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How to lock apps on iPhone

iPhone 13 mini vs iPhone 12 mini
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Locking apps on your iPhone can help you set up an extra layer of security for sensitive and personal information, and can even help limit how often you use the more addictive ones. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't offer an official way to lock each application, but there is a Screen Time hack that temporarily lets you guard your sensitive apps.

Whether you need to limit how often you scroll through social media apps or want to keep certain apps away from prying eyes, here's how to lock apps on your iPhone. If you're in need of a new phone, you can also get a free iPhone 13 from Verizon.

How to lock apps on your iPhone 

With Apple's Screen Time feature, you can limit how long you’re allowed to use a particular app in a day, and once that timer runs out, the only way to get in is by punching in your passcode. This effectively locks the app for the day, but you'll need to reach the limit on a daily basis. The good news is you only need the app to be open for a minimum of one minute.

  • On your iPhone, head to the Settings app 
  • Navigate to Screen Time and tap “Use Screen Time Passcode,” and set a new passcode for Screen Time limits.  
  • Once done, tap on "App Limits," and hit the “Add Limit” option.
  • Find the category or specific app you want to lock, and tap on "Next."

(Image credit: Future)
  • In the time menu, set the limit to the number of hours or minutes you need. To lock the app, set the time to one minute. 
  • Enable the “Block at End of Limit” toggle, and select “Add.”

(Image credit: Future)

There you have it. Once the app reaches its time limit, it will ask if you want to add a set amount of time to use the app. However, you'll need to input the Screen Time passcode to use them. You can also share this limit across all your devices, including on iPad.

If you're looking for more ways to customize your iPhone, we've got you covered. 

Darragh Murphy
Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.