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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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If you've ever handed your iPhone or iPad to a baby or toddler to entertain them while you do something else, you'll probably know just how easily their little fingers can navigate into all manner of screens and settings they shouldn't be messing with.

ipad-kids-playing.jpeg

Fortunately, Apple includes a feature in iOS that allows you to keep your device locked into a single app and control which features are available. It's called Guided Access, and this article explains how you can use it.

How to Enable Guided Access on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Scroll down to "General" and tap Guided Access.
  4. Tap the switch next to Guided Access to toggle it to the green ON position and reveal further options.
    guided-access-locked-into-app.jpg

    If you use any other accessibility options, turn on the switch next to Accessibility Shortcut so that you can access them when Guided Access is active, using a triple-click of the Home button or Side button (depending on your device).
  5. Tap Passcode Settings, then tap Set Guided Access Passcode to set a special passcode for exiting the feature. Optionally, turn on the toggle next to Face ID or Touch ID (depending on your device) if you want to be able to use biometric authentication to exit Guided Access.
    1how-to-set-up-guided-access-.jpg
How to Use Guided Access on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the app that you want to limit access to. In our example, we're using the BBC iPlayer app to play a kids' show.
  2. If your device has a Home button, triple-click it to enter the Guided Access initialization screen. If your device has Face ID in lieu of a Home button, triple-click the Side button instead.
    3how-to-use-guided-access-iphone-ipad.jpg

    The screen area will appear within a frame. If you want to make certain areas of the screen inaccessible, simply circle them using your finger.
    2how-to-use-guided-access-iphone-ipad.jpg

    Tap Options in the bottom-left corner, then use the switches to control access to the Side Button, Volume Buttons, Motion, Keyboards, Touch, or to set a Time Limit. In our example, to prevent the video (and audio) from being disrupted by little fingers, we would disable Side Button, Volume, and Touch by toggling off the associated switches.
    guided-access-options.jpg

    Tap Done.
  3. Tap Start at the top-right corner of the screen to activate Guided Access proper. A banner will briefly appear on the screen advising you that the feature is active.
With Guided Access enabled, the only way to leave the app is by double-clicking the Side button to activate Face ID, or by triple-clicking the Side/Home button and entering the pre-set passcode. So you can leave your little ones to watch their favorite video or play their favorite game, safe in the knowledge that they can't delete your email account, phone a random number, or worse.

Apart from using the triple-click to bring up the Accessibility Shortcut, you can also add a Guided Access shortcut to your device's Control Center.

Article Link: How to Limit What a Toddler Can Do When You Hand Over Your iPhone or iPad
 

star-affinity

macrumors 68000
Nov 14, 2007
1,753
972
One nice thing with this is that it also removes the awful Home Bar which I don't want to be seen at all when in a game for example. I can't understand why Apple won't let us disable this everywhere if wanted.
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: Kram Sacul

djplong

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2015
57
69
New Hampshire
It's not access to apps that I worry about. It's damage. Toddlers and babies wouldn't be entrusted with a device covered in glass that costs hundreds of dollars under any other circumstances. This is one area where, if you MUST hand over a device, the cheap Fire tablets with the bumpers all around are a better choice.
 

jaster2

macrumors member
Jun 21, 2010
77
68
Great explanation of this feature. Also, may I suggest using videos and games on a device as a last resort for keeping toddlers and tots engaged.
 
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Reactions: InTeCredo

beeftick

macrumors newbie
Sep 27, 2021
20
46
I know a few (young) families where they complain they can't get their two year old off their iPad and laugh. Yeah, real funny. If you can't get your two year old off your ipad, and they have a conniption when they can't use it, you are doing something wrong. Have them play outside, get dirty, eat dirt, and play with bugs. That is where the real learning begins.
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G5
Apr 8, 2013
14,001
12,361
UK
It's not access to apps that I worry about. It's damage. Toddlers and babies wouldn't be entrusted with a device covered in glass that costs hundreds of dollars under any other circumstances. This is one area where, if you MUST hand over a device, the cheap Fire tablets with the bumpers all around are a better choice.
Yes I don’t let my kids anywhere near my iPads or iPhone. It’s a cheap fire tablet and they have parental controls on at all times.
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 68020
Jun 6, 2005
2,431
3,885
If you don’t want your kids to use iPads then turn off your own phone and spend time with them. If you spend all your time on a computer or a device that is what they will model whether or not you let them have a device. Put your phone down first then play with your kids. Don’t expect them to live device free if you cannot.

Guided acres is a very nice feature for limited childrens activities on an iPad.

For those worried you can put a case on an iPad that protects it just fine from drops and falls from toddler heights.

Kids live in a digital world. I don’t see why having them use an iPad in limited fashion is worse than TV or video game consoles, both of which young children have been doing for 30 years. Excess is bad but zero also seems silly.
 

Marzzz

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2002
293
385
The Desert
Infants and toddlers seem to have this innate ability to know if a device is working and connected to a network, either Wi-Fi or cellular. Seriously, give them a phone or tablet that only just turns on but doesn’t do anything, and they throw it back at you. It’s uncanny…
 
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