Since I posted How to Child-proof iPAD, I received so many questions asking how to lock iPAD screen or iPhone screen, so kids stay within the app you want them to. Today we share how to use Guided Access feature to control kids’ screen time and app access, an important parental control feature that iOS has.
Easy way to lock iPAD screen so kids stay within the app
What is Guided Access feature on iPhone / iPad? Has your child been in the middle of a game, only to touch the home button then get back to the home screen and suddenly all your apps are bouncing and ready to be deleted? My son loves to press the home button, over and over and over. Although he loves it, I’m not a fan because then my apps are in jeopardy of getting re-arranged or deleted, not good for my type A organized phone. Or has your child accidentally touched that annoying ad in the corner of the game, prompting another window to open up interrupting their game? Guided Access is a great fix for that and can be accessed through the general settings.
1. Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPAD:
2. Go to General, then choose Accessibility (click on image to have a larger view of the picture):
3. In Accessibility, find the selection box under Learning titled Guided Access; you will want to turn this ON
4. You will need to set a passcode.
Now if you have older kids this might not be the solution you are looking for, but also with older kids they are probably not constantly clicking the home button. No matter the age it is nice to block off those annoying ads.
5. Go back to the Accessibility screen
Tapping Accessibility at the top-left corner of the screen. Make sure Guided Access is selected for Triple-click the home Button.
6. Open an app to use the feature
At the bottom of the screen, you have the option to turn hardware buttons off, turn touch on or off (I leave this on as the game needs to be able to touch around within the app) and motion on or off (I also leave this on). While in guided access, if you circle any area a grayed out box will appear, as shown in the picture above (see the little box with a small “x” on top-left corner). This area will now become unclickable when guided access is turned on. This is a great tool to use over those annoy ads or maybe the play/pause buttons of a movie app. If you want to change this grey coverage, there is a little ‘x’ you can click to delete that selection and make a new selection. Once all your settings are the way you want them, select the blue Start button at the top-right corner and the app will resume as normal.
7. Stop the guided access feature
When your child is finished playing with that app, you triple click your home button, but this time since guided access is turned on you have to put in your passcode. Once you type in your passcode you can select End if you are finished, or make changes and select resume to continue with the guided access on. After you hit end you are able to click the home button and return to your home screen.
I hope you can get as much use out of this feature as I have!
If you find this is helpful, you may also want to know How to Limit Screen Time with a Simple Setting on iPhone iPad
How to Lock iPad Screen Orientation to Stop It from Rotating During Movies
Having an iPad for young children, you will want to have wonderful apps for them. How about start with this: 10 Free Reading Apps That Continuously Offer Free Books for Kids, some offer free books weekly, some monthly.
Here are some more iPAD child-safety articles. Make sure check these articles too:
How to choose baby friendly iPAD cases
How to choose kids friendly iPAD cases
How to minimize surprising iTune bills
How to set up an iTune account without a credit card (as a way to manage iTune spending)