How to Lock an App on iPhone and iPad.
If an app doesn’t natively support additional authentication via Face ID or Touch ID, iPhones and iPads don’t offer built-in means to prevent anyone else from opening and viewing its content. So if you tend to leave your iOS or iPadOS device unlocked or share it with others regularly, this can be a major cause for concern.
Read : How To Lock Apps On Your Mac
Luckily, you can use various workarounds – mostly based on screen time – to block any app on your iPhone or iPad. Read on to find out about all the possible ways that can help you with this.
Lock App Using Face ID & Touch ID
Several third-party apps, such as Google Drive and WhatsApp, let you add an extra layer of security with Face ID or Touch ID. So before diving into the workarounds below, it’s worth checking the app’s internal settings panel for such an option. For example, here is what you need to do to block Google Drive.
1. Open Google Drive and tap the three lines icon in the top left corner of the screen. Then go to Settings > Privacy Screen.
2. Turn on the switch next to the privacy screen and enter your device passcode to enable this feature.
3. Click “Require Authentication” and decide if you want Google Drive to lock immediately, after 10 seconds, 1 minute, or 10 minutes when you switch to other apps.
Google Drive will now require you to use Face ID or Touch ID to unlock it depending on your authentication settings. To manage apps that use device biometrics, open the Settings app and go to Face ID & Passcode > More apps.
Impose App Limits Using Screen Time
Screen Time not only allows you to track your activity on your iPhone and iPad, but also gives you access to many useful restrictions. If you’ve set up Screen Time, you can use a feature called App Limits to set daily time limits for any stock or third-party app.
The next workaround is to set the time limit as low as possible and then quickly reduce it to block the app for the rest of the day.
Related: Haven’t had time to turn on Screen Time yet? Learn how to set screen time on iPhone and iPad. In addition, you must create a Screen Time passcode (different from your device passcode) before you begin.
1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad and tap Screen Time. Then tap App Restrictions and enter the Screen Time passcode.
2. Click Add Limit, expand the appropriate category (social media, creativity, entertainment, etc.) and select the app you want to block. On the next screen, select the smallest time limit – 1 minute – and click Add.
3. Open the app and use it for one minute. Screen Time will automatically lock once you reach the limit, but you can unlock it for an extra minute by tapping Request More Time > One More Minute.
After this minute, the app will remain completely inaccessible unless you enter your Screen Time passcode. You can control any app that is subject to App Restrictions or block additional apps by re-opening Settings > Screen Time > App Restrictions.
Note. If an app remains unlocked after the time limit you set, go to Settings > Screen Time > Always Allowed and make sure it’s not in the Allowed Apps list.
Set Up DownTime Using Screen Time
Apart from app restrictions, you can use another Screen Time feature called Downtime to block apps. It restricts all apps on iPhone and iPad at certain times of the day, except for those in the exclusion list.
1. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Downtime and enter your Screen Time passcode.
2. Turn on the switch next to Scheduled. Then set up a downtime schedule. For example, if you want Downtime to be active all day every day of the week, click Every Day and set From and To to 22:00 and 21:59 respectively. Then click “Enable Downtime Before Schedule” to enable downtime immediately.
3. Return to the previous screen and touch Always Allowed. Then add the apps you want to have unlimited access to the Allowed Apps section.
Screen Time will now block all apps on your iOS device except for the ones you’ve added to your allowed apps list. However, it is still possible to access blocked apps for a minute by tapping “Ask for more time” > “One more minute”, so consider doing this yourself for any app you don’t want anyone to open.
Disable Apps in Screen Time
Screen Time also allows you to turn off certain apps built into your iPhone or iPad, such as FaceTime, Safari, Camera, and more. It’s quick and easy if the app you want to block is on the list.
1. Open the Settings app and go to Screen Time > Content & Privacy > Allowed Apps.
2. Turn off the switch next to any native app you want to turn off.
Disabled apps won’t show up on the home screen or app library unless you manually re-enable them using the above screen after entering the Screen Time passcode.
Lock Apps By Age Rating
In addition, Screen Time supports limiting all apps above a certain age rating. This is a useful parental control when handing over your iPhone or iPad to a child.
1. Open the Settings app and go to Screen Time > Content & Privacy.
2. Click Content Restrictions > Apps and select an age rating: 4+, 9+, 12+, etc.
If you want to unblock all apps again, go back to the screen above and tap Show All Apps.
Lock Apps Using an Automation
The Shortcuts app on iPhone and iPad lets you create a variety of useful automations that fire when you interact with apps. The following workaround involves configuring timer-based automation for the app to force lock the device when it is opened.
This method requires several steps using the Shortcuts and Clock apps. However, the end result is better than the workarounds based on app limits and downtime because you don’t have to deal with the minimum time limits.
1. Open the Shortcuts app and go to the Automation tab. Then click “Create Personal Automation” > “App”.
2. Press Select, select the application you want to block, and select Done > Next.
3. Click Add Action. Then go to the Applications tab and select Clock > Start Timer.
4. Change the default value of 30 seconds under Start Timer to 1 second and click Next to continue.
5. Turn off the switch next to “Ask before launch” and click “Don’t ask.” Then click “Finish” to complete the creation of the automation.
6. Open the Clock app on your iPhone or iPad, go to the Timer tab, tap Timer Ending, and select Stop Playback.
7. Try opening the app you just blocked and the automation will kick in and kick you to the lock screen. If you want to use the app, just unlock your device with Face ID or Touch ID.
Advice. Do you want to disable the “Starting Your Automation” alert in the Notification Center? Go to Settings > Screen Time > See All Activity > Notifications > Shortcuts and turn off the toggle next to Allow Notifications.
Use Guided Access to Lock Apps
Guided access is an accessibility feature that you can use to restrict someone to one app. You must enable it before you can use it.
1. Open the Settings app. Then scroll down and click Accessibility.
2. Scroll down the Accessibility screen and tap Guided Access. Then turn on the switch next to Guided Access.
You can now triple-click the side button (or the Home button on Touch ID devices) to start a Guided Access session. To complete it, simply double-click the Side/Home button. Your iPhone or iPad automatically uses Touch ID or Face ID to authenticate the action.
As you just saw, you have several ways to block iPhone and iPad apps. Admittedly, none of the above workarounds are perfect. However, they should prove useful until Apple adds the ability to block any app you want directly in the system software.
Having said that, it is advised to stay away from any app blocking methods that involve jailbreaking your iPhone or iPad. A hacked device not only voids your warranty, but also creates many security issues with your operating system.
How to Lock an App on iPhone and iPad
How to Lock an App on iPhone and iPad –>