How to Lock Apps on iPhone: Top 5 App Locking Methods

In today’s digital world, where we store sensitive information and access private accounts on our phones, security is paramount. While iPhones boast impressive security features, it’s natural to want an extra layer of protection for specific apps containing confidential data or personal content.

But can you lock apps on iPhone?

Yes, this guide will unveil several effective ways to achieve the same result, safeguarding your privacy and securing your data.

Let’s dive in! ️

1. Built-in Screen Time App Limits

iOS comes with a built-in feature called Screen Time that allows you to set time limits for app usage and even restrict access to specific apps altogether. This is a simple and effective way to lock apps without needing additional software.


  • Easy to set up: No need to download or install anything.
  • Free: Included with iOS.
  • Effective: Locks apps completely, preventing access.
  • Compatible: Works on all iPhone models and iOS versions.


  • Limited customization: Only allows setting time limits or complete app blocking.
  • No password or biometric authentication: Requires entering the device passcode to unlock apps.
  • Not ideal for sensitive apps: May not be suitable for apps containing highly sensitive information.

How to set up Screen Time app limits:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Tap App Limits.
  4. Tap Add Limit.
  5. Select the category of apps you want to restrict (e.g., Social Networking).
  6. Choose the time limit per day.
  7. Tap Add.

Additional notes:

  • You can create different app limits for different categories or individual apps.
  • You can set a specific downtime schedule during which all app limits are enforced.
iPhone app lock

2. Guided Access

Guided Access is another built-in iOS feature that allows you to temporarily lock your iPhone into a single app. This is particularly useful for children or when you need to focus on a specific task without distractions.


  • Easy to use: Requires simple gestures to activate and disable.
  • Temporary lock: Allows resuming normal use quickly.
  • Customizable: Can restrict specific features within the app.
  • No additional software needed: Included with iOS.


  • Not a permanent solution: Not suitable for long-term app protection.
  • Limited customization: Options for restricting features are limited.
  • Requires remembering gestures: May be inconvenient for some users.

How to set up Guided Access:

  1. Open the app you want to lock.
  2. Triple-click the Home button or Side button.
  3. Tap Guided Access.
  4. To restrict specific features, tap Options and customize your preferences.
  5. Tap Start to activate Guided Access.

Additional notes:

  • You can set a passcode for exiting Guided Access.
  • You can set a time limit for Guided Access sessions.

3. Third-Party App Lockers

Several third-party app lockers available on the App Store offer advanced features and customization options not found in the built-in iOS solutions. These apps typically require a subscription or in-app purchases to unlock all features.


  • Feature-rich: Offer various features like password protection, Touch ID/Face ID authentication, disguise modes, and time-based locks.
  • Customizable: Allow configuring different lock types for specific apps.
  • Additional security features: Some apps offer photo/video vaulting, intruder selfies, and fake crash screens.


  • Cost: Usually require a subscription or in-app purchases.
  • Privacy concerns: Some apps may collect user data.
  • Potential compatibility issues: May not work with all iPhone models and iOS versions.
  • AppLock
  • Norton App Lock
  • LockBy
  • AppBlock
  • 1Password

How to set up a third-party app locker:

  1. Download and install the app of your choice from the App Store.
  2. Open the app and create a master password or enable biometric authentication.
  3. Select the apps you want to lock.
  4. Choose the lock type (e.g., password, Touch ID/Face ID).
  5. Configure any
how to lock app in iphone

4. Restrictions

The Restrictions feature in iOS allows you to control access to specific features and apps, making it ideal for managing children’s device usage or restricting app access for guest users.


  • Parental control: Effectively limits access to inappropriate content and apps.
  • Guest mode: Provides a restricted environment for guest users.
  • Built-in: No need for additional software.
  • Password protection: Requires the device passcode to disable restrictions.


  • Limited customization: Only allows blocking specific apps or categories.
  • No individual app locks: Can’t lock specific apps within allowed categories.
  • Requires device passcode: May not be ideal for situations where you want to share your device but restrict specific apps.

How to set up Restrictions:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Enter your device passcode.
  5. Tap App Restrictions.
  6. Enable App Restrictions.
  7. Choose the app category or individual apps you want to restrict.

Restrictions settings on iPhoneAdditional notes:

  • You can also restrict iTunes Store and App Store purchases, Safari browsing, and other features.
  • You can set a passcode for accessing Restrictions settings.

5. App-Specific Security Measures

Many apps offer their own built-in security measures, allowing you to set passcodes, enable Face ID/Touch ID authentication, and control data sharing.


  • Tailored security: Provides app-specific protection beyond basic device locks.
  • Convenient integration: No need for separate app lockers.
  • Privacy control: Allows setting specific permissions and data access restrictions.


  • Limited scope: Only applies to individual apps.
  • Inconsistent implementation: Features and options vary across different apps.

Examples of app-specific security measures:

  • Social media apps: Password protection, two-factor authentication, login notifications.
  • Messaging apps: Disappearing messages, screenshot blocking, end-to-end encryption.
  • Financial apps: Fingerprint/Face ID authentication, transaction confirmation, PIN protection.

How to enable app-specific security measures:

  1. Open the individual app’s settings.
  2. Look for options related to security, privacy, and data sharing.
  3. Enable the desired features, such as password protection, biometric authentication, or data restrictions.

Additional notes:

  • The specific options and settings available will vary depending on the app.
  • Always ensure you are using the latest version of the app for optimal security.

Choosing the Right App Locking Method for You

The best app locking method for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose:

For basic app protection:

  • Built-in Screen Time: Simple and effective, works on all iPhones.
  • Restrictions: Ideal for parental control and guest users.

For advanced features and customization:

  • Third-party app lockers: Offer password protection, Touch ID/Face ID, and other features.
  • App-specific security measures: Tailored protection for individual apps.

For temporary app lockdown:

  • Guided Access: Useful for focused use and preventing distractions.

Additional Tips for Enhanced App Security

  • Update your iPhone and apps regularly: Fixes security vulnerabilities and improves app functionality.
  • Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication: Makes your accounts more secure.
  • Be cautious about granting permissions to apps: Only allow access to necessary data.
  • Monitor app activity and review privacy settings regularly.

Read: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max Specs

By choosing the right app locking methods and taking additional security measures, you can ensure your privacy and data are protected on your iPhone. Remember, security is an ongoing process, so stay informed and adapt your approach as needed.

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