What if you can add an extra layer of security over the apps you don't want anybody to open while they are using your iPhone?
Well, that seems like a dream as Apple does not offer any official method to lock apps separately for added security.
In this guide, you can learn how to lock apps on iPhone in 5 different and easy-to-follow methods, along with some helpful FAQs so keep reading.
Method 1: Lock Apps On iPhone via Screen Time Limits Feature
The Apple Screen Time Limit can be used to lock the apps on your iPhone that you want. The feature lets you use the app for a limited time only a day and you will have to enter the password to open the app if you exceed the screen time limit.
Basically, the feature was introduced so people do not mindlessly scrolls through social media as time waste. However, we can use this feature to our benefit by locking certain apps as the limited screen time is of only 1 minute. Here is how you can set this feature up:
- Open the Settings on your iPhone
- Locate the Screen Time from the settings menu and click "Use Screen Time Passcode "
- Enter the password you can remember
- Now, go to App Limits and select Add limit for an app
- Choose the Apps you want to lock, set a timer of 1 minute and click Add in the top-right corner.
Go to screen time
Add a screen time limit
Set the screen limit timer
How to access locked apps?
You can access the locked apps by asking for extra time and then entering your passcode. You will have to choose from the three options for locking the apps again i.e. 15 minutes, 1 hour, and the entire day. Know that you cannot immediately lock the app again after you close it, you will have to end the screen limit time to lock it again.
Access locked apps
Method 2: Use Guided Access to Lock Apps on iPhone
Guided Access is a limiting feature introduced by Apple so the user can be limited to a single app or some specific features. The feature proved to be helpful for people who wanted to focus on work-related apps and not get distracted by other apps. It can also be used to prevent accidental transactions or calls when you let your children play games or watch cartoons on your iPhone.
The following steps will help you set up guided access:
- Open the Accessibility app in the settings of your iPhone and turn on the Guided Access with the toggle button.
- Go to Passcodesettings to set up a Guided Access Passcode and confirm it by reentering the passcode.
- To set Guided Access, open the App you want to restrict, click your Side or Home button thrice, and then click done.
- To end the Guided Access, again click your Home or Side button thrice, enter your passcode, and hit the End button.
Set guided access
Method 3: Put a Lock on apps using the Shortcuts app
There is no official method or app released by Apple to lock Apps on iPhones so by creating automation and redirecting the action to a shortcut app on the Lock screen, we will create a way to lock the particular apps individually. It seems a little technical but don't worry, with the following steps you can easily do it.
- Go to your iPhone's Clock and open "When the timer ends " in the Timer tab. Choose "Stop Playing " and click Set in the top-right corner.
- Now, go to the Automation tab in the Shortcuts and select "Create Personal Automation "
- Locate the App tab and open it. Click Choose to select the Apps you want to lock.
- Click on Done when you have selected all the Apps and make sure "Is opened " is selected. Now, Select Add Action in the next window.
- Locate Start Timer (you can also search in the bar) and select it. Set the timer for one second. Turn off options like "Ask before running " "Don't ask " and "Notify when run. "
- Select Done and you are all set to go.
Adjust clock settings
create personal automation
Select apps and add action
Set the timer and adjust the setting
Method 4: Lock first-party apps on iPhone by restricting content
Although Apple does not provide the option to lock your apps individually for better security, it does have some options that can be tweaked a little to work in our favor and lock the apps. However, this method only works for first-party apps means apps created by Apple only.
How to Lock First-Party Apps in iOS 12 and later?
- Go to the Settings of your iPhone
- Open the Screen Time tab and select Content & Privacy Restrictions
- Now, go to Allowed Apps.
- Turn off the apps you don't want to lock with the toggle button.
- Go to the home screen and enjoy locked apps.
Lock first-party apps in iPhone 12 or later
How to Lock First-Party Apps in iOS 11 and Earlier?
- Go to iPhone's Settings
- Open the General tab
- Locate Restrictions and enable them.
- Set a new password and confirm it by reentering
- All the first-party apps will be locked. You can toggle off the apps you don't want to lock.
Lock first-party apps in iPhone 12 or later
Method 5: Using Touch ID to Lock Compatible Apps on iPhone 5S to iPhone 8
Apple officially lets you lock some apps that are compatible with its systems such as iTunes, App store, Apple Pay, and Password Auto-fill. Do you want to know how you can lock these apps? Follow the steps below:
- Go to your iPhone's Settings.
- Open the Touch ID and Password tab from the settings menu.
- Enter your passcode to confirm your identity.
- Toggle the options on corresponding to iTunes & Apple Store, Apple Pay, and Password Auto-fill.
Lock compatible apps on iPhone 5s to iPhone 8
Are there third-party apps that can lock apps on iPhones?
Unlike Android devices, there are no third-party apps available to lock apps on your iPhone without any concern. However, if you are still eager to try then BioProtect, Locktopus, and AppLocker are third-party apps available to lock your apps. But I won't recommend you to do so as they require Jailbreaking which is a very risky process.
Is there any limitation to locking apps on iPhones using Screen Time Limits?
The screen time limit on iPhone lets you lock all the apps except for the Phone app. Turn on "Always Allowed " for Messages and FaceTime app to eliminate the time limit and these apps will always be locked. You can disable the "Always Allowed " option but you will no longer receive notifications from locked apps and devices connected with iCloud will not be able to send and receive messages during this time.
How to close apps on an iPhone?
If you have an iPhone without a Home button such as iPhone X or later then swipe up halfway from the bottom and swipe up the app from the list that appeared to close it. However, in iPhones with a Home button, double click the Home button and swipe up the app you want to close.
How to delete apps on an iPhone?
Press and hold the app you want to delete. Select Remove App and then click the Delete button from the pop-up options.
How do you organize apps on an iPhone?
To organize or move an app to a new place, press and keep holding the app icon until it shakes a little. Now, move it to the new place you want and you are done.
How to add parental restrictions?
After linking your iPhone with your child's iPhone, go to Settings on the child's iPhone and open the Scree Time tab. Select "This is my child's iPhone " and then "Use Screen Time password. " Now create a password and confirm your password by re-entering. Follow the on-screen passcode. Enter the parental password and confirm it. Turn Content and Privacy on in the Content and Privacy Restrictions.
Locking apps on an individual level really gives you the extra privacy and security you deserve as people can always ask your phone to make an emergency call or to send a message etc. All the methods listed above will prove to be good for you as I have personally tried them all. Just choose a method that suits you best, follow the steps as they are mentioned and you will be done.