How to Lock Apps on iPad Without Screen Time: A Step-by-Step Guide

Locking apps on an iPad without using Screen Time might sound tricky, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. By using the Guided Access feature on your iPad, you can restrict access to a single app, effectively locking other apps and ensuring they can’t be accessed without your permission. With this guide, you’ll know how to set up and use Guided Access to lock any app on your iPad.

How to Lock Apps on iPad Without Screen Time

Guided Access is a powerful tool that allows you to lock your iPad to a single app, which is perfect for when you want to control which app your child can access or if you want to focus on a task without distractions. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Enable Guided Access

Head to the ‘Settings’ app, tap ‘Accessibility,’ and then select ‘Guided Access.’

This step allows you to turn on Guided Access, preparing your iPad to lock into a single app. By activating this setting, you ensure that you can use the feature whenever needed.

Step 2: Set Up Passcode

Tap ‘Passcode Settings’ and set a Guided Access Passcode.

Setting a passcode is crucial as it locks and unlocks the Guided Access mode. Make sure to choose a code that you can easily remember but is hard for others to guess.

Step 3: Start Guided Access

Open the app you want to lock, then triple-click the Home or Side button.

Triple-clicking the button starts the Guided Access mode. You’ll see options to adjust settings or simply begin the session, effectively locking your iPad to the chosen app.

Step 4: Adjust Settings

Use the on-screen options to disable areas of the screen, buttons, or touch input.

Adjusting these settings allows you to fine-tune what can be accessed within the app. For example, you can disable parts of the screen to prevent accidental taps or restrict certain functions.

Step 5: Begin Session

Tap ‘Start’ to begin Guided Access mode.

Once you tap ‘Start,’ your iPad will be locked to the current app. To exit, triple-click the Home or Side button and enter your passcode.

After completing these steps, your iPad will be locked to the selected app, preventing access to other apps until you turn off Guided Access mode.

Tips for Locking Apps on iPad Without Screen Time

  • Remember Your Passcode: This helps avoid being locked out of your iPad.
  • Customize Settings: Adjust what can be accessed within the app for a more tailored experience.
  • Use Triple-Click Shortcut: Practice this so you can quickly enable or disable Guided Access when needed.
  • Battery Life: Ensure your iPad has sufficient charge, as being locked in an app can drain the battery faster.
  • Alternative Methods: Explore other parental control options if Guided Access doesn’t meet all your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I exit Guided Access?

Triple-click the Home or Side button and enter your Guided Access passcode.

Can I lock multiple apps at once?

No, Guided Access locks the iPad to a single app at a time.

Will Guided Access affect notifications?

Yes, Guided Access can limit certain notifications while the mode is active.

Can I use Guided Access on older iPads?

Guided Access is available on iPads running iOS 6 or later.

Is this method secure for kids?

Yes, it’s effective in limiting access and ensuring kids stay within the designated app.


  1. Enable Guided Access: Go to Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access.
  2. Set Up Passcode: Tap ‘Passcode Settings’ and set a passcode.
  3. Start Guided Access: Open the desired app and triple-click the Home/Side button.
  4. Adjust Settings: Customize screen and input settings.
  5. Begin Session: Tap ‘Start’ to lock the iPad to the app.


Locking apps on an iPad without using Screen Time can be a breeze with Guided Access. This method is perfect for parents who want to control their children’s screen time or for anyone who needs to focus on a specific task without distractions. Guided Access is easy to set up and use, making it a versatile tool for various situations.

By following the steps outlined above, you can quickly lock your iPad to a single app, ensuring that other apps remain inaccessible. Remember to customize the settings to fit your needs, and practice using the triple-click shortcut for quick access. If you ever encounter any issues or need further customization, don’t hesitate to explore other parental control options available on your device. This guide should empower you to take full control of your iPad usage, enhancing productivity and safety for all users.

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