Home 9 Apps & Devices 9 How to Lock iPhone Apps | 2024

How to Lock iPhone Apps | 2024

by | Jan 2, 2024

Just picture being able to add an extra layer of security to certain apps on your iPhone so that others can’t access them while using your phone.

Although Apple doesn’t provide a direct and official way to lock specific apps like Photos or social media with a passcode, there are still some clever ways to get around it.

This guide will explain five different and easy methods to let you know how to lock iPhone apps. We’ve also included some frequently asked questions that you might find helpful, so keep reading.

Before starting to read this article, I recommend you read these two articles:

How to Lock iPhone Apps?

Method 1: Locking Apps on iPhone using Screen Time Limits

You can use a feature called Apple Screen Time Limit to lock specific apps on your iPhone. This feature allows you to set a time limit for using the app each day. If you exceed the time limit, you will need to enter a password to open the app.

Originally, this feature was designed to prevent people from wasting time mindlessly scrolling through social media. However, we can use it to our advantage by locking certain apps, as the time limit can be set to just 1 minute. Here’s how you can set it up:

Locking Apps on iPhone using Screen Time Limits
  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Look for the Screen Time option within the Settings menu.
  3. Tap on App Limits and select Add Limit for an app.
  4. Enter your Screen Time passcode.
  5. Choose the apps you want to restrict and tap Next.
  6. Set a time limit of 1 minute and tap Add in the top-right corner.
  7. Enable the option to Block at End of Limit to ensure the app is blocked once the time limit is reached.
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How to Open Locked Apps?

  • To access locked apps, you can request more time on the locked app by entering your Screen Time passcode.
  • Choose the Duration: Decide how long you want to keep the app unlocked for: 15 minutes, 1 hour, or all day.
  • Keep in mind that you cannot lock the app immediately after closing it. You will need to end the screen time limit in order to lock it again.

Method 2: Locking Apps on iPhone using Guided Access

Guided Access is a feature introduced by Apple that limits the user to a single app or specific features. It’s helpful for people who want to focus on work-related apps and avoid distractions. It can also be used to prevent accidental transactions or calls when children are using your iPhone to play games or watch cartoons.

Locking Apps on iPhone using Guided Access

Follow these steps to set up Guided Access:

Step 1: Activating Guided Access:

  • Open the Accessibility settings on your iPhone.
  • Toggle on the Guided Access option.

Step 2: Setting a Guided Access Passcode:

  • Go to Passcode Settings.
  • Set a Guided Access Passcode and confirm it by entering it again.

Step 3: Starting Guided Access in an App:

  • Open the app you want to restrict.
  • On an iPhone X or later, triple-click the side button.
  • On an iPhone 8 or earlier, triple-click the Home button.
  • Tap on Guided Access, then tap Start.

Step 4: Ending a Guided Access Session:

  • To end Guided Access, triple-click the Side or Home button.
  • Enter your Guided Access passcode, then tap End.
  • If you have enabled Touch ID or Face ID for Guided Access, you can use a double-click of the Side or Home button instead.

Method 3: Locking Apps on iPhone using the Shortcuts App

Apple doesn’t provide an official method or app to lock apps on iPhones. However, we can create a way to individually lock specific apps by using the Shortcuts app and creating an automation that redirects the action to the Lock screen. It might sound a bit technical, but don’t worry, the following steps will make it easy for you.

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Locking Apps on iPhone using the Shortcuts App

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Clock app on your iPhone and open the “When the timer ends” option in the Timer tab. Choose “Stop Playing” and click Set in the top-right corner.
  2. Launch the Shortcuts app and access the Automation tab.
  3. If you’re new to setting up automation, select New Automation. If you’ve created automations before, tap the “+” icon to add a new one.
  4. Open the App tab and tap Choose to select the apps you want to lock, then press Done.
  5. Make sure the option “Is Opened” is selected, then click Next.
  6. Click on New Blank Automation and select Add Action in the next window.
  7. Scroll down to find the Clock icon, then choose Set Timer and specify the duration in seconds.
  8. Choose “Run Immediately” and confirm by tapping Done.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to lock specific apps using the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.

Method 4: Locking First-Party Apps on iPhone by Restricting Content

While Apple doesn’t offer a direct way to individually lock your apps for enhanced security, there are some options that can be adjusted slightly to help us lock the apps. However, it’s important to note that this method only works for first-party apps, which are the apps created by Apple itself.

Locking First-Party Apps on iPhone by Restricting Content

How to Lock First-Party Apps in iOS 12 and Later?

Here’s how you can lock first-party apps on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the Screen Time tab and select Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  3. In Allowed Apps, enter your screen time passcode.
  4. Toggle off the apps you want to lock.
  5. Go back to the home screen, and the locked apps will now be disabled.

How to Lock First-Party Apps in iOS 11 and Earlier?

Follow these simple steps to lock first-party apps on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the General tab.
  3. Scroll down and look for the Restrictions option. Tap on it to access the Restrictions menu.
  4. When you enable Restrictions, you’ll be prompted to set a new passcode. Choose a passcode and confirm it by entering it again.
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In the Restrictions menu, you’ll see a list of apps and features that can be restricted. To lock specific apps, manually turn off the ones you want to lock.

Method 5: Lock Compatible Apps on iPhone 5S to iPhone 8 Using Touch ID

If you have an iPhone 5S to iPhone 8, you can use Touch ID to lock certain compatible apps provided by Apple, like iTunes, App Store, Apple Pay, and Password Auto-fill. Follow these steps to learn how to lock these apps:

Lock Compatible Apps on iPhone 5S to iPhone 8 Using Touch ID
  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on ‘Touch ID & Passcode’.
  3. Enter your passcode to verify your identity.
  4. In the ‘Touch ID & Passcode’ settings, enable Touch ID for the functions you want, such as Apple Pay or App Store purchases.
  5. To lock individual apps with Touch ID, go to the settings of the specific app that supports Touch ID locking.
  6. If available, enable the Touch ID lock feature within the app’s settings.

Please note that not all apps support the ability to be locked with Touch ID. It depends on whether the app itself provides this feature.


I hope this guide helped you learn how to lock iPhone apps. If you have any more questions or need tutorials for iPhones or Androids, please leave a comment. We appreciate your feedback because it helps us make our future articles better. And don’t forget to subscribe to our daily newsletter to stay updated on the latest news and updates about social media, apps, and devices.


Can I use third-party apps to lock apps on iPhones?

There are some apps like BioProtect, Locktopus, and AppLocker available, but they usually require jailbreaking your iPhone, which is not recommended due to the associated risks.

Are there any limitations to locking apps on iPhones using Screen Time Limits?

Yes, when using Screen Time Limits, you can lock all apps except the Phone app. However, you have the option to set certain apps like Messages and FaceTime as ‘Always Allowed’ to bypass time limits. Keep in mind that disabling this setting may affect notifications and iCloud syncing for these apps.

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