Lock your iOS device to a single app

Has a friend or work colleague asked to borrow your iPhone or iPad to use an App?

I don’t about you but I have mischievous friends and the one time I briefly lent my iPhone to a friend who wanted to check football scores, he also added a recurring calendar event to remind me of his birthday.

Unlike the Mac’s ability to log into a user or guest account, iOS does not have user accounts, and because it is a single user environment it leaves your Apps and other information (e.g. notes, emails, etc) exposed.

Although it is not possible to have individual user accounts in iOS, it is possible to open an App and lock your iOS device to that single App.

Locking your iOS device to a single app can be particularly useful if you briefly lend your device out to someone as I mentioned above, but it also has many other practical uses that can be applied for use in a business environment. One such use would be an iPad in your reception area that’s used to sign guests in and out, or inform waiting guests about your company, include a building map for large offices. What you don’t want though is for the user to be able to exit out of the App and access other areas of the company iPad.

In general this method of locking down a computer or device to a single App is referred to as Kiosk Mode and has been used for many years in such environments as Museums or Exhibitions for interactive screens.

Below are instructions detailing how to lock your iOS device to a single App. Step 1 is a one time only setup. Steps 2 and 3 are the enabling and disabling parts which is as simple as tapping the Home button 3 times.

  1. From your iOS device go to the Home screen, tap Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access and switch On.lock iphone to single app mode
  2. With Step 1 complete you can now lock your iOS device by simply opening a App and then tap the Home button 3 times, then tap Start (top-right blue button) and set you passcode. You should now be locked into in the selected App only with no access to any other parts of your iOS device. Try to exit or switch Apps and it won’t let you.how to lock your iphone to one app mode
  3. To exit your iOS device from being locked single app simply tap the Home button again 3 times, enter iOS device’s 4 digit passcode, and lastly tap End (top-left grey button) to complete this process.

For more information on iOS for business please visit the Amsys Mobile page here.

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