The iPhone Trick Every Parent Needs To Know: Lock Your Child Within One App


Let’s admit it, there comes a time when we parents just have to hand over our smartphone (or iPad) to our toddler. There are some situations where it just has to happen (cutting fingernails, anyone?).

You start them on YouTube or a cute little kid game, but then they’re free to push the home button and touch the screen a bunch of times, until they’ve deleted your favorite apps and they’ve FaceTimed your boss or ex. Perfect.

Until now.

There’s a feature you can enable that will lock your phone so it stays within the app of your choice, until you enter a passcode.

Here’s how to enable it (one-time only):

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and enable “Guided Access”
  2. Enter a passcode (maybe the same one that unlocks your phone, so you can remember it).
  3. Enable “Accessibility Shortcut”. Enabling this means you can triple-click your home button within an app, to enable guided access (i.e.: lock your phone to stay within that app).

Then, when you’ve opened a kid-friendly app and you’re ready to hand your cell phone or iPad over to your little one:

  1. Click your home button quickly three times.
  2. Using your finger you can draw a circle around any buttons within the app that you’d like to disable. The circle will turn into a grey rectangle that you can stretch and move to cover and disable any buttons on the screen.
  3. Click start, in the upper right corner of your screen, and you’re in business.
  4. When you’re ready to exit, just click the home button three times, and enter your passcode.

You’re welcome. We’re sorry there isn’t an app yet to keep your phone out of the toilet. Good luck.


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