must keep you app in folder then can use this way to lock your app successfully.

Step 4. A new window will pop up. When you set up your choices, click Save button. Then the app folder will be locked well.

Click the down arrow from Encryption to choose a suitable encryption way.

Method 3. How to lock apps on Mac using Screen Time

This method doesn’t apply to systems prior to macOS 10.15. Previously only available on iOS, now the Screen Time comes to Mac with the release of macOS Catalina in October 2019.

As you can tell form its name, the feature is designed primarily for the purpose of controlling screen time. If your are looking for an easy way to protect apps on Mac with a strong password, this method is not effective or practical enough.

Step 1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences > Screen Time.

Step 2. In the bottom left corner of the main window, click Options. Select the checkbox next to Use Screen Time Passcode. Set a 4-digit passcode.

set Screen Time passcode

Step 3. In the left column, click App Limits. Click the Turn On button to enable this feature.

click App Limits

Step 4. Click the add button, which will bring up a new window where you can add an app to create limit. Enable Block at end of limit. When you finish setting up, click the Done button.

add an app that you want to set limit

When a time limit is reached, the app will be locked, and one will be asked to enter the passcode to access the app again.

How to lock apps on iPhone

1. Enable Guided Access to feature your iPhone

There is a built-in feature which named Guided Access, allows you to lock apps on iPhone. You can enable this feature on your iPhone with following the steps below:

Step 1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on general.

Step 2. Tap on Accessibility, scroll down and choose Guided Access under the Learning section.

Step 3. Tap to turn on Guided Access.

Step 4. Tap on Passcode Settings and set a passcode for Guided Access.

2. Start to lock Apps on iPhone with Guided Access:

Step 1. Launch the app which you want to lock. In this case, we used Camera.

Step 2. Triple click the Home button to Start Guided Access and lock Camera App.

lock apps on iphone

Step 3. Tap on Start at the top of the screen.

Step 4. Tap on Start at top right corner of the screen to begin Guided Access.

lock apps on iphone

This is it! Now, you are safe to hand over your Mac and iPhone to your kids, friends or with whom you are not comfortable to share applications.

How to lock apps on Android

There are various kinds of screen locks for Android, such as PIN, password, pattern, etc.,which can help you lock Android phone well. But it is too troublesome to unlock the Android every time when you go to use the phone. So if you want to protect your important apps, you can use an app name Smart App Protector to lock apps on Android.

Step 1. Download Smart App Protector from Google Play Store and install it on your Android phone.

Step 2. Launch the program. It will require you to install a Smart App Protector helper that ensures the major app service wouldn’t be killed by third party apps.

Step 3. The original password is 7777, but you are able to change it in app Settings.

Step 4. Next, come to Running tab. Click ADD button and choose applications that you need to lock from the pop out list. Click ADD button again.

Step 5. Finally, check whether the app has been locked on Android or not.

lock app on android


Above are the common ways on how to lock apps on Mac, iOS and Android. Locking apps is necessary if you want to prevent your private information from leaking, or you don’t want others to access certain apps on your device. Hopefully the ways above can help you solve your problems with success.

iPhone and Android phone users can use the built-in or third-party solutions to do the locking up. For Mac users, there is also more than one solution. If Disk Utility or Screen Time is not enough satisfy your need, you can try professional a Mac app locker. With it, you can easily lock an app on Mac and also block distracting websites. Download the free trial now.

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6 Comments Leave a Reply

  • Glenda

    Awesome! Super helpful and simple to use! It limits my child to play games on Mac frequently and it looks really cool!

    3 years ago REPLY
  • Joana

    Very good looking app that is feature rich and very easy and pleasing to use.

    3 years ago REPLY
  • Kenyon

    I loooooove AppCrypt absolutely a great program. I can't say anymore it's just awesome.

    3 years ago REPLY
  • Bella

    A very good third-party tool to protect apps you don't want to accidentally launched by others.

    3 years ago REPLY
  • Eve

    The paragon of unierstanddng these issues is right here!

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Edith

    I have three kids in my family, and they always use my Mac to play games and watch movies. aha, now they even can't access to my games app with the help of AppCrypt.

    4 years ago REPLY