How to Lock Certain or Multiple Apps on iPhone and iPad

2019-04-28 22:37:35 / Posted by Rosa Reyes to iPhone Follow @ Rosa

I want to lock my social apps and photos gallery on my iPhone 8. Is there any inbuilt functionality or any official app (free or paid version) or any workaround to lock any apps on my iPhone 8 or other iOS devices?

This article will show you five easy ways on how to lock apps on iPhone and iPad. Many iPhone users including me have the need to lock apps to protect privacy and limit screen time. Locking apps on iPhone is one of the best ways to protect our privacy from prying eyes. There is more than one way to lock apps on iOS devices. I spent hours doing research and testing a few methods. The easiest and most effective ones are recommended below. The methods work for the latest iOS 12, iOS 11 and earlier versions.

How to use Screen Time to lock apps on iPhone and iPad

Screen Time is a new feature coming with iOS 12 and can be used to lock apps on iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPad Pro and other compatible iPhones and iPads. Designed to be a screen time management too, it can also be a workaround to lock apps on iPhone with password.

You can use this feature to lock all your iPhone apps with one click. It also enables you to lock all apps of the same category (such as game apps) all at once. It’s also easy to block a single app. You can set it to ignore certain apps (such as Phone and Messages) even if you turn on the toggle to block All Apps & Categories.

Step 1. Open up Settings and tap Screen Time. Tap App Limits.

Step 2. Set a password which will be used for lock apps on iPhone.

Step 3. Tap Add Limit. To lock all your apps, select the option All Apps & Categories. There are also a number of other options such as Social Networking, Games and Entertainment.

lock apps on iPhone using iOS 12 new feature Screen Time

Step 4. Tap Add to set time limit. If you enable Block at End of Limit, Screen Time will automatically block the app(s) even when the limit expires.

Step 5. Tap Add.

You can also block individual apps, say, Snapchat. In Screen Time, under MOST USED, find Snapchat and tap it. Tap Add Limit and set limit. When you tap a locked app, you will see a Time Limit message. If you click the Ask For More Time option, it will require you to entire password and select a time period such as Approve for an hour. You can easily unlock locked apps by going to Settings and clicking Delete Limit.

iPhone apps locked by Screen Time

How to lock apps on iPhone and iPad with Restrictions

Restrictions, also known as Parental Controls, lets you manage and restrict access to certain apps or websites, in-app purchases, content types and ratings, device functions and privacy settings on your iOS devices. It helps prevent others from accessing your apps or changing your settings, among other things. Follow the steps below to turn on Restrictions and check out how to lock apps on iPhone using it. Note that this method is only available for built-in apps and not for third-party apps.

Step 1. Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad. Tap General, scroll down and choose Restrictions.

Lock down apps and settings on iPhone, iPad via Restrictions 01

Step 2. Tap Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode. You must remember the passcode which is required when you disable restrictions and change settings. If you forget the passcode, you will have to erase your device and then set it up as a new one to remove the passcode.

Lock down apps and settings on iPhone, iPad via Restrictions 02

Step 3. Scroll down the list and customize the types of apps, content and settings you want others to have access to. Under the Allow section, turn off individual apps that you don’t want others to access without your permission. You can disable Restrictions anytime you want.

Lock down apps and settings on iPhone, iPad via Restrictions 03

This is how to lock apps on your iPhone, which is super easy. To change your current Restrictions passcode, you have to enter it to disable Restrictions and then enter a new one to enable Restrictions.

How to lock apps on iPhone and iPad via Guided Access

If you don’t want to lock apps on iPhone using Restrictions, there are other choices. Guided Access can prevent you or someone else from accidentally exiting to the Home screen or another app when you don't mean to. This is useful when you don’t want other people to have access to other apps or when you want to focus on a certain app. To set up app lock for iPhone, here's what you can do.

Step 1. Tap Settings on your iOS device. Tap General and choose Accessibility. Scroll down until you find this tool.

Lock a certain app on iPhone or iPad via Guided Access 01

Step 2. Turn it on. Tap Passcode Settings and set a 4 digital password. The password helps you control the use of this tool and prevents others from leaving an active Guided Access session. Toggle Accessibility Shortcut to on.

Step 3. Now you can start a Guided Access session. Go to the app you want open and triple-click the Home button. Circle any areas of the screen that you would like to make inaccessible. You can also tap Options to adjust settings for the session. Tap Start at the top of the screen to launch this tool.

Lock a certain app on iPhone or iPad via Guided Access 03

Someone else who tries to leave the specific locked app will receive a banner message telling him or her to triple-click the Home button to exit. If the person doesn’t know the pre-set passcode, then it won't be able to exit this tool. This is another method on how to lock apps on iPhone with password.

How to use Touch ID or Face ID to lock iPhone and iPad apps

Touch ID

If you prefer locking apps with fingerprint, this is a method for you. This direct and easy-to-apply method allows you to lock apps on iPhone or iPad with fingerprint. You must always remember a password, whereas you can’t forget a fingerprint.

Many popular iPhone apps (such as Dropbox and Amazon) support Touch ID, but many still don’t. Apps such as Facebook don’t allow users to lock up app this way. When you set up fingerprint lock, it may require a password. Below is how the whole thing works.

Step 1. Go to Settings > Touch ID & Password. Enter your password and continue.

Step 2. Turn on Touch ID for inbuilt apps, such as Apple Pay and iTunes & App Store, according to your need.

iphone touch id

Step 3. Follow the instructions and add your fingerprints.

Step 4. Here comes the important part of how to lock apps on iPhone with Touch ID. Open any supported app, go to Setting > Passcode & Touch ID (or a similar option). Choose a passcode, and then toggle on Touch ID.

enable touch id to lock apps on iPhone

After the setting up, you can unlock the locked app using fingerprint instead of password.

Face ID

Users of the following devices can lock apps with Face ID.

  • iPhone
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch

The fact is that not all iOS apps support Faced ID, so this method only works with Face ID supported apps. Here we will take WhatsApp as an example and show you how to use this method to lock apps on iPhone.

Step 1. Open WhatsApp. Go to Settings > Account > Privacy. Scroll down to find Screen Lock. Tap it.

Step 2. Toggle the option Require Face ID to the on position. Now you will have the option to select how often WhatsApp asks for Face ID.

lock Whatsapp on iPhone using Face ID

When you try to access the locked app, it will require your Face ID.

If you haven’t set up Face ID on your iPhone yet, the brief guide below will show you how.

Go to Settings. Tap Face ID & Passcode. Enter your passcode. Tap Set Up Face ID. Position your face inside the frame and follow the instructions displayed on the screen. Once the first scan is finished, tap Continue. Now you can start the second scan. Tap Done.

How to lock apps on iPhone and iPad using third-party apps

If you have to lock apps on iPhone without jailbreaking, the methods above will be useful. If you have jailbroken your iPhone or iPad, you can easily lock iPhone apps with some jailbreak tweaks like BioPretect. BioProtect which is available for $2.99 on Cydia’s BigBoss repo allows you to protect your apps with Touch ID or passcode. To use BioProtect, you must have your iPhone Touch ID enabled. Follow the following steps to see how to lock apps on your iPhone using this app.

Step 1. After you jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, launch Cydia on your iOS device.

Step 2. Tap on Manage > Sources and tap on BigBoss repo source, and then search BioProtect.

Step 3. Purchase and tap on install button.

Step 4. After installing, you will have the function of fingerprint protection for your iOS apps. Before you can use BioProtect, Touch ID must be configured with at least one fingerprint and every time access to this application it will require a Touch ID.

Step 5. Then open Settings, choose Applications > BioProtect, verify your fingerprint and you will see your BioProtect settings. By default BioProtect is enabled. Turn on Protect AppSwitcher and Vibrate on error.

Step 6. Under Protected Applications, you can switch on the toggle which is next to the app you want to lock. Then every time you want to open the protected app, it will require your Touch ID. You can also toggle one multiple apps as you like.

Block single or multiple apps on iPhone or iPad via a third-party app

Though BioProtect can provide a perfect solution on how to lock apps on iPhone and unlock them within a second using your fingerprints, it is for users who are only interested in Touch ID-based app security. If you are a fan of password-based app security, you can also try AppLocker for iOS. By the way, all iOS apps can create many temporary files like cache, cookies and eat up your space, so it is indispensable to clean up your iPhone or iPad regularly by using third-party iPhone cleaning tool.

If you haven’t jailbroken your device and want to, you can read the guide Why You Should and Shouldn’t Jailbreak iPhone or iPad to check out the pros and cons of jailbreaking your device.


As we become more dependent on iPhone and other mobile devices these days, it’s more important than ever to protect our private data and information by locking them up. Which do you think is a better choice, password or fingerprint? No matter which way you prefer, you can find great methods on how to lock apps on iPhone in this article. Hopefully you will find them helpful. Welcome to leave a comment below.

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1 Comments Leave a Reply

  • Melina Mayor

    Got it! Now I can control over how my kids can use my iPhone 6 plus.

    2 years ago REPLY